Today my friend and talented writer Kimber Williams posted a nice idea on Facebook.

“Today is Day One of The Great Thank Off.

The challenge: To post something for which you are grateful for 30 days prior to Thanksgiving. (Invite your friends to participate.)

I’m thankful to live in a country where I have the freedom to VOTE — which I intend to do tomorrow…”

I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t excelled at the 31 posts in October that I declared I’d make this month. I haven’t given up hope yet. There’s still time to honor that commitment. (It’ll be a big help when I get an Internet connection at my home on Friday.)

I do like the idea of posting 30 days of thankfulness leading up to Thanksgiving. So here’s the first one.

On Facebook, I posted that I was thankful for my friend of many years, Kimber Williams. Kimber is a gifted reporter and writer. She now writes for publications at Emory University in Atlanta. We first met when she was a features writer at The Register Guard in Eugene, Oregon. (The website does not do justice to the fine paper with a long-standing history of remarkable photojournalism and writing.)

Kimber interviewed me for a story about my work covering conflict in the Middle East and Africa. Although I’m a journalist, I was deeply uncomfortable being on the other side of an interview. Kimber spent four hours speaking with me.The story became the front of the features section under the title “The Cost of Conflict.” It featured my photographs from Liberia, Somalia and Mozambique. And it helped educate the community about wars and their aftermath that on briefly made the news in the U.S., let alone Oregon.

That was years ago…before newspapers posted online. Before Kimber became a mother. Before I stepped away from covering war for 10 years. And before I stepped back into it this past year in Afghanistan.

Through the years, we’ve remained friends. I had hoped to visit her and her family when I drove across country this summer. I missed the opportunity though we had a long conversation to bring us up to date.

Here’s to you Kimber. Thank you for the idea of The Great Thank Off (definitely could use a better title).

And thank you for the years of beautiful writing …and your friendship.