On Thanksgiving, we’ll pause to give thanks for life’s goodness. I’m thankful, of course, for family and friends, but, as an inveterate Georgia traveler, I’m especially grateful for:

The activists, civic leaders and others who beautify their towns and communities and advocate to preserve the historic integrity of the places where they live.  Examples of their good work: Adairsville in Bartow County; Hogansville in Troup County; and Lakeland in Lanier County.

■ National parks, state parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, state wildlife management areas and other wild places where native flora and fauna can flourish — and where people can visit and refresh their weary minds. I’m especially thankful for Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp, a splendid, world-class sanctuary,

■ Convenience stores, service stations and rest areas with clean restrooms.

■ A good road system and highways free of litter. I’m especially thankful for people who don’t litter in the first place.

■ Fellow travelers who use turn signals, avoid tailgating and drive sensibly and courteously. I’m also thankful for police officers, highway patrol officers, highway maintenance crews and others who work to keep our roads safe and in good repair.

■ Country lanes and farm roads where wildflowers abound along fence rows, huge trees provide shade on sizzling summer days and cows graze serenely in green pastures.

■ Covered bridges, old grist mills, lighthouses, old barns, old country stores, country churches, old farmhouses, roadside fruit and vegetable stands and on and on. I brake for these places. 

■ The changing seasons: 
Fall, when the mountains are ablaze with dazzling leaf color; farm harvest is in full swing; festivals, fairs and other celebrations  beckon; goldenrods and other autumn wildflowers adorn roadsides.

■ Winter, when bare tree limbs form intricate silhouettes against the  sky; a crackling fire in the fireplace on a frigid day induces a restful snooze.

■ Spring, when trilliums, violets and a riot of other wildflowers put on stunning displays in the woods; songbirds decked out in spiffy breeding colors sing their hearts out; bees buzz and butterflies flit around new garden blooms. 

■ Summer, when the landscape seems 50 shades of lush green; a swim in the creek on a sweltering day is pure delight; a ripe watermelon iced down in a wash tub is fit for a king.

■ Waterfalls, mountains, swamps, meandering rivers, whitewater streams, barrier islands, wide, sandy beaches, salt marshes and on and on. 

■ Great mountain vistas that lift the human spirit, such as the breathtaking views from Georgia’s Cloudland Canyon, Mount Yonah, Brasstown Bald and Rabun Bald. I’m also thankful for grand views from Tallulah Gorge; Providence Canyon State Park; and from atop the Sapelo Island Lighthouse, which affords amazing views of salt marshes and twisting tidal creeks.

■ Places still left to explore. Even after some 30 years of traveling around Georgia, I still haven’t seen all of it. And there are many other places that I want to visit again.

■ The turkey. What would Thanksgiving be without it?  

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Charles Seabrook

Charles Seabrook wrote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for more than three decades and is a regular contributor to Atlanta Senior Life.