Remember the Good Times, and Always Give Thanks

Good morning, and happy Hump Day! I hope your day is off to a great start.

For those of us in the United States, today really isn’t the middle of the week, because tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving. Most of us are off work tomorrow, and a large percentage of us don’t have to work Friday. You know what that means? A day of stuffing ourselves with more food than we’d normally eat in a week, followed by a day of gas. Woohoo!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. Family, food, and football, and I don’t have to go anywhere near the kitchen. Which is fine with me, because I’ve seen what my wife does in there, and let’s just say I stand with my back to the wall as she’s making stuffing. Even then, after the bird is cooked, she scoops that stuff back out of its behind and expects us to eat it?

We won’t actually be celebrating with a huge meal tomorrow, because my daughter (the nurse) has to work. So, we’re putting off the meal until Saturday. And I know, we shouldn’t be getting together at all this year. But we babysit the little ones after school, so it’s not like we haven’t been sharing germs all week. I don’t think one more day will make that much of a difference.

Besides, Thanksgiving isn’t really about seeing how quickly we can retire another pair of pants. It’s a day of giving thanks for the blessings we enjoy every day. It’s a day to appreciate family, friends, good food, good health, and a job that we hopefully don’t have to go back to until Monday. And believe me, with the year we’ve been through, we’ve earned it.

We all have our own traditions for Thanksgiving. In years gone by, it meant a 10-hour ride to Grandma’s, where dozens of other family members would pile in and share a three-bedroom country house with a tin roof and one bathroom. As kids, we slept in cars most of the time. That’s not all we did outside. Let’s just say there were never any weeds in Grandma’s shrubs.

You never knew which of our extended family would show up, and it was always a treat to see a cloud of dust coming down the dirt road as somebody else drove up. And you know, with all those people crammed into a small house, and all the hubbub of making dinner and homemade pies, I don’t recall any animosity or cross words at all. Everybody just got along.

The thing I remember the most was the smell of Grandma’s kitchen as the turkey slowly baked, desserts were whipped up, and we were recruited to churn butter, peel potatoes, and snap green beans. Dinner was an all-hands effort, and it was some of the best food ever. Or maybe it wasn’t. I can’t really remember. All I know is it was some of the happiest times of my life.

And for that, I’m thankful. I wish everybody had a Grandma like mine, with ten kids and God knows how many grandchildren. I have cousins I’ve never met, or if I have it was only once. We all came from different places and lived different lives. But somehow, we got along. We laughed. We played. We shared. And the memories of those times were the greatest gift ever.

Okay, I’m probably forgetting some of the inevitable conflict, but those are the things that tend to fade over time. Our brain can only hold so much, so it’s natural that we hang onto the good memories and set aside the bad. That’s what being thankful is all about. It’s about not just forgiving, but forgetting, and filling that vacuum with memories worth remembering.

So, wherever you are, whatever your plans for tomorrow (or any day), take a moment to think of the things for which you’re thankful. Think of somebody who has blessed your life in ways you may not have ever expressed. Then reach out and let them know. It may not be a big deal to you, but it may mean the world to them. And think of how good it’ll make you feel.

Thankfulness is a state of mind. It doesn’t mean we don’t want a little more or wish things could be a little better. It’s simply an acknowledgment that things really aren’t so bad and that, no matter what our station in life, we’ve all been blessed with a little more than we may deserve.

Inner peace comes from a simple acknowledgment of those blessings. You can’t do it if you’re carrying around baggage full of regret. If something needs to be fixed, fix it. If somebody needs forgiveness, give it. Today, tomorrow, and every day. That’s my wish for you, my friends. Happy Thanksgiving!

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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