Being Thankful

Yes, it’s one of those non-political days. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year. I think it’s because it’s the least commercialized. I’m not bombarded by Santa Claus (at least yet), Easter Bunnies, or the like. Yeah, I have to fight through all the advertising for the Black Friday Christmas sales, but that’s a minor point. I’m happy it’s here because I’m thankful for a lot.

Every year for the past ten years, my kids have brought their families out to the desert. We spend a week together with my Mom, and my sister-in-law, enjoying each others’ company, catching up on what they’ve been doing since we last got together (which was this past summer). We send the parents off on a “date night” to enjoy dinner and a movie while my wife and I get to entertain the kids, who half of them are now into their teenage years. We watch football on Thursday, movies at night, and just spend a lot of time together.

But I’m thankful for a whole lot this year, as well.

I’m thankful that my Mom is feeling better. She fell and broke a hip back in April. At 87 years old, that’s not a good thing. She had surgery immediately and took a few weeks to mend. Oh, she still walks with a bit of a limp, but she’s still with us and strong as an ox.

I’m thankful that I have been able to be retired and do what I want. Not everyone my age can say that. I meet a lot of people out here that are of retirement age and are living with little or no disposable income. We are doing just fine thank you! I’m glad I was able to retire when I did, because my old industry certainly has taken a turn for the worst and isn’t the fun place it used to be when I started working in it back in the 1970’s.

I’m thankful that my term sitting on a Board of Directors is up. As of December 16th, I’m free of the duty, and it’s been seven years of service. I’ve enjoyed it tremendously. I’ve met and worked with people I never would have been able to meet any other way. I’ve been able to host people visiting here from other countries, and I’ve been able to be on TV in China, France, Germany, Japan, and yes, even the US (CBS Sunday Morning). It’s been a fun time, but it’s time others get the chance to sit on that Board!

I’m thankful I’m married to the greatest woman in the world. My wife and I will soon celebrate 43 years of wedded bliss. I can’t imagine going through life without her. She’s my rock. And today is special because 44 years ago today, we got engaged.

I’m thankful God saw fit to let me have two of the greatest kids in the world. Oh, they may have been a handful growing up, but they have become excellent parents, wonderful role models, and just great people. I credit my wife with that.

And finally, I’m thankful for all of you. I started doing this as a release probably seven or eight years ago under a different name. I switched over to Lone Cactus back in 2018, and have been doing this now for just under four years. I’ve heard from thousands of people from all over the world, again, people I never would have, and may never meet in person. In fact, truth be told, I’ve only met probably four or five of the folks that have left comments here throughout the years.

Enjoy the day. With all of the crap going on in the world, take time today to realize you DO have a lot to be thankful. The crap can wait for tomorrow…it’ll still be there!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

It’s Bird Time!

Normally, on Thanksgiving I write a piece on how thankful I am that my family has flown in to the desert from all points east, and we’re having a wonderful week together. It’s the one time of the year I get to see both of my kids, their spouses, my four grandkids, and sometimes, like last year, my niece and her family (which was a lot of fun!). This year though is different.

I called both my son and my daughter in September and told them not to buy airline tickets because of COVID. I didn’t want them exposes to the virus, and I didn’t want to expose anyone here to the virus. It was better that we all did Thanksgiving on our own. It turned out that was a actually a little foreshadowing. My daughter and her entire family have come down with COVID in the last week or so. We get daily updates from them, and they are all doing fine, but they couldn’t have come even if they had spent the money on airline tickets.

But today, I want to go back in time a little bit. People ask me why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all, and I usually answer that it’s the one holiday that hasn’t been commercialized to the hilt…until they started opening stores for Black Friday at noon on Thanksgiving! I always say that it’s family, food, and football, and how can you pass up that trinity? But there is a different reason and it occurred 43 years ago today. Here’s the story.

I was working all night at this little radio station in Michigan. I had been dating this girl I knew from college and it had gotten serious. So, I finished my shift, and instead of going home and going to bed for a few hours before having turkey, I jumped in my Chevy Vega and headed off to east-central Ohio, where she lived. I was going to get engaged.

Of course, I had to get her father’s blessing, so as we sat in the family’s living room, with her sister and two brothers sitting there as well, I asked her father for his blessing if I asked her to marry me. His response? “I don’t meddle in my kids’ business!” It’s been a family joke to this day, and yes, it was repeated as part of his eulogy at his funeral.

We went to her aunt and uncle’s house up the road a little bit for Thanksgiving dinner, and my wife and I snuck out. We were going to go to the church her folks got married in to get engaged. Can you believe that the church was locked and there was no one there? So, I asked her to marry me in my Chevy Vega. Her response? “Can I think about it?” Of course, she said yes.

