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Eight months of unknown, eight months of fighting mental and physical fatigue.

Our family plans have been scrapped out of precaution and some pre-existing conditions among older family members. That stinks.

So I'm going with Hopegiving this week.

I hope that the vaccines that could be available for some groups of people are as effective as we hear they are.

I hope that I don't ever need to hear Dr. Anthony Fauci's name ever again, nor his voice. I'm sure he's a wonderful dude, but not needing the world's foremost pandemic expert on a daily basis would be great news.

I hope that we remember that while the "thanks" part of Thursday is tougher than ever, the "giving" part is more important than ever. According to a WRCB-TV Channel 3 story, the Salvation Army has seen an increase of 41% in requests for assistance in its wonderful "Angel Tree" program.

I hope that players at South Pittsburg, McCallie, Red Bank and Meigs County get to finish the dream that is the chase for a state high school football title on their terms rather than the pandemic's.

WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?

Who or what are you thankful for? Send a little explanation to jgreeson@timesfreepress.com. We’ll publish some of them in our community conversation in this space on Thanksgiving.

I hope that we're done with this sooner rather than later. With that hope, however, comes the realization that rushing to find our next normal is the most likely way to send us back to the daily dread of social distancing.

And maybe most of all, I hope that with this daily adjustment comes the perspective that has been sorely missing this time of year for too long.

It's easy to say the familiar prayer of thanks, for food, for shelter and for friends and family. It's easier still to wrap those annual blessings in an unconscious veil of assumption to the point that we take our blessings for granted and call it tradition.

This year, those baseline expectations are gone, and that absence should make our appreciation for our blessing grow.

Here's hoping you have your health. And that this time next year, when we come together again, we will remember how important that is and how good we had it.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com.

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Jay Greeson
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