Sometimes we use this space to criticize public officials or pick apart decisions we disagree with or argue against policies and laws we find misguided or harmful. It can be easy to get caught up in what’s wrong with things and lose sight of what’s great.
Not today. Today, we’re focusing on the positive.
For starters, it’s not election season right now, no matter what those people pondering running for president in 2020 and the pundits paid to fill 24-hour news cycles might try to tell you.
That means a respite — however brief — from robocalls and attack ads. And even more hopefully, bipartisanship and cooperation turned out to be big, and winning, issues in local elections this year. What a welcome trend.
Maybe those ideals can even translate to the Thanksgiving dinner table, where we’d suggest a total ban on the words “president” or “Trump” or any variations thereof. This day isn’t about him.
In fact, try not to even think too much about politics today. We’re sorry we brought it up.
Thanksgiving is about spending time with family and friends, or really anybody willing to sit down at a table together and indulge in the wonderfully American tradition of eating way too much delicious food — much of it heavily carb-centric and preferably covered in gravy. Be thankful for gravy.
We’re also thankful for the ambitious amateur chefs maxing out their ovens’ capacity to hold casserole dishes, and for our loved ones who invented and tweaked and passed down all those recipes that make us feel warm and nostalgic as the weather gets colder and the nights longer.
Speaking of colder weather, there’s no snow on the ground here. And barring another freak 30-year storm like the one that paralyzed the Lowcountry for close to a full week in January, there probably won’t be much ice around later either.
We also dodged not one but two hurricane close calls in Charleston this year, something certainly worth appreciating. It’s a good time to spare a thought or prayer for families who weren’t so lucky, though.
Farmers in North and South Carolina were pretty hard hit by flooding from Hurricane Florence. We wouldn’t have turkeys and all the trimmings on the table without those hardworking people and the others who pick and process our food and arrange it on grocery store shelves. That’s worth a “thank you” — and some swift recovery aid.
After indulging in said turkey and trimmings, we should be grateful for the medical professionals who will offer some, shall we say, constructive criticism about our waistlines and cholesterol levels and nudge us back toward pre-holiday health.
Or how about the law enforcement officers who help keep us safe even when most of us are relaxing on a day off from work? It was a tragically tough year for South Carolina police. They merit a pat on the back.
So do the firefighters and first responders and the military personnel protecting us at home and abroad. Thanks, today and always.
Oh, and those of us who get our power from SCE&G might give thanks for slightly less expensive electric bills this fall, since the state Legislature managed to cut rates and help keep people from paying for nuclear reactors that won’t ever generate power. So far, anyway.
We can even find a silver lining in traffic this year. Sure, it’s a pain. It’s the worst. But it means people have places to be and the money in their pockets to get them there. That’s partly a result of our bustling small-business community and lots of big employers like Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Boeing moving into the region. Welcome and thank you.
And, hey, at least the Wando Bridge is open, with all of its interior cables presumably in good shape. Thanks, state Department of Transportation workers, for taking care of that.
We might not be excessively thankful that Charleston is still topping “Best City” lists, but we’re glad people like it here. You don’t have to tell us twice — or is it eight times now? — how nice it is.
We’re also glad that local leaders found funding this year for the long-planned International African American Museum. Charleston is its history, the good and the ugly, and learning from it makes us stronger.
There’s even some money flowing in to preserve a critical nesting ground on Crab Bank. Those birds will be thankful if the fund-raising goal is reached before the rapidly approaching deadline.
And a deal still in the works looks like it could save one of the last working Shem Creek shrimp docks. Who says shrimp aren’t for Thanksgiving dinner? Just buy local.
We’re glad there’s the annual Clemson-South Carolina game on Saturday. Great schools make great fans.
For the K-12 schools that aren’t doing so great, we’re optimistic about the many teachers, principals and others who aim much higher than “minimally adequate.” If you can read this, you have some educators to thank.
Whatever else happens today, you’re here for this quintessentially American holiday. It truly is a day to give thanks for all our blessings.