Back in August I was offered the job as managing editor of this newspaper. The offer came at an ideal time in my life. I was thankful for the offer and now equally thankful to be enjoying the blessings that continue to spring forth out of this new position in this time of my life.
On one of my first days on the job, while getting familiar with my new office in our building on Frontage Road, I came across a fortune. No, not a cigar box full of gold coins or an original Honus Wagner baseball card. I came across a fortune like a person finds inside a fortune cookie, the kind that almost always forecast a good, positive future for one's coming days.
Well, almost always. I once cracked open a fortune cookie and read the following fortune: "Striving for the best will bring you loser to the rest."
Yes, a deleted letter "c" sent me from the optimistic dreams of "closer to the rest" to the miserable realization of "loser to the rest." In the crack of a cookie my future went from penthouse to outhouse.
It almost made me decide, at that very moment, there would be no more striving for the best for this guy.
Thankfully I failed to heed that fortune cookie's offering.
The fortune I found on the desk of my new office in September was much better.
It was simple, succinct and free of typos. It said: "Look with favor upon a bold beginning."
Even though the fortune's hope may have been meant for its previous owner, I took it as mine. I took it to heart. I looked with favor upon this bold beginning.
Which brings us to this week's calendar, which includes Thanksgiving and its family gatherings, its grand parade, its turkey and dressing, its bad Detroit Lions brand of football and its afternoon nap. And hopefully its thankfulness.
This bold beginning of mine presents me with plenty of opportunity to do one thing I love, which is writing. It also brings me to the part of the Natural State that to me features some of the most beautiful scenery in all of these United States of America. It brings me closer to family. It brings me back to old friends as well as presenting the opportunity to make new ones.
I'm thankful not only for each opportunity, but also the blessings those opportunities will produce.
But no bold beginning can truly begin without a launching point, and I just have to look only an hour south of here to see mine. I made some wonderful friends during my time in the valley through which our Arkansas River flows, and I'm thankful for those blessings just as much as the blessings I've already been receiving in my new home.
I am thankful for my family at Alma Intermediate School. Those friends and co-workers -- Jones, J-Dub, Phillips, Yardley, Wilson and even that Texas Longhorn-lovin' Montoya -- made me laugh and smile more in a few months than I had in the previous few years before landing at that job. More importantly, they wanted what was best for the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders we worked with and to be cooperative, reliable staff members. The same can be said for the faculty and staff.
I had co-workers at the newspaper where I worked who, like my current newspaper's co-workers, wanted only to put out the best product they could for our readers and community.
And while my family was centered up here in the Ozarks, my River Valley family, the David Banks family, poured out more blessings than a guy like me deserves.
I am excited to see what this bold beginning holds, and thankful for the blessings that are already starting to bloom alongside this new path. Even so, I can't help but look back on the multitude of past blessings, and to also be thankful for their goodness and beauty.
I am thankful for Thanksgiving -- and not just the holiday, but also the act. I've been truly blessed in my life and am extremely thankful for those blessings. Yes, there have been days when it might not have felt that way, but it was only because I wasn't looking in the right spots. Yes, sometimes you have to look, but they are there. I hope you're thankful for the blessings you've received in your life. And if sometimes you feel you haven't been blessed, then I encourage you to stop and look. Blessings are all around us.
Happy Thanksgiving. And happy giving thanks.
Bennett Horne is the Managing Editor of The Weekly Vista. He can be reached via email at [email protected] Opinions expressed are those of the author.