Thanksgiving is here again. Rather than eat and nap, it’s appropriate that I reflect on things for which I am thankful. And there are way more than 11!
1. My parents and grandparents
“Good” parents and grandparents aren’t a prerequisite to a child becoming a productive adult, but they certainly increase the odds. I am very thankful that my parents provided both guidance and sufficient freedom for me to become the person I am.
2. Good teachers and schools
From Mabel Monthy and Lucille Ewy at Forest City #1 and Mr. Buck and others at Lime Springs High School, I received a basic education which has served me well for nearly 80 years now. Iowa State College/University and the USAF/Yale University provided advanced education which prepared me for an interesting career. I’m thankful for all who succeeded in teaching me something, and also for those who tried!
3. Aunts, uncles, and cousins all lived nearby
When I was a kid, all my aunts, uncles, and ~20 cousins lived within 25 miles of our home. We got to know them and enjoy and appreciate them. Today, first cousins can easily be spread across the country and even the world. That’s just the way it is today. I’m thankful that I grew up before that happened, so I knew each and every one of my cousins.
4. Growing up in a safe, honest, and helpful community
Today, it is common to hear, “It takes a village to raise a child.” While I don’t recall members of our community ever giving me “special guidance,” I do recall that they were respectful, encouraging, and helpful. That’s worth a lot and I am thankful for it.
5. A loving family
I am thankful that I have a supporting wife whom I love, and vice versa. Although saddened by the fact that she is no longer with us, I am thankful that I had daughter Amy for 19 years. Likewise, Pat’s son Dave is not with us but he left us granddaughters Stephanie and Stacie. Steph and Mark have provided great-granddaughters Molly and Leah. We’re thankful for these folks, to be sure!
6. An interesting career
On the farm while going ’round and ’round the field on my little Ford 8N tractor and turning over a mere 28″ of soil with each pass, I never dreamed that I would some day watch kids fly kites in Tian An Men Square in Beijing or view Lenin lying in his tomb in Moscow. My career with Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids made both of these things possible.
That career also put me in contact with interesting people in many different countries. Many of these folks became good friends, for which I am thankful.
Had it not been for my family and education, my career would probably not been nearly as interesting or exciting.
7. Bosses whom I enjoyed
With a single exception, everyone I worked for provided an enjoyable work experience. That’s a great reason to be thankful!
8. A job with a retirement plan
I’m thankful that I grew up in the era when many people worked for the same company for years or decades and, in return, the company provided a retirement plan with a monthly income. Such an arrangement is becoming more and more rare and does not exist today at the company for which I worked for 21 years.
9. Flying airplanes
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to fly airplanes. I’m thankful that for the last 47 years I’ve been doing exactly that more-or-less regularly. This past summer, in fact, I flew 80 hours —which is pretty good for me.
10. Good health
Oh, I have a few aches and pains but generally my health is very good. That is wonderful news and I’m thankful for it. When we’re young, most of us think nothing of health because we are usually healthy. As we age, our parts do also and that causes some problems. Our habits, good or bad, influence our health. And there are things over which we have absolutely no control which are devastating to individuals and their families and which no amount of money can make disappear. I am very, very, thankful for the health that I enjoy today.
11. The promise of an eternity with God
I’m thankful that God loved his people so much that he made it possible for us to spend eternity with him and his son, Jesus Christ. And our loved ones who also believed! Now that is something to look forward to!!
Are you thankful?
My bet is that you are thankful for lots of things, too. I’d appreciate it if you’d jot down one or two or even three things for which you are thankful in the “Comments” section below. Fellow readers of The Lime Springs Page will enjoy reading them, I’m certain.