Friends. May you live a real life. May it be a warm life. And during this holiday week, I hope you smell the aroma of something fatty in the oven.

David drove across two states to buy hunting dogs for his son. His son was born blind. He has never been hunting, never worn orange, never touched a rifle.

A few months ago, that all changed.

David’s friends invited them coon hunting in Oklahoma.

“Found out that coon hunting ain’t like some other kinds of hunting,” says David. “You don’t just sit, you follow dogs, basically. That’s almost all there is to it.”

David took his son hunting for the first time. They followed howling animals through the woods. He held his son’s hand, marching through underbrush.

David says, “First time I heard my son say, ‘I can hear the dogs, Dad!’ It almost made me break down and…”

For months, it was all his son talked about. He kept asking for an encore hunt. David decided to do something about it.

He drove north to buy trained hounds. They cost him a small fortune.

Tomorrow, David will surprise his son with two brand new family members—of the long-eared variety.

“You have no idea, hunting with my son makes me feel like a good dad.”

Tomorrow morning, Jace is going to ask Brittany to marry him. He’s been planning the proposal for months.

They’ve been together six years. She’s helped raise his kids. She’s been his greatest love. His cheer-section. A best friend.

If she says yes, he’s taking her to the mountains—no kids, no pets. Just two lovers at high altitude. He will convince her that this trip is for celebration, but there’s more to it.

“I got family and friends on standby,” Jace says. “We’re gonna do a surprise wedding in the woods.”

It will happen like this:

They’ll leave their rental cabin, on a leisurely walk. They’ll follow a dirt trail until they happen upon a preacher, a small crowd, and a scenic overlook.

“She always wanted a simple wedding, without dresses, or flowers and big stuff. Hope I’m doing right by her.”

There’s no doubt.

Kathy is cooking turkeys at a shelter for Thanksgiving, in Atlanta. This all started a few years ago.

One morning, a man knocked on her sliding glass window in the suburbs. He was dressed in rags. It was cold.

“His lips were blue,” she says. “He needed medical attention.”

She let him into her home and offered to take him to a shelter or hospital.

He became a scared jackrabbit. He bolted and she never saw him again. But something in her changed.

The next week, she began volunteering. She made beds, bandaged scraped elbows, helped with haircuts.

“I never realized how many blessings I have,” says Kathy. “I’ve spent so long being concerned about stupid things, I was missing out on real life.”

Real life.

Friends. May you live a real life. May it be a warm life. And during this holiday week, I hope you smell the aroma of something fatty in the oven.

I hope you wander into your den wearing pajamas. May a dog be in your midst. May a child sit on your lap. And may you remember what this week is all about—which is the same thing every calendar day is about.

Love. People. And above all else, saturated fat.

Enjoy hunting with your son, David.


  1. Loree - November 21, 2017 2:26 pm

    God bless you and yours Sean. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Laura - November 21, 2017 3:02 pm

    Sean, Every day you make me realize how many blessings I have. Thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends!

  3. Beki Denison - November 21, 2017 3:08 pm

    Bless it Sean, I’m crying at work! Thanks for the reminder!!

  4. Connie - November 21, 2017 3:16 pm

    Heart smiles this morning. Crying at my desk again. ?‍♀️Have a lovely day.

  5. Jack Darnell - November 21, 2017 3:17 pm

    Great collection of Thankful. And YES I am thankful fo so many things, funny that. I am thankful I know Sheila and her mama. I am thankful Sheila knew Sean. And thankful she told me of Sean of the South. Always a good visit.

  6. Penn - November 21, 2017 3:25 pm

    There is writing and then there is WRITING. ?

  7. Lisa Bowman - November 21, 2017 3:34 pm

    Bless you and your family! Love reading your columns everyday, it brings a smile to my face and sometimes, a tear to my eyes…

  8. Cindy - November 21, 2017 3:34 pm

    I’m in love with this man. Married or not…I’m in love with this man! God bless you and yours this Thanksgiving and every day on the calendar. ❤️

  9. Steve Welch - November 21, 2017 5:45 pm

    Damn you Sean Dietrich, once again I am crying in my office all over my good tie. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. May you as well enjoy a dog, a baby, a good woman’s company and something cooked in enough saturated fat to be considered unhealthy by the American Medical Association this holiday. And not necessarily in that order.

  10. Nela - November 21, 2017 7:41 pm

    Thank you for Real Life! Have a blessed Thanksgivng and at plenty saturated fat. Pecan pie is my favorite fat!

  11. Anne Trawick - November 21, 2017 11:28 pm

    I am thankful for you, dear boy, and your lovely wife who keeps you straight.

  12. Jo Brooks - November 22, 2017 12:52 am

    Jace – I hope you and your bride enjoy many decades of happiness! You sound like you have listened well to what she wants. 🙂

  13. Marjorie - November 22, 2017 10:42 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to you Sean and your love ones. Keep the stories flowing. I love each and every one. God bless you.

  14. Kay Reynolds - November 23, 2017 4:18 am

    Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for being REAL!


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