From buffalo traffic jams to CPAP to fond memories, many reasons to give thanks

A buffalo in Custer State Park in South Dakota.

Credit: Chris Vivlamore

Credit: Chris Vivlamore

A buffalo in Custer State Park in South Dakota.

With a season of thanks upon us, I will uphold a tradition here at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and continue my Thanksgiving column. It was done so eloquently for years by the great Furman Bisher. While I by no means can measure up to Furman, we all have reasons to be thankful, both big and small. Here is my list for this year (in no particular order).

I’m thankful for …

A beach sunrise …

Believe it or not, the CPAP machine that was prescribed to me in February. Marital harmony aside, it has been a life changer. Actual restful sleep has made a huge difference in the way I feel. Marital harmony not aside, my wife says it has put an end to my “four to five years” of being in a bad mood. Who am I to argue? …

For the women in my life – a loving wife of nearly 32 years, gifted and brilliant daughter, incredible mother, awesome sister and caring mother-in-law. …

While I have a problem with holiday commercials and store displays that begin in October – can we get through Halloween and Thanksgiving first? – I will begin playing holiday music Nov. 24. …

A beach sunset …

That my security camera still catches a glimpse of the female piebald deer that roams my neighborhood. We affectionately call her “Freckles.” Yes, we name our wildlife as a 3-year old might. …

“Freckles” and her cohorts who have yet to let me enjoy a single blueberry from the five bushes in my backyard. We almost had a single blueberry this year. Almost. Who am I to argue? …

'Freckles,' the piebald deer, who roams the neighboorhood.

Credit: Chris Vivlamore

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Credit: Chris Vivlamore

The Sunday afternoon, post-church calls from my daughter, the third-year medical school student, with tales of the journey to doctorhood. …

The fond memories through the years to look back on amid the difficult times of loved ones for whom those memories are slipping. …

For a perfect BLT, still the best sandwich, with crisp bacon and lettuce and a perfectly ripe tomato. …

Saturday morning hikes to the top of Kennesaw Mountain and the sound of crunching leaves under foot. …

Friendships. …

The sights, sounds and smells around a kitchen, especially during holidays.

The barred owl who every now and then appears on the walks with my wife with a watchful eye. …

For Team AJC allowing me to play on the co-ed softball team. The aches, blisters and skinned knees and elbows (when did dirt become so abrasive?) were all worth it despite our record. …

For the text and photo from my sister on what would have been my father’s 80th birthday. …

Clarence and Chris Vivlamore.

Credit: Chris Vivlamore

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Credit: Chris Vivlamore

For the Volkswagen commercial where a father keeps getting in and out of the vehicle so the music (Wham! no less) starts and stops to the giggles of his daughter in the back seat. Is there a better sound on earth than a child’s laugh? …

Getting caught in a South Dakota buffalo traffic jam in Custer State Park. …

For reaching my 20th anniversary as part of the AJC Sports team. …

The exciting times ahead for the AJC with a new vision and expansion for the future of our journalism. …

To be part of the unquestioned best sports department in the market here at the AJC. The talent, dedication, humor, reporting skill, quirks and integrity of the reporters and editors at this paper have made this such a rewarding job. …

For the readers of the AJC who read, listen and watch all that we produce, critique and challenge our sports coverage on a regular basis. You are one of the reasons I have so many things for which to be thankful. Thank you.

I wish you all may find happiness and reason for thanks, both big and small. Happy Thanksgiving.

Chris Vivlamore is the sports editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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