We Have So Much to be Grateful For, by Kathy Smith

We have so much to be grateful for as we celebrate Thanksgiving 2013. I read somewhere recently that if you’re not cold or hungry, then you are blessed. Isn’t that what we as humans usually do—take all the basic necessities we enjoy for granted? Between the horrible, destructive typhoon in the Philippines and the awful tornadoes in Illinois, there are many people who have no roof over their heads, let alone clean water or food to eat this Thanksgiving. So we must appreciate all that we have.  Here are a few of the things that I’m thankful for this year.

1. Family. I can’t imagine life without my family. They keep me very, very busy, can be frustrating sometimes but I wouldn’t trade any of them. We got to welcome a very tiny grandson into the family this year and it will be one of the greatest pleasures of my life if I get to watch him grow up.

2. Friends. Everyone needs friends and I am very thankful for the wonderful people who I call friends. They are so important in our crazy, busy lives. We couldn’t survive without them. They prop us up and keep us on the right track.

3. Health. Good health is such a blessing. What a huge difference it makes to your life and all the things you have to do every day. The lack of good health takes a toll physically, mentally and financially on everyone involved.

4. Hay. This year is so much better than last year when we had to sell animals just to get through the winter. Last year we had a terrible hay crop—there was only about one-third of a regular yield. It is such a relief not to think every single day, “Will we make it to grass?” or “Will we have an early spring so the grass can start growing in time to feed the cows and horses?” Yes, I am very thankful for hay this Thanksgiving.

5. Employment. Even though I have been known to complain about work, I am very thankful this year to have a good job. However, there are so many I know who do not and that is why it is so important to appreciate the privilege of going to work.

6. Living in Ashtabula County. We just don’t appreciate how good we have it here. The change of seasons, room to stretch, open sky, woods, farmland and wonderful neighbors are only a few of the things that make our home special.

Those are just a few of the many, many things that I’m thankful for this year. But I’m going to challenge you to do more than think about all your blessings. Why not do something this Thanksgiving to help someone else who doesn’t have as much as you have?

 It doesn’t have to be complicated and there are many different opportunities. For example take canned goods to church or to work where they are collecting items to provide a Thanksgiving meal for families in our area or help at a community Thanksgiving dinner. A co-worker took an acquaintance grocery shopping recently. