As Americans, we are truly blessed — even when life throws in roadblocks.

We have freedoms and opportunities lacking in so many other countries, especially religion, speech and the pursuit of happiness.

My Mom used to say, "You are blessed if you find happiness in life’s simple pleasures and have faith to keep doing right. Believe in miracles. Look for the good in others and keep your spirit honest, true and free. Then, you’ll not only be happy and successful, but the person God meant you to be."

She also taught me the more we do unselfishly, the more abundantly we can live life. The more you love, the more you’ll find that life is good and friends are kind. The more you laugh, the less you fret. Keep your words soft and tender, because tomorrow you may have to eat them. You can’t choose how you feel, but you can choose what you do about it.

Since I began writing for the Journal-Capital last year, I have been blessed with the joy of new friendships and learned so much about the many facets making up our town. These experiences reinforced my love for our community.

It’s easy to see why so many folks who have moved away come home. There is something magical about Pawhuska and Osage County in general. We are a community that truly cares about our neighbors. We are a community that comes together through our diversification, our churches, outreach programs, service leagues, civic organizations, sports and much more.

Thank you dear friends and neighbors for being part of this incredible journey called "Life."

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you.