It’s never a bad time to count our blessings, but this week leading up to Thanksgiving often brings more to mind. Many of us are talking about current restrictions due to the coronavirus now invading even our cherished family holiday celebrations, but there’s still room for gratitude. Even as some of us have grown weary of hearing non-stop about the pandemic and elongated news show discussions about the sad state of our politics, there are still things to be thankful for.

The negatives often seem to outweigh the positives these days but utilizing this time-honored holiday to reflect and thank God for the good in our lives can help us remember all is not lost in what currently seems like a strange upside-down and crazy world.

I’m on week three of what could entail about three months of a healing cycle from a broken ankle. I’ll admit, at first it was hard to think about this in any way but negatively. I had to get past continually admonishing myself for one distracted moment and accept that accidents happen, and we just have to deal—or even look for something good in it.

Since then, I approach Thanksgiving with more gratitude than usual for all the positive things I’m learning through the experience. I’m especially grateful for the kindnesses and helpfulness of others to the extent of being humbled by the unexpected support.

Odd as it may seem, I’m also grateful for Hallmark movies. In its annual prelude to Christmas, the Hallmark Channel began airing its holiday fare right about the time I fell and found myself pretty much immobile except for a knee-walker trip to the bathroom and three lower floor rooms,

I don’t have the TV on all day long. When I first retired, I determined I would not get caught up in daytime TV. Early on, I occasionally watched “Ellen” or “Dr. Phil,” but soon tired of them and found better things to do with my time. I never got into the many morning shows or any of the remaining soap operas. If I needed company or background noise, it was the radio or one of my many CDs.

If I became engaged in a writing project, I’d work till about 5 p.m. then turn on a news show I like, or keep going if I was on a roll. Not being overly fond of most nighttime shows, a Hallmark movie would suffice for an evening’s entertainment. It’s good to be able to go to bed feeling relaxed versus all revved up.

Some projects, I’m finding, I can do from the living room, like sort out of control files, or sit for brief stints at my desk before tiring. Broken bones can do that to a person. Even the Internet says so. But this channel and its continual flow of movies has been a blessing. Hallmark also provides choices. Now that it’s the holiday season, plain old Hallmark offers what some consider “too predictable” films, but when you’re looking for light, even uplifting entertainment that some guys like, too (or something to help lull you to a nap), it’s okay that you can figure out the plots. Guy and gal meet and clash until they team up for the idyllic little town’s festival or pageant or to save Christmas, falling in love in the process.

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries offer a bit more substance. They even run serial mysteries with regular characters for some light, case-solving shows mixed in with an undertone of attraction between the characters. I enjoy some. I watch for specific actors I like, too, and avoid the one or two I just don’t care for.

When I chose a different cable package to save some money last summer, I discovered I got the Hallmark Drama Channel. The plots can be a little more in depth and personally satisfying. They run “The Walton’s” on a regular basis, too, a series that always does something to my nostalgic-leaning heart and leaves me feeling good.

About the time I broke my ankle, the Lifetime channel added its 24/7 holiday movies to the mix and a few days ago, AMC chimed in with its classics such as “Polar Express,” “Elf,” and other more mainstream favorites. Others are surely soon to follow after Thanksgiving.

The upside for me is that even when my injury wakes me up at 3 a.m. and an inability to sleep, I’ll have viewing choices to distract me from my discomfort. There’s a downside though. One recent night I started watching an out-of-the-norm and interesting movie involving a character who time traveled. I fell asleep before it ended. Oh, well. It’s only November. It surely will repeat sometime between now and the New Year.

I hope you find many blessings to count, too, even a few out of the ordinary ones that might be meaningful only to you.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving whether gathered or virtual!

(Contact contributor Deb Wuethrich at deborahmarcein@gmail.com).

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