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Monday, Dec. 9, 2013
There's much to be thankful forPosted Monday, November 21, 2011, at 10:17 AM
Thursday, we will gather with our family for a traditional Thanksgiving meal and pause to give sincere thanks for the many blessings we have experienced in the past year.
Thanksgiving has always been a special time in our family -- a time when folks from near and far travel to a central meeting place -- to partake of a bountiful meal, visit family members that we don't see often enough, watch a little football and, of course, take a nap.
In my adult life on most years, we have traveled back home to Perry County for Thanksgiving Day.
In the earlier married years that usually consisted of making an eating appearance at two -- sometimes three -- places when my mother and Uncle Bob were alive.
These days, we usually travel to the in-laws only in Tell City.
It's usually a carry-in feast with my wife's dad or myself generally charged with cooking the turkey.
I almost lost that privilege a few years back when I somehow in my wisdom locked the fully-cooked turkey in the trunk of my car.
You see, we were having our Thanksgiving Dinner at another relative's house that year and I stayed behind at my father-in-law's house to finish cooking the Tom Turkey.
Well, the good intentioned plan turned into a holiday nightmare when I got the turkey tucked into the trunk, put the key in the ignition, and turned it on. The silly key -- which also unlocked the trunk -- broke off. Thus, the main course in our Thanksgiving Day spread became locked in -- or penned in -- the stupid trunk.
Thank goodness my mechanically inclined father-in-law was able to remove the back seat to provide access to the trunk and we rescued the steaming hot turkey and were able to conduct a somewhat normal Thanksgiving meal that year.
A recent family tradition is going around the table and having everyone give a little reason why they are thankful this particular year.
There is usually so much for each of us is thankful for and hearing it is encouraging and faith-building.
I am probably no different than others and sometimes get on pity party and think that times have been rough economically and health-wise for us and nobody else.
I received a good lesson about complaining a few years ago when I was going through rehab after one of my three knee replacement surgeries. (I know, three knee surgeries is hard to fathom, but believe me it has happened).
Anyway, I was in the rehab center going through my three-month check-up and I was hurting kind of bad on a couple of the exercises designed to increase the knee's range of motion.
I was about to quit when I looked over and another therapist was working with a guy -- about 20 years younger than myself. I could hear the therapist encouraging him on as he attempted to walk in this chute that had a railing on both sides.
I looked down and the man had only one leg. The other leg has been surgically removed just above his knee. He inched his way down toward where the therapist was standing -- taking small, hopping-type steps.
It was humbling for me to see and any thoughts I had about quitting my exercise that day quickly went away. I had plenty to be thankful for even when I thought I was hurting.
The moral of that life-lesson is no matter how bad you think things are for yourself, there is probably someone in a worse predicament somewhere.
I often think back to that day in the rehab center when times get bad and I'm feeling down and defeated. I remember the determined look etched on that young man's face. It said clearly, "Keep going, keep going, keep going."
As another Thanksgiving Day dawns this week, things could be much better. My billfold needs a blessing. My health could be improved. But still there is much to thankful.
I have a strong faith and trust in my Lord and Savior.
I have a wonderful wife, whom I love and she loves me, even on my bad days.
I have two great daughters, who are blessed with loving families that have provided Pops and Nana with four grandchildren, who have given us unimaginable joy.
I still have a family back home in Perry County that are able to gather together at Thanksgiving and other holidays and pause to pray and give thanks.
I have a job.
So things are good and I am very thankful again this year.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be contacted by telephone at 847-4487 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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