Taking time to give thanks

As residents counted their blessings this Thanksgiving, highest on most lists were family and friends. Hopefully, living in Canyon Lake these beautiful fall days also rates a prayer of thanks. This scene was captured by the High Dynamic Range (HDR) skills of volunteer photographer Dennis Bickers.

Thanksgiving is America’s harvest festival ? a time to acknowledge the help of family and friends, and a reminder of what a gift it is to be alive. It’s a day to overindulge in the here and now, even as we reflect on the past.

Even though the main celebration was yesterday, it's likely many are still eating leftovers and celebrating with friends and relatives today and throughout the weekend, so The Friday Flyer asked a number of Canyon Lakers to reflect on the holiday and to share the reasons they were thankful this year. Here are the responses we received.

Susan Anderson

I am thankful to God for who He is. He has blessed me with family and friends and for that I am grateful. I am also grateful for living in America. He watches over us as a nation, and has blessed us abundantly. Canyon Lake is a nice place to live and has been our home for 28 years and for that I am grateful. So this Thanksgiving I will give God the honor he deserves, for the blessings he has given, and for His love He gives, that is so evident. 

Bert Barbay

I'm better with photos then words, so I'll share these lyrics from one of my new favorite bands (Zac Brown Band). They capture a lot of my thanks.

"I thank God for my life

And for the stars and stripes

May freedom forever fly

Let it ring

Salute the ones who died

The ones that give their lives

So we don't have to sacrifice

All the things we love

Like our chicken fried

And cold beer on a Friday night

A pair of jeans that fit just right

And the radio up"

In addition, I'm thankful for my many wonderful friends here in Canyon Lake and elsewhere. I am, of course, thankful for my lovely bride of 30 years. She will never know how much I love her.

Ken and Dorothy Cable

Like almost everyone we know, we are most thankful for our family and friends. As we have grown older our family has grown too, and members now live all across the country and in other lands. Thanksgiving is a perfect time to focus on what they mean to us, and also to remember and be thankful for the memories of those no longer with us.

John Zaitz

I am most thankful this year that my kids are doing well and are happy and healthy. The tough economic times puts stress on everyone but they are doing well. I very proud of both my kids. Parents are always thankful when their kids do well.

Art Zasio

When I count the blessings of my life, one of the greatest is being given the opportunity to serve my country as a Marine/Naval Aviator. My first duty station was in California where I met and married my most treasured blessing, Dee. It also launched me into fulfilling a boyhood dream of becoming an airline captain.

Mary Craton

When I count the blessings in my life, one of the greatest is being born into a wonderful family. I was greatly loved all my life;  that's why I'm not afraid to act when I think it's the right thing to do, and not afraid to admit it when I make a mistake. My parents, my husband Bud and my best friend Charlotte were/are always there for me. Another blessing is that Bud and I found Canyon Lake with its wonderful, kind and generous residents. 

Nancy C. Horton

I am thankful for my family. This year, I am especially grateful for my sister, who is fighting cancer in several organs. It is wonderful that I can call her every day and e-mail several times a day, to keep in touch, as we are 3,000 miles apart.

Larry Neigel

I’m thankful that God has blessed me with good health and a dedicated life-mate who consented to be my wife this month.

I’m thankful for this past year in making so many new friends in the community who have supported our efforts to bring about changes in our Association despite the negative efforts by others to discredit us.

I’m blessed by the good and dedicated employees of our corporation who work to promote a healthy and prosperous and protected community.

I’m thankful for those in my profession, who serve the public and place their health, safety and lives in harm’s way willingly and selflessly to protect others from the criminal element of our society.

May God bless all of us and bring us closer together as we face the challenges of our future economy, our national security and the overall well-being of our community.

Rose Marie Hand

I am most grateful for my family, especially my mother. She lives with us and we are growing old together, along with my daughter.

Russ Smith

This Thanksgiving, and all year for that matter, I am thankful for my family, my health and my friends. I am also thankful that we live in the United Sates of America, the best country on Earth!

Mayor Jordan Ehrenkranz

When I count the blessings of my life, I include family, friends and being able to live in a community where your friends become part of your family and are always there to help and encourage you.

So I say “thank you” to all my friends in our Little Bit of Paradise. You indeed are one of the greatest blessings in my life.

Carolyn Knight

I am grateful for each day I spend with my dear husband ? and for a wonderful caregiver, Tania Smith, who provides us the opportunity to have him here at home as he battles his debilitating illness. I am especially thankful to be surrounded by the loving arms of our family and for the loyalty of wonderful friends.

Dave Eilers

It’s that time of the year when our prayers turn to thanks. I am thankful for every day of 2012. I am thankful that I live in a democracy where we all have an equal say in the decisions that affect our lives. I am thankful for the troops that are protecting our freedom.

I am thankful for the blessings of my wife, who stands beside me through everything. I am thankful for the blessings of my children, who make me proud each and every day. I am thankful for the blessings of my grandchildren whose hugs and kisses bring joy to my life.

This past year, having been elected as a Director to the Canyon Lake

Property Owners Association, I am thankful for all of the citizens who

supported me and continue to stand by me. I am thankful for the

opportunity to help make my community a better place to live. Through this endeavor, I have met many people and developed many new friendships that I am truly thankful for.

To my family, to my friends, old and new, and to the people of the

community I love, I wish for everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and a happy holiday season!