What are we all thankful for this year?


Final Approach
Feb 18, 2010
Dallas, Texas
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Let's do a giant Thanksgiving thread.

I'm thankful for the opportunities we have to fly airplanes in all kind of different missions, and for all kind of different purposes.
I am thankful to be at this point for yet another year. Many billions of people are not, and with that in mind I know I am lucky.

Though due to an injury I am unable to walk right now (let alone fly), I am thankful to have things that I am passionate enough about to give me something to work towards once I can walk again. I want to fly again and I want to play hockey again. (I will)

I am thankful to have an amazing wife and son who care for me and who are caring for me.

And yes @JOhnH I am thankful for scotch too.
I have so many blessings in my life I spend a half hour a day every day being grateful.

I feel it is time well spent and it helps me to maintain a happy attitude.

Flying and a loving wife are at the top of the list.
I am thankful for surviving another year ad still flying my plane with good health
Looking back, as a kid I had a few bucket list items.

One was I wanted to race cars. I did, from 1/4 mile dirt tracks to 2 mile paved ovals, even a short summer of straight line 1/4 mile. Eventually after about 16 years I figured out that I sucked at racing, I mean my face never even appeared on a box of Wheaties...

Another item was I wanted to be a bush pilot. I was fortunate enough to do that for a little over 6000 hours. I have landed on landing areas that were nothing more than a goat trail. I have landed on uphill runways and takeoff downhill only no matter the wind. I have landed on runways that had a 45 degree turn in the middle. Off airport, roads, beaches, river banks, ice and occasionally pavement. Once I landed at a military runway and was detained for a few hours. Turned out the company I was flying for had let the permits expire. I was fed a good meal and released after everything was straightened out. Eventually I left Alaska for other pursuits. And I gotta say I never bent anything. (except for a few birds and a couple big geese while in flight)

Third on the list was I wanted to be an astronaut.

So I was able to attain 2 outta 3 items.

Most of all I am thankful for the beautiful lady that came into my life so quickly, so unexpectedly into my life. At age 48 I had given up on the idea of marriage. But suddenly there she was, and I will be forever grateful, forever happy.
honestly 2023 was a real craptastic year for me on several fronts...and then my engine broke lol.

So I circle back to the core blessings I can still hold on to: I) My little family is healthy, II) my aging parents are still with me, and III) I can still hold a medical to act at work as though I'm still an O-1.

I know these things will come to an end, and that is a tragedy. But not yet.. not yet. So, I am sincerely grateful for today. It's all we have in the end, as tomorrow is ultimately, but a mere aspiration. Everybody fly safe out there, check six! and Happy Holidays!
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I'm grateful for having people important to me no longer dependent on drugs and alcohol to survive; subsisting at the mercy of addiction while putting themselves and others in awful situations.

This will be the first full year (knock on wood) in many, many years I haven't gotten an emergency phone call at all hours to talk someone off a ledge or get them into treatment.

And there really is nothing on earth that can replace that peace. No money, no fancy house, not even my dream TBM 960.

So for Thanksgiving, my birthday and Christmas that's more than plenty for me, and will continue to be plenty for the foreseeable forever.

Plus factor in another successful year with the Arrow, where I've flown more than any previous year and things are good.
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My world has shrunk - as of Wed, I will be thankful not to travel for a week or two. Since Oct 2nd, I have spend about 5 days at home - Texas, Chicago, Orlando, Paris...a traveling fool.

Sorry, I can't muster anything grand and beautiful right now.
Grateful for Pilots of America. And to the Creator for every breath. Most of all for an intelligent and kind wife who hasn’t said a harsh word to me in 45 years.
I'm grateful for being back to enjoying work again. Life sucks when you hate your job.

Also grateful for my health. I had mono for 7 weeks this year and I've never had an illness like that before. Makes you appreciate being healthy.
I left a cancerous prostate on an operating room floor four years ago. That was followed up with nine weeks, five sessions a week, of radiation. After that I recovered well, with only minor annoyances as a reminder, and a return to the doc every three months for PSA tests -- the results of all of which to the present were, as hoped, "undetectable".

Well, this past spring it came back, only this time as an aggressive small-cell variety that doesn't announce itself on a PSA test. By the time I got to the cancer clinic in July it was pretty far along. They told me that the good news, though, is that this small-cell stuff responds well to chemo and radiation treatments, and so far that's the way it's working out. The most recent CT scan showed all tumors greatly reduced in size or resolved altogether -- "dramatic improvement" are the verbatim words used in the report. I feel really good now - zero pain, no pain meds for the past month and a half.

Round #6 of chemo started yesterday (three days each round, three weeks between rounds). That hasn't been too bad, just fatigue for the first couple of days after each round; thankfully no nausea/vomiting or other unpleasant side effects. I am sporting a Yul Brynner hairstyle these days, though. (They say you never know what you'll get when post-chemo hair starts coming back. Mine seems to coming back in a Christopher-Lloyd-Back-to-The-Future sort of way.)

