Leila S. Case: Time to give thanks

Published 10:04 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Time crept up on me. Thanksgiving is Thursday and that means Christmas is just a short month away and the days between the two holidays will no doubt go by in a blur of shopping for the “perfect” gifts to wrap in glitter and glitz all tied up with fluffy bows before hiding them under the flawlessly shaped Frazier fir that is decorated to the hilt.
Before we get into the Christmas mode, we celebrate Thanksgiving and bow our heads in gratefulness for our great nation and all our many blessings of this life.
We have a long, long list of things to give thanks for as I know you do, too, but Chris and Meg Usrey and Jeff and Dea Jones are especially thankful. The Americus couples were on vacation in Paris and fortunately were in the right place at the right time just outside the city when the terrorists attacked on Friday the 13th. However, the day before they had been in the area of attack touring museums, including the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower. They returned to the city without encountering a problem Saturday morning to take the train to Italy to continue their vacation in Florence and Rome before returning to Americus yesterday. What an adventure. While away, the Usreys’ son Sam and his grandmother, Betty Lee Scott, kept the home fires burning.
• First and foremost I am thankful for good health and happiness.
• A kind and gentle husband with whom I celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary next week.
• Outstanding and caring children, stepchildren, their spouses and a fine daughter-in-law who I love like my own.
• Brilliant and beautiful grandchildren and stepgrandchildren that we love and applaud their many achievements.
• A home to keep us warm although it could use a coat of paint — perhaps a pressure wash would work.
• Good friends to keep us cheered.
• Our wonderful church, Calvary Episcopal.
• My special blend of Café Campesino coffee to savor and enjoy before day break and mid-afternoon.
• Yoga classes with Charlene and Paige — even though I still can’t balance on one leg.
• The historic Rylander Theater and managing director Heather Stanley and all the staff.
• Billy and Kitten Carter who tend to our lawn and shrubs.
• Will and Lydia Yoda of Wilsofarms in Marshallville who bring their freshly baked goods and home grown veggies to Lenny’s Market every Saturday, except holidays, year-round!
• Clinic Drug Store.
• A downtown that is becoming more vibrant with every passing month.
• Jeans that finally fit.
• Seasonal food items: Pumpkin, egg nog and peppermint ice cream — these might shrink the jeans.
• Nextdoor Neighbor Historic District social media and the Neighborhood Watch Program.
• Our local law enforcement officers.
• Excellent local medical staff and easily accessible medical facilities.
• And many other things, including the Georgia Bulldogs’  awesome 20-13 win over the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, last Saturday.
Out and About: Speaking of  the Bulldogs/Tigers clash, Dr. Lou Riccardi, UGA graduate and longtime supporter of the University of Georgia’s Athletic program, especially football, was among the many UGA fans at the game. Lou doesn’t miss many games and is well versed on game statistics and players, past and present. He could write a book in collaboration with UGA head football coaches Vince Dooley or Mark Richt. In fact, Lou tells me that Saturday’s win puts Coach Richt’s 10-year UGA record at 8-2 against Auburn, making the Bulldogs one ahead of the Tigers with Georgia having 56 wins and 55 losses in the south’s oldest football rivalry. Lou was accompanied to the game with his former son-in-law Neil Hatcher of Columbus and grandson Bo Hatcher, a UGA student and two of his Kappa Alpha brothers. Among UGA fans were Dan Torbert, John Gardner, Jay and Courtney Anderson, former Americus residents Charles Watson of Charlotte, N.C., Steve and Weatherly Watson Summers of Auburn, Pam Cummins, as well as former residents Kathy Ray and daughter Jordan of Auburn and Kathy’s sister, Ginny Johnson; congratulations to new Eagle Scouts, both of Boy Scout Troop 26, Andrew McDonald, son of Marty and Paula McDonald, and Davis Comer, son of Brandon and Kim Comer. I recently saw Davis’ Eagle project. He transformed a small area of Lake Blackshear Regional Library on East Lamar that is designated just for teens — it is a microcosm of the library with its own Internet connections, books, games etc. Stop by and if you’re a teen, you’ll enjoy its special atmosphere. Meanwhile, Bill Harris Sr. is improving and out and about again; Stick and Elise Miller are home after spending much of the fall on Florida’s Gulf Coast in Pensacola and Panama City; Bill and Glenda Kipp observed their 50th wedding anniversary by visiting our 50th state of Hawaii, completing their longtime goal to visit all 50 states in the union. Congratulations! Former state Sen. George Hooks recalling memories of the late Ann Sheffield, the legendary “society editor” at this newspaper. And don’t forget Sumter Players’ own stage production “The Games Afoot, or Holmes for the Holidays” is now playing at the Rylander Theater. Curtain time is 8 p.m. tonight and a 2 p.m. matinee tomorrow. See you there and hey, Happy Thanksgiving.

Leila S. Case lives in Americus.