I heard once that if you make a list of the positives and negatives in your life, the positives will likely outweigh the negatives. Of course, that might be determined by your own state of mind, life circumstances and whether the year is 2020.

I was downtown last week and as I thought of how many steps I had taken on those sidewalks since I was a girl, I thought back on the many positives of growing up in a small town.

I was born into a family that had an overabundance of love and an underabundance of money, probably like many of yours did. My family of four lived in a small house with few frills, but we always had everything we needed and a little of what we wanted.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because of those memories. As a girl, it was a day-long event. My family would travel U.S. Highway 59 when it was a two-lane undivided highway from Lufkin to Diboll to Nacogdoches to visit grandparents. The trip seemed to take all day, but it was so worth it. The food was spread on long tables with family gathering like Sunday ‘‘dinner on the ground.’’

But some of the best family memories were made after my sister and I grew up and had children of our own.

We gathered at Mom and Dad’s house (a bigger one by then). Mom would make all our favorite dishes and my sister and I made a stab at desserts. We could never top Mom’s German chocolate cake. The kids watched Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on television and football games took over after lunch.

Your story might be much like mine.

We can all name things we are thankful for and families are usually at the top of our lists. Celebrating the holidays might be different in 2020, but as you make plans, take the time to consider what you are thankful for, despite uncertain times or negative events that have filled the year.

If you plan to travel, remember to think of safety first, even before you think of what’s on the menu. Think ahead about the route you will take to your destination. Check drivetexas.org for closures and roadway conditions. Consider the weather and drive accordingly. Buckle up that seatbelt and make sure everyone in the vehicle is also buckled up.

And never do anything but drive once you are behind the wheel.

Once you are seated at your holiday table, stop and be thankful for the people who love you. Be thankful for having all you need and a little of what you want. And don’t forget to be thankful for our TxDOT men and women who will work tirelessly to keep your route back home clear and open for travel.

Rhonda Oaks is the public information officer for TxDOT’s Lufkin district. Her email address is Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov.