Who/What am I Thankful For

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Facebookers have a tradition now of listing someone/something they are thankful for on each day of November.  I decided to do it in one swoop on Thanksgiving here.  This list (although numbered) is by no means a ranking of these people/things.  The people on this list would not question their “ranking”, anyway.  That’s a reason they’re on here!  So, without further ado…

  1. I do have to start off with my Parents.  They didn’t give birth to me but a mere ten days into my life they were more than happy to “pick up the ball” and run with it these 42 years.  They haven’t regretted it, or they’ve been kind enough not to tell me they have, at least!  😉  I may have been a brat at times (what child hasn’t?) but looking back, I know why I didn’t get what I wanted at times.  I know why I got punished at times.  The very last thing my sister and I can even pretend to say is we had a bad childhood.  Thank you for everything and I love you!
  2. My “birth mother”.  We all know she could have taken a different approach to her pregnancy.  But she didn’t and gave me a shot at a better life.
  3. Living in America.  We do have problems (A LOT OF THEM).  But I would still rather live here than anywhere else in the world.  Where else can I step up on my soapbox here and preach without going into hiding from various agencies?
  4. To my true family.  My relatives that will call, text, message, or even just post on my social media outlets asking how I’m doing,  just to interact or stay in touch.  There have been some who only get in touch when they need something, making these folks even more special to me.  And just to name those usual suspects:  Mary, Denise, Ernie, Debbie, Daria, Andrea, Kristy, Kyle, Tara, Jonathan, and Autumn!  Thank you for being there and having a vested interest in my life, as I do yours!
  5. Bill Cornell.  He was my sounding board as I was preparing to start my business, Digital Dynamix.  He introduced my to Ronnie, who we will get to in a moment.  He, like me, is a dreamer.  A fellow co-worker asked me in 2007 if I could video a wedding.  I looked at Bill and said “Why couldn’t I?”  his reply “Why couldn’t you?”.  That conversation spun into everything I have accomplished as a Videographer/Producer/Photographer.
  6. Mid Ohio Rock Show.  Meeting Ronnie Hughes to film the 12 hour Party House Reunion in 2008 was just the beginning, he then asked me if I would be interested in doing a show highlighting the musical talent of the area.  Mid Ohio Rock Show was born.  We were seen in over 150 countries and over 80,000 times.  It has forged some great friendships with the likes of Tommy Barnes and his wife Julie, Ed Gutchall, Larry Pennepacker, Jon Alfrey, Violet Thompson and Frank Medley.  Keep your ear to the ground, the amps may be turning back to 11 sooner than you think!
  7. Ben and Amber Bissman.  They have let me use the Historic/Haunted Bissman as my personal Background/Studio/Playground since the day I met them.  Two of my biggest cheerleaders and supporters.  I wouldn’t have half the success I’ve accomplished without them!
  8. Mansfield/Richland County CVB.  There are three legs that have given me the professional boost thus far.  Rock Show, the Bissmans and these folks!  Lee Tasseff, Jodie Puster, and Kim Miers have repeatedly called me in to do various projects.  Last year, it got two of my Promotional Videos for them three awards.  This year, I got to meet actors Scott Mann, James Kisicki, and Bob Gunton from “The Shawshank Redemption”.   I am looking forward to see what Lee, Jodie, Kim, Amber and Robin have for me next!
  9. The Rush.  There are times my business makes for a long day when added to my day job.  But it is amazing how well I feel no matter how worn out after being around the folks at Rock Show, creating a new video for the CVB, or even being involved in a brainstorm session with some of my fellow dreamers.
  10. That brings me to Joe James.  This kid is amazing!  He’s 20 years younger than me but WOW!  He’s written two books about Mansfield historic locations, he currently runs the Haunted Mansfield attractions and is just an inspiring guy to just talk to.  I hope I get to work with him in the near future!
  11. Peanut Butter.  My family will understand this!
  12. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say FIVE GUYS!  I know I go on and on about them but I LOVE a restaurant that has a superior product and delivers EVERY time!  We’ve been to six, count them, SIX different locations and EVERY time we go, it is the exact same 5-star burger your tastebuds were expecting to get when you said “Can we go to Five Guys?”  If my city ever gets one (We have to drive an hour to the closest one) Y’all best be getting out of the way!
  13. Superheroes.  Specifically, Batman and Superman.  Being adopted, I don’t know if the fact that Superman is also (technically) adopted that I was drawn to him as a child.  It was probably all the cool powers.  I mean come on, I was 5!  But Batman always gave you the impression that ANYBODY could be Batman.  Yes, I realize that without being the heir to a Billionaire and having the motivation of your parents being gunned down at the age of 8, it’s highly improbable.  I’ve totally run with “How It Should Have Ended” and their “Super Cafe” segments where every episode contains the Dark Knight sneaking in “BECAUSE I’M BATMAN!” (much to the chagrin of my Wife!)  My Mother, do further send my Wife into madness, found a photo of me around 6 wearing a Batman shirt and said “See, you were ALWAYS Batman.  That’s why we named your sister Robyn!”  Now with Iron Man in the mix, Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne are just two people who saw some VERY bad stuff going down and had the resources to step up and be that line of defense for those who can’t defend themselves.
  14. My health.  This year, I had a pretty bad back issue that laid me up for several weeks.  Just to turn around and get scraped up breaking up a dog fight.  (I’m actually typing this without the use of my right index or pinky fingers!)  But all in all, I’m healthy.  I pray my friends and family can say that about themselves, as well!
  15. My kids teachers.  For 6 years now, the team of educators has kept both of my kids interested in learning.  A feat mine weren’t able to accomplish at times!
  16. The Cleveland Browns.  Although they are not (nor have been in 20 years) a pleasant distraction from the world.  They are still a distraction.  It gives me a vehicle to get mad, scream, cheer and yell (mostly get mad, scream and yell) at the screen for a few hours before returning to our regularly scheduled life.
  17. America and the Constitution.  Although things are cloudier than ever.  We still stand on one of the greatest lands on this Earth!
  18. IHOP!  Because it’s breakfast, I’m hungry, and Ohhhhh man those pancakes look good on the commercial!
  19. The local law enforcement officers.  I don’t like seeing them pull up behind me, either.  But they ARE our real life, everyday Batmen and women!  Thank you for being where the rest of us run away!
  20. Firefighters.  If the police are Batman, these folks are from Krypton!  I can see myself fighting a fire to get out of a building.  But these folks work their way IN.  Thank you for your dedication to saving us!
  21. Medical staffers.  Doctors, Nurses, EMTs.  I don’t have a superhero metaphor for you but thank you for keeping us bandaged up and running!
  22. The Armed Forces men and women stationed all around the world.  Just know that while some of you won’t be home to spend this holiday with your families, we will not forget you!
  23. My Grandparents.  Three of which are no longer with us.  I still have a 92 year old Grandfather who is as mentally sharp as a person 50 years younger than he.  It’s a blessing to still have him around.
  24. The courteous people left in the world.  The numbers seem to be dwindling.  Making these folks that much more special!  Holding a door, helping someone in need.  Just giving a polite smile as you make eye contact with a  stranger.  It ALL counts and it all helps brighten other people’s day.
  25. The Co-Workers who make the day a little less miserable.  You people are a godsend!   Thank you for being a ray of sunshine on an otherwise cloudy day!
  26. Well written stories, movies and television shows.  I appreciate shows like Burn Notice, Castle, and The Black List simply because they can draw me into their worlds.  I don’t need action to keep me interested.  Give me a few deep characters, make me feel like I have met these folks on the street and you will have a dedicated reader/watcher.
  27. Those who have it “better” than me.  Thank you for being there to show me what is possible.  What is reachable.  Although I am thankful for everything I have, I spend more time trying to find a way to get what where I am not.  And I never waste time saying “Well, at least I’m not that guy.”  Looking back/down on those “less fortunate” than you accomplishes NOTHING!  I have always believed that if or when I “make it”, I would then spend time trying to help others reach their dreams or goals.  It’s called paying it forward.
  28. My Cousin, Kristy!  I know I already mentioned her in #4.  But last year, when I did this day by day on Facebook, she said she wanted #28 because that’s her birthday (which is today!)  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Kristy!
  29. My Daughters.  Just like another kids, I want to string them up by their ears sometimes (Thanks to my Mom for that threat!)  But they are good kids!  To my understanding, they are thoughtful, helpful and courteous to others.  They have given Stacy and I plenty of Facebook material to bring smiles to the faces of those who read them.  It is fun to watch them grow right before our eyes.  We already miss them being toddlers.  Fortunately, we took heed to the warning of enjoy them now, they won’t be little for long.  We don’t have any regrets about missing anything thus far.  We just want them to slow down in their growing up a little bit.
  30. My lovely, caring, overly patient Wife.  We met in High School.  We never dated (although I wanted to), we were just good friends.  We didn’t see each other in the 12 years after graduation.  But she was always there.  Every failed relationship, every dark day, every moment of depression, she was there as my beacon of hope.  A hope that one day she would come back into my life and “complete me”  (Yes, I can’t believe I used that phrase, either!).  In 2002, she came back into my life.  She is the reason I moved to Mansfield in the first place.  Without that move, nothing else I’ve accomplished, meeting all of these great people happens!  In 2004, she made us parents.  In 2005, she made us “real” parents (Bill Cosby always said that you aren’t a “real” parent if you only have one child.)  In 2012, she made me the happiest and luckiest man on Earth when she said “I do”.  Everyday, although I don’t always show it, I am thankful that she is there.  To share a laugh, have my back, console me on bad days, and to deliver all the “I told you so’s” that I deserve.  She is the grounding that this dreamer needs to make better decisions in all aspects of our life.  I love you, Stacy!  I can’t imagine any of this without you!
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