We went back to the festivities, and her mother announced that we were now engaged. And since I had been up working all night, and had to go back and do another all-night shift, I promptly took the aunt up on her suggestion that I take a nap. And when I woke up, it was time to head back to Michigan.

That special day has been burned in my mind forever. And THAT is the reason that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all. And she has been at my side ever since!

Carry on world…HAPPY THANKSGIVING…you’re dismissed!

Thankful?

Yeah, a couple times a year, I put aside the politics, and talk about other things. Today, being Thanksgiving, I talk about what I’m thankful for. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. My family gets together and we have a big ol’ party at my house. It goes for a week. So, please indulge my rant today….

I’m thankful for a great family. My wife and I were blessed with two great kids, who each had two great kids. Once a year they all fly out to the desert and we spend a week together. We’ve been doing this for seven years now and it’s become my favorite family tradition. This year, we’re joined by my youngest brother’s daughter and her family, so it makes the holiday that much brighter and that much better!

I’m thankful for my wife. Here’s a woman that has worked her fingers to the bone this week. God knows how many hours she’s spent planning menus and activities for the kids and grandkids. I know when the week is over, she’s exhausted, but she relishes the moment while she’s in it! I thank God she came into my life every single day!

I’m thankful for my mom. She’s the strongest, most resilient lady I have ever known. She raised three kids on her own in an era that didn’t look too kindly at that. Now add to that the fact she got a PhD to boot during that time, and broke down many glass ceilings! I’m so thankful that I get to live down the street from her and see her and have coffee with her on almost a daily basis. She’s almost 86 and can still run circles around me!

I’m thankful we live in this country. Yes, it’s fallen on weird times recently, but it’s still the best place on earth. Every so often I ask my wife if she wants to go to a different part of the world, and regardless where I mention, she says she just wants to stay here. She’s right. The US has it’s problems, no doubt. We’ve certainly got more than our share of idiots. But when compared to the rest of the world? We’re still the best!

I’m thankful for my health. Oh, I’m not the healthiest person in the world, but when I see people that are passing away or sick all the time, I get down on my rather creaky knees and thank God for the good luck I’ve had with my health.

I’m thankful for people like you who read my rants every day. You know, this thing started off because I was upset with Obamacare. That was nine years ago. I had to change sites a couple of times, until I found one that believed in Freedom of Speech, and I’ve had to put the blog on hiatus a while back…but that’s all over now. And still we’re growing!

Whatever you do today, do yourself a favor. Make a list of things you are thankful for. You will be surprised at what you have on your list!

Happy Thanksgiving, and Carry on world…you’re dismissed!

A Time For Thanks

Yes, it can be viewed as schmaltzy. It can be viewed as camp, but I really only do this a couple of times a year, so please bear with me. Today is actually my favorite holiday of the year. That’s because it’s about looking at our lives and giving thanks for the things that are blessings for us. It’s a time for family, and football, and until corporations like Walmart and Target decided to ruin it with Terrible Thursday (ahead of Black Friday) sales, and force their employees to work today, it was the only holiday on the list that wasn’t commercialized.

But today I give thanks.

Today I am thankful that I live in a country, that though certainly far from perfect, is the best one on Earth. I’m thankful that I have the freedom to write these blogs and to discuss things with you folks. I’ve been very thankful over the years to have met several of you, and appreciate that! I’m also thankful that as you’re reading this, I’m spending time with my 84 year old mother, my son and his wife and their two kids, and my daughter and her husband and their two kids. We’ll also be joined for Thanksgiving dinner by my sister-in-law, and a very good friend of our families.

I’m somewhat sad as I look back on this year. It hasn’t been great. Frankly, parts of it just plain sucked. I lost my baby brother to cancer back in March. And while I’m thankful that his pain has gone and he’s in a better place now, the selfish part of me misses him every day.

Outside of family, I’m thankful for the political landscape. Oh, I wish it weren’t so partisan and the left actually would grow up and behave like adults rather than kick and scream like two year olds that didn’t get their way, but that’s just their lack of intelligence and addle-mindedness. I’m glad we re-elected our Representative to Washington, and our Representatives to the State House. I’m glad my State Senator won his race, and our Governor will be back for his second term. I’m glad Floridians finally made the right choice, as did those folks in Missouri, and North Dakota, and Texas, and Indiana, and Tennessee all did the right thing!

No, I’m thankful for a lot. Most of all, I have to say that I’m thankful that 41 years ago today, in the parking lot of the United Methodist Church in Doylestown, Ohio, a 21 year old co-ed sat in my car where I asked her to marry me and said, “Can I think about it?” (she immediately said yes). I cannot for a second begin to imagine what my life would have been like had she not been by my side and been my partner throughout this crazy ride. I still wake up and kiss her every morning, and thank God she’s said “yes” back then every night.

And I hope that each and every one of your folks have a lot to be thankful for this and every year. God bless all of you!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!