My wife isn't prone to tears very often.

She didn't cry on our wedding day, not even "Oh, my God, what did I just do?" tears.

She did, however, tear up when I took her to see Elton John in concert for her birthday a few years back.

She cried again when we said goodbye to a dear neighbor of ours.

It was moving day.

We were packing up the last few remnants of 10 years in our house in Columbus.

Ten years of birthdays.

Ten years of anniversaries.

Ten years of laundry.

Ten years of mowing the lawn.

Ten years of shoveling snow.

Ten years of making memories.

The pages in my mind flip through all of the events that happened in that time.

The everyday happenings that a family lives through; all the times spent at the dinner table by Claire and Alek as they did their homework.

The little girl who entered the house, and the young women who reluctantly said goodbye to head back to college last weekend.

The little boy I had to take to his little league games long before they started because he couldn't wait any longer, to the young man whose pitching arm deserted him, sending him in another path yet to be determined.

The upheaval our family felt when I was layed off, to the joy we have found in buying a newspaper and moving to a new community.

Of all the years to say thanks, this one stands out.

As we gather this time of year to share a meal with family and friends before some of us head off to Black Friday, which now starts Thursday, it is good to pause and appreciate all we have.

Thanksgiving seems to have been long overrun by the need to fight crowds for bargains.

But just because retailers tell us tis the season to shop, doesn't mean we have to ignore the meaning of Thanksgiving or even reduce it to one day.

There are always plenty of reasons to say thanks.

As devastating as it was to our family when I lost my job, it turned out to be a blessing.

Through the ordeal of trying to find a job, let alone jump start my career, has come something so much better.

It has been a year of adapting and changing.

Claire has learned that her true love is animals after all, and although it will still take a few years before she pursues that dream, she knows her path.

Alek knows that baseball is probably not in his future. Sometimes your body tells you when it's time to move, and he's still a freshman in college and has plenty of time to find a new direction.

My wife, Kelly, has been the glue in the family. She kept us afloat during hard times and has embraced her second job at the newspaper.

Now, how can I feel anything but thankful for gifts these three give me every day?

Patrick Murphy, of Columbus, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.