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Still reason for thanks …

So there I was on Sharon View Road at 5:35 a.m., ready to say Thanks for letting me do this messy job … blah, blah, blah in a silent, self-congratulatory tone when a plastic shopping bag comes into view. It’s got something in it.

The bag is neatly tied with a loose knot. Inside was a box of condoms. It was an empty Trojan Platinum Pack, an assortment of 10 guaranteed to please prophylactics. I’ll admit to a moment of envy (10?) (but there was also a moment of thanks that it didn’t hold anything else, if you catch my drift).

I suppose one reason to give thanks is that this junk has a new home in my recycle bin.

I suppose one reason to give thanks is that this junk has a new home in my recycle bin.

Not 20 feet away in the middle of the street was an intact clear water bottle which contained a brown substance. I knew instantly this was the liquidy residue of someone’s dip habit. I pour it out and stowed the bottle. What seconds ago was a self-righteous attempt to give thanks instead gave way to utter disgust, not an uncommon feeling on so many similar mornings.

The around-the-block trudge continued per routine. Nearby owls hooted and a lone deer loped across Colony Road headed from one point to another. The feeling of thanks returned, tempered by a little more humility. There are a lot of things to be thankful for, and this is among them. I’ll be thankful tomorrow, too, for the recurring enthusiasm to do this all over again.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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