Do you have something to be thankful for today?

First there are the basic needs. There is the home, the shelter, the walls, whether dressed with fine art or in need of paint; the floors, vast or cozy, hard, cold boards or fuzzy carpets; the warmth this shelter provides as the air grows crisp and dry.

There is the food on the table: turkey for the traditional, or perhaps something else for the trend-setters; something savory and something sweet. Are we thankful for these?

There are the comforts of others — family holding hands around the table; laughing uncles you haven't seen in a while; visiting nieces and nephews who have grown since last year; maybe more romantic, just that new husband or wife across the table. Or do we give thanks for the family we formed of friends?

Thanks could be given for the physical: for strength and vigor; for health or perhaps simply that you're still here, or better yet, for the loved one you feared losing. Or perhaps you are thankful for a memory.

Thanks for the spiritual fruits. To whom do you give thanks?

Thanks for the geographical: how good to live in a land of plenty; in a community of neighbors; in a place of changing seasons and beauty; of coasts and lakes and mountains.

There could be thanks for tradition, thanks for the new, thanks for vocation or thanks for freedom. There's bound to be something, and for that we give thanks.

A Wonder to see

If you're going to take your school-age children or grandchildren out to the movies this Thanksgiving weekend, we would recommend "Wonder."

Based on the bestselling 2012 novel by R. J. Palacio, it tells the story of a boy with facial differences caused by a birth defect as he attends school for the first time in the fifth grade. Prior to that, young August Pullman, or "Auggie," had been home-schooled by his mother.

He has to face bullying for his appearance and the way he eats and deal with fear from the other kids and even their parents because he is different. The movie provides a great lesson about the horrors of bullying and serves as a great discussion-starter for parents and their kids. For just that reason, schools have been sharing the book with their students.

It also boasts an impressive cast, including Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson. Jacob Tremblay is sure to be nominated for awards for his performance as Auggie.

Maine CDC encourages screening during Lung Cancer Awareness Month

As the nation recognizes November as National Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention encourages current and former smokers who are at high risk of developing lung cancer to talk with a health care provider about being screened for the disease. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women in Maine, and in 2013, nearly 30 percent of all cancer deaths in Maine were due to lung cancer.

“Statistics show that new cases of lung cancer are consistently higher in Maine than the U.S., and approximately 75 percent of new lung cancers in Maine are diagnosed at a late stage,” said Maine CDC Director Dr. Bruce Bates. “I urge people who smoke or who have smoked in the past to speak with their doctor about screening. This deadly disease can often be easier to treat if it is diagnosed early.”

Cigarette smoking is the number-one risk factor for lung cancer, being linked to 80 to 90 percent of all lung cancers in the United States. Quitting smoking at any age can reduce the risk.

The Maine Tobacco HelpLine (800-207-1230) is available to help you quit. For more information visit: