Reasons for Kentuckians to be thankful

In the midst of a deadly pandemic, economic struggle and political strife, it’s understandable to find it harder to be thankful this Thanksgiving season. Indeed, many of us won’t even gather in person for traditional celebrations so that we may protect our loved ones and ensure future holidays together.

But I’m both a Kentuckian and an optimist, so I’ve put together this list for those from the Bluegrass State to give special thanks:

Stunning seasons

Thanks for the trees aflame with bright fall colors, the frosty grass in winter, the vibrant redbuds and daffodils of spring and the chirping crickets and fireflies of summer.

Rolling hills and country roads

Thanks for the drives along winding backroads past board fences, manicured subdivisions, meandering creeks, grazing cattle and playing children.

Loyal dogs

Here’s to the hounds that cuddle at our feet or in our laps, friends who are always eager for a short walk and fiercely protective of their families.

Helpful people

Thanks for the delivery drivers who bring boxes to our porch, neighbors who check on each other, thoughtful folks who hold open doors and strangers who buy coffee for the person behind them in the drive-through line.

Country ham and homemade biscuits

Give grace for the delicacy of this salty-sweet meat sandwiched between two flaky layers of love that didn’t come from a cardboard tube.


A toast to America’s native spirit that warms us on cool nights and draws visitors from around the world to our growing trail of distilleries.


Thanks for the hearts of our communities, the places where generations of families have gone to meet, shop, dine, register and celebrate.

Handmade gifts

Gratitude for the multitude of gifts we receive — crayon-colored pages from little hands, useful crafts from strong hands, tasty treats from loving hands and thoughtful messages from experienced hands.

Back porches and decks

Thanks for the places where we go for peace and quiet, fun with family and friends, tearful and tender conversations and, perhaps, a cold one from time to time.

Courage and Faith

Especially in this uncertain time, we appreciate the courage it takes to face the daily challenges, stand up for our convictions, love instead of hate and keep the faith – whatever that means to each of us.

— Chad Carlton

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