From family to deer to pizza to the AJC, many reasons to give thanks

Credit: Photo by Chris Vivlamore

Credit: Photo by Chris Vivlamore

With a season of thanks upon us, I will restart a tradition here at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and bring back the 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.

I’m thankful for …

Family - For my wife, best friend and confidant who has put up with me for nearly 31 years. It’s not easy, I know. For my daughter who has been the light of my life from the minute she was born and who has done and continues to do great things. For my sister who I adored from the minute she was born and who has assumed the major responsibility for handling the, at times, complicated family dynamic. For my mother who has been an example of love, compassion and kindness. I love them all. …

For those close to me when it’s time to have tough conversations about life. …

That I can do my own yard work and for the smell of freshly cut grass and freshly raked leaves. …

For pizza from an authentic oven. …

For the two piebald deer that roam my neighborhood and every now and then appear to remind me they are still alive and well. …

Credit: Photo by Chris Vivlamore

Credit: Photo by Chris Vivlamore

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

To have played a small role in being the bridge between the past and the future at the AJC. I wished a happy and well-deserved retirement to legends Steve Hummer and Tim Tucker and welcomed those who will bring the company to the next generation in Gabriel Burns, Sarah Spencer, Justin Toscano and Lauren Williams. …

For the steady veterans who anchor the department: Leo Willingham, Mike Luck, David Wellham, Mark Bradley, Michael Cunningham, Darryl Ledbetter, Doug Roberson, Chip Towers and Ken Sugiura, who have been here for most or all of my 20 years. They are the best. …

For the sights and sounds of the birds that frequent my backyard (and consume a great deal from the many different feeders that I fill with regularity). …

That working remotely most days provides a wonderful respite from Atlanta traffic and construction. …

For those occasions when I manage to perfectly strike a golf ball and that momentary thought that I’m not half bad at the game. There are many other times when I’m reminded the opposite. I’m thankful for the walk, nonetheless. …

To be part of a newsroom with a vision for the future and a love of our craft that brings our readers so much information, insight, context and truth. It’s amazing to see everyone work. …

For the plate of leftovers on Thanksgiving night, as if I need more mashed potatoes and gravy. …

For the opportunity to play pickup basketball, even though my trips to the court are fewer and farther between these days. …

For the years I spent covering the NHL and the NBA. I fondly look back on those days as a special part of my career. …

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

For an Alaskan vacation where I witnessed God’s creation in all its splendor. I’m also thankful for the vaccines and boosters that resulted in only a mild case of COVID-19 just before my return. …

Credit: Photo by Chris Vivlamore

Credit: Photo by Chris Vivlamore

For the moment when the music streaming service plays a song I haven’t heard in years and I need to pause for three minutes to remember it fully and the memories it stirs. …

For the digital photo frame in our family room that constantly reminds me of the people and places in my life that bring so much joy. …

I’m thankful for the readers of the AJC who devour all that we produce, critique (good and bad) 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. Happy Thanksgiving.

Chris Vivlamore is the Sports Editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.