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An attitude of gratitude: Wagoner County residents share their blessings this Thanksgiving

An attitude of gratitude: Wagoner County residents share their blessings this Thanksgiving


When the calendar rolled over from December, 2019 to January, 2020, no one anticipated that within a few months a worldwide coronavirus pandemic would reach into the heartland of Oklahoma.

When it did, life as we knew it changed dramatically – some for the good and some for the worse. Yet through it all, folks living in Coweta, Wagoner, Porter and Okay say they have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Here is a random sample of the responses residents shared.

Jennifer Taylor: Time I’ve been allowed to spend with family and loved ones that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise because of all of the “things” we fill out lives with. While I am so aware that quarantine was hard for so many people, for a brief moment it felt like a reset and a breather.

Rhonda Moore: I am thankful that my church and other churches in Wagoner learned how to think outside the box (church) and increase their outreach. I am also thankful for how the churches have worked together to try and fill needs in the community. So thankful for friends who have kept me sane through everything!

Sue Clark Merrill: So thankful for God’s grace.

Sharon Summers: So very thankful for the continued mercy and grace of God!

Tina Essary: Thankful for the Good Lord and his grace. The Good Lord has given me a roof over my head, a job and living family.

Mary Jo Van Gilder-Woodward: I am so thankful my mother was able to have surgery (it had never been done before, one doctor took a chance) for her cancer, and as of right now no chemo required!!!

Roxanne Riley Wheeler: Customers and being in Wagoner.

Marcella Hofschulte: I’m thankful to be in the classroom teaching my students. They have all been on their very best behavior, give 110% on every assignment I throw their way, don’t complain about virtual Mondays (too much) and greet me with a smile every day. The parents are equally enjoyable and all super supportive. Even though this last year has been tough, I still enjoy my job and love the role I get to take in their lives.

Amy Cantrell: I am thankful for family weddings and a supportive community!

R. Steven Timbrook: I am thankful for my God, my wife, my kids, my grandkids and my family. I am also thankful for President Trump and the America he has worked so hard for. I’m thankful for the freedom we currently have in this country, free speech, right to carry/own guns, right to worship our God and live without dictation.

Rhonda Moore: I am thankful that my church and other churches in Wagoner learned how to think outside the box (church) and increase their outreach. I am also thankful for how the churches have worked together to try and fill needs in the community. So thankful for friends who have kept me sane through everything!

BillieFred Williams: Although this year has had its challenges, we are thankful for a great life. Each day we are blessed to live in the country, caring for some of God’s creatures and being able to pay the bills and put food on the table. Our Father has provided all that is needed and we celebrate his amazing love for us.

Gloria Holloway Majtyka: I’m thankful for Jesus Christ and America where we are free to worship Him and thankful for good health, home, friends and family.

Shevonda Harrel: My family more than anything because the 4th of July my children almost lost him to a fireworks accident. He lost his left eye and messed up his left hand pretty bad.

Linda June Bates: Sadly/happily we paid my car off with Covid check ... extremely high interest and able to swap titles to a vehicle we really needed!

Janice Graves Pearson: Sometimes it’s hard to be thankful during such trying times. We are blessed and thankful we are still standing and moving forward when it would have been easier to fold and fall. But, with God’s help, we are still keeping on! Love the ones you’re with: you never know what tomorrow will bring!

Gina R. Burgess: I’m thankful that so far all of my family have remained healthy. I thank the Lord for that!

Greg Richardson: My wife.

Dennis Gilbert: I just got back from California, where we celebrated my parents’ 65th wedding anniversary. I’m thankful for my parents and family.

Brandy Dennis: I’m thankful for my two new chickens!

Vera Wright Poplin: Two and a half months in the hospital fighting Covid-19 for my husband. So thankful and blessed for so many friends and family. Thankful that he is still healing.

April Blamires Gebhard: I am thankful for the opportunity to spend more time with my children.

Sue Morgan: I am thankful for my entire family scattered throughout this great nation. I am thankful for my health and the ability to get up every morning and continue to work my full-time job. I’m thankful that the Lord chose the field of nursing for me to start my early 40’s.

Antonia Moreno: I’m thankful that we’ve been able to pay the bills and buy groceries!

Jen Mike Davis: I truly believe that 2020 has brought more good than bad. It blessed us with so many gifts ... the gifts of time, family, growth and community. It gave us opportunities to exercise our faith and to really take a good look at our purpose here in this life.

Cactus Cones: We’ve been blessed by our Coweta family & folks traveling to our community from towns all over the state to support our family this year. It’s been a wild, crazy, and beautiful ride through it all. Thankful!

Janet Copeland: I am thankful and highly blessed to have all my family: brother, sister-in-law, sister, brother-in-law, many nieces and nephews, and especially my 85 year old Daddy and my 83 year old Mama. All are reasonably well, safe and protected. Few people are so richly blessed as we. God gets all the glory for this.

Kaye Mills: So grateful to the Coweta Public School system faculty and staff for doing their very best, under dire circumstances, to make sure the students are able to receive the best possible education, even with all the unknowns, schedule changes, tweaks, and thinking outside the box with which they have had to contend. I truly am very appreciative of their ongoing heroic efforts.

Brenda Hogue-Trotter: I’m so thankful for God, my family and ourGreat President Donald Trump! I wouldn’t have my jobs if it wasn’t for our great President Trump.

Marsha Foster: I’m grateful that I have been able to work through it all. I know if the daycares would have shut down it would have put a lot of other essential workers in a bind. I’m grateful for my family’s health and my family!

Jacci Anderson: So thankful to work for a district (Coweta) that is willing to work with those of us at high risk and to have such a wonderful team of co-workers (junior high) who have stepped up to help each other out.

Sue Clark Merrill: I am thankful for the trials that we have had. They have made me stronger within my faith. 2020

Emily Grace Clouse: I am thankful to be babysitting six amazing little boys that bless my days with chaos, laughs, smiles, and the occasional bruised ego (kids are brutally honest). Their mother is an amazing human being and deserves everything in life to go smoothly, but with that many boys that rarely happens.

Anna Copeland: My daughters and my unborn son who will be here in April!

Steve Moose Bowen: I’m grateful to have been able to move to Coweta to be closer to my family here and thankful to have a job not impacted by the Rona. Mostly, I’m thankful that none of my close friends or family have lost anyone to the virus. Thank you Lord.

Meredith Poindexter: I’m thankful for bus drivers, special education teachers, paras and support staff. I’m also thankful for cafeteria workers.

Carol Collins: I’m thankful that my family and friends have made it through this pandemic so far. For my four babies that have kept me from going bonkers during this time. For the police, fire and first responders of always being there when we need them. And I’m thankful that Jesus will never give up on me.

Rebecca Jones: Thankful to have an amazing true family of friends and family in these times of uncertainty while learning new normals and doing our best at a distance to stay connected and safe! Most of all, I am thankful for knowing that my children are happy!

Heidi Greer: I am thankful for our freedom’s, especially freedom of religion, and speech. I am thankful for family members that realize it’s more important for everyone’s emotional health to still visit in person and love each other than stay away. I am thankful that my husband and I are still employed, despite the insanity of the world right now and so much instability.

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Christy has been covering news and sports in Wagoner County since 1988. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in Public Relations/Journalism.

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Wagoner High School will host an Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) blood drive Thursday, Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. top 2 p.m. at Wagoner Middle School.

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