Because of a tumor in the bone I also had a painful pathological fracture of the right humerus, just below the shoulder. That needed surgery in late September to put in an IM rod. The surgeon did a great job, and the arm feels good as new. Last Friday was the last radiation treatment on the arm, just in case the surgery stirred anything up in there.

Yeah, it sucks real bad. But it has also given me a new perspective on and empathy for the many, many patients I've met who have had things a lot worse than I have. I'm grateful for the amazing, caring physicians and staff at City of Hope, as well as the assistance and support of family and friends. Too many blessings to list.

I could go on, but you get the idea. :)
I'm thankful for this forum and for living in this (still) wonderful country - we call United States of America.
I'm most thankful for the opportunity to build and fly my kitplane - God bless America!
I’m thankful for the great people in this group and the aviation community as a whole.

I’m wrapping up my second year of podcasting and getting ready to relaunch podcast #2. Both of these podcast have given me incredible connections, opportunities, and an overall amazing journey in aviation. Not all my aviation takes place in the plane, but it’s been a great ride this year!

I’m also thankful for a family that supports me in my aviation/podcasting shenanigans!

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Not to get too sappy, but I have to say that the thing I'm most thankful for is the health of my kids. They drive us absolutely crazy sometimes, but I have to remind myself that we have it easy; they will grow up and be able to live productive lives. I know a few people that have children they will have to care for as long as they live, and do their best to set up a system to care for them after they're gone. I can't imagine.

Beyond that, the opportunity to work for myself in a job that's always changing. I find myself hating it when I'm chained to the desk filing papers (like today), or fixing the broken chisel plow for the fifth time this year, but it still beats most of the alternatives. I'm thankful that I've been successful enough to provide for my family and have enough extra left over to play with little airplanes, and that I was born into the freest country in the world where that's still possible.
It's been a rocky year. My mom's health declined through much of the spring and summer, with multiple hospital visits and stays, until she finally passed away Aug 31. I live about 4 hours from where she was in Jacksonville, so I couldn't be there as often or as quickly as I would have liked. BUT, I am very thankful (more than I can express) that @SkyChaser and @2-Bit Speed live near Jax and spent many hours and days with her. I'll always be grateful for their efforts in looking after her and bringing some comfort to her. @Sky Chaser was there with her most weekdays while @2-Bit Speed was at work, and they were both at her side when she passed.

I'm very thankful for my family as a whole, especially two kids who turned out just fine and are on their own. Even my daughter, who has Downs and will always require our help, has her own apartment and gets by very well considering her limitations. @2-Bit Speed married better than SWMBO and I ever hoped, so I'm thankful and proud to have @SkyChaser in the family.

I'm quite grateful for a wonderful (and very tolerant) wife. The poor woman went out with me on a sympathy date and the next thing she knew she was in a sympathy marriage and 30 years had slipped by.

I could go on about being thankful for possessions, but that seems rather superficial. What I'm really thankful for is that an early retirement has afforded me the opportunity and privilege of volunteering my time for some wonderful Christian charities. SWMBO and I just finished eight days of running a drop-off center for Operation Christmas Child, and on Saturday we leave for Charlotte to spend several days volunteering at an OCC processing center. Our daughter and @2-Bit Speed and @SkyChaser will join us there, along with a group from our church, and I'm grateful for their hearts to serve.

I am thankful for my family and friends. I am thankful to God for giving me what I needed to have a very successful career that became a passion that I am still pursuing in "retirement" and for all the "luck" I've had in life. I am incredibly grateful to have been born American. As imperfect and fractious as this country is, it's still the best country in the world. And FYI, I've traveled and even lived all over the world (I'm in the 7-continent club), so I know whereof I speak. I am thankful for my health and for talented orthopedic surgeons who have helped me hold off the aging process for years if not decades and allowing me to pursue my passion. I could go on and on--I have so much to be grateful for.


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I’m thankful for what I’ve learned and accomplished so far, for flying, for this forum and the people I’ve met here, for those in my life and for my good health thus far in life.

I’ve also learned that I have a lot more to learn and improve on, and I’m thankful for the people who are in my life throughout this journey.
I am thankful I was born in the USA and had excellent parents.
I am thankful I over came some F ups in my life and now see them as positive events.
I am thankful I have lived a full life and experienced a lot of wonderful sites, activities and events.
I am thankful for my wife.
I am thankful to have saved for retirement and retired early.
I am thankful the cancer I had seems to at least not come back for 5 years, I will be even more thankful at 10 years.
I am thankful I can give some of my knowledge to some deserving young people free of charge.
I am thankful I am thankful. I know far too many that are not.