Thankful for so much

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 26, 2007

Counting my blessings in this season of gratitude …

-For a newspaper staff that makes it a pleasure to come to work every day. The newspaper environment, where meeting one deadline sets the clock ticking on another, is ripe for conflict and tension. This staff, unlike any I’ve ever worked with, gets along.

– For kind deeds, which seem to happen at

just the right moments, restoring my faith in humanity each time cynicism begins to creep in. One worth mentioning: Zell Hudson, a Camptown native who now lives in Suffolk, but works as a greeter at the Franklin Wal-Mart, found an insurance card that dropped out of my wallet a few months ago. The card doesn’t have my phone number or address, but Zell, having seen my name in the newspaper, put two and two together and figured it must be mine. He mailed it to me, along with a nice letter welcoming me to Franklin and commending improvements in the newspaper.

– For the many other Zells out there who go far beyond their job descriptions to be helpful. They are the backbone of any business’ success.

– For good health.

– For a wife who loves me unconditionally and with whom I’ve yet to have a cross word.

– For second chances — in love and in life generally.

– For a great community that’s proved to be everything I expected — and more. My mother-in-law, who didn’t cotton initially to her oldest daughter moving two states away, visited last month and gave Franklin her seal of approval. That’s no small feat for a town. Franklin earned it.

– For good neighbors who’ve made my wife and me feel at home in our new neighborhood.

– For the mystery neighbor who wheels my garbage can from the street back to the house every Friday afternoon, like clockwork.

– For freedom of expression and worship — rights too often taken for granted.

– For you — our thousands of readers and advertisers — who allow me to pursue the vocation I love and without whom our newspaper wouldn’t exist.

Steve Stewart is publisher of The Tidewater News. His e-mail address is