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Grateful for a thing called anticipation

November 18, 2012
By JANICE R. KIASKI - Herald-Star community editor ( , The Herald-Star

There are no days where I'm not thankful for one thing or another.

Some days it's the big things - like life itself, God's love, my church, good health, family, this country we live in, freedom to make choices, a job I enjoy.

Other days, it's the little things - hot water in the shower, a good cup of coffee, a word of encouragement, laughter, barn therapy time with horses, a to-do list that suggests actual progress being made, HGTV, the invention of Fix-A-Flat, an umbrella that works, someone bringing doughnuts to work.

I'm thankful for this column space, too, this weekly opportunity to connect and bond with readers whether I ever actually meet you or not.

It's a job, yes, to conjure the words and craft the message to fill this space from Sunday to Sunday with whatever is going on in my little neck of the world, or with whatever thoughts have preoccupied my attention, but it's a privilege, too, one I don't take lightly.

With Thanksgiving's approach this week, I found myself thinking a lot about the word anticipation for some reason or other, maybe it's because we anticipate the holiday to be something special.

Anticipation is a good thing, I say, something I'm thankful I have an appreciation for in a world where instant gratification chips away at that a bit.

It does so in a not necessarily always bad way, but it tends to dull the Oh-I-can't-wait excitement of having to be patient a tad before an outcome.

Two examples of that quickly come to mind, including how as a kid I anticipated - looked forward to with expectant pleasure - when "The Wizard of Oz" would have its annual showing on television.

You had to actually wait to see it, maybe even mark the date on the calendar or dog tag the page in TV Guide in gleeful anticipation, and be patient for its arrival and this time of Dorothy and Toto and the Munchkins and more.

Now you just go buy the DVD and watch it whenever. Or fast forward to the scenes you like. And never mind the commercials.

Pictures were the other example I thought about.

Remember having to send film away and actually waiting days before you discovered some of your pictures were good, some of them not so hot?

The anticipation of seeing the results, that was part of the film fun in my book.

I can say lots of my days were good days just because I knew I was going to be picking up a pack of pictures at some point and quite possibly there would be something scrapbook or wallet worthy among the double prints I always seemed to automatically order.

Now it's click, click, boom.

Check the digital image right now. Delete that one. Keep this one. Carry on. Snap some more.

No need to wait.

No need to anticipate.

I think God wired us to be expectant people, to be anticipatory in a joyful way, to delight in not just the day-to-day pleasures and privileges we have, our bounty and blessings, but to ponder the prospect of good things to come.

So with that in mind, I anticipate my Thanksgiving will be a good one, and I trust yours will be, too.

(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at

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