MIAMI -- Thanksgiving is just a reminder for what Steve Cishek preaches to himself every day.
It doesn't take a national holiday for the Marlins' closer to express his thanks.
"I'm thankful for every little thing," the 26-year-old said. "I'm just thankful to be able to have food and a roof over my head, never mind being able to play baseball. I know a lot of people would just love to have shelter and everything. I'm thankful for every little thing.
"It just reminds me of how lucky and blessed we are. I don't really take anything for granted."
Little things mean a great deal to the humble right-hander from Falmouth, Mass.
Cishek is a rising talent with an unorthodox sidearm delivery. After Heath Bell struggled in the first half, Cishek emerged as Miami's closer after the All-Star break, and he finished with 15 saves in 19 opportunities.
The Marlins already have said Cishek will enter Spring Training as the leading candidate to close in 2013.
In his personal life, Cishek also is going through a transition. He recently married, and this Thanksgiving, the newlyweds were taking a short vacation to Jamaica.
"It's going to be kind of sad, not being around family," Cishek said. "But we're also excited because we've never been on a vacation destination before. Also, we're newlyweds and we're starting our life together. So it's going to be a lot of fun."
At home in Cape Cod, Cishek and his family recently weathered some of the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the Northeast.
The brunt of the storm did substantial damage to New York and New Jersey, but power outages ranged to the entire northeast. Fortunately, Cishek's area was not hit hard, although he was without power for about 14 hours.
"It got really windy and everything," the Miami reliever said. "I just went out lifting in the morning, and the trees started blowing over."
As the storm approached, Cishek didn't show the greatest judgment, venturing down to the beach to watch the rising tide.
"We went down to the beach and watched the waves crash onto the road," he said. "We watched the flooding going on and then we drove home."
The five-minute trip didn't come without incident, as a fallen branch clipped the car.
"It hit the back of the car, marking it up a little bit," Cishek said. "It was pretty wild the first day."
As the storm was passing through, the boy in Cishek came out. Seeing heavy winds and being a baseball player, he wondered how far he could swat a wiffle ball. So he went into his backyard as the gusts were swirling. He flipped the plastic ball to himself and took a mighty swing.
The end result wasn't exactly Giancarlo Stanton-esque. Rather than watch the ball disappear into the clouds, it ended up being a thud.
"It didn't go as far as I thought it would," Cishek said. "The wind actually picked it up and threw it back on the ground."
The best news for Cishek, his family and community was the storm didn't leave a major mark.
"It was just real windy," he said. "It wasn't that bad, though. It really wasn't."
Weathering a powerful storm is yet another thing Cishek is thankful for. If not for his holiday trip to Jamaica, Cishek would be spending a traditional Thanksgiving with his family. That would mean plenty of turkey and mashed potatoes.
"Thanksgiving is like my favorite type of food," he said. "I'll just eat it all the time. It never gets old to me. If turkey is left over, I'll throw it on a piece of bread with gravy. I will eat it until it's all gone, I won't stop eating like that."
A family tradition is one of his grandmother's ladyfinger desserts.
"My grandmother makes the most amazing desserts," Cishek said. "She usually makes it every Christmas and Thanksgiving, as well.
"She calls it a 'ladyfinger' dessert. It's a bowl of cream cheese, usually strawberries or cherries with whipped cream. It's unbelievable how she puts them all together. It's her specialty."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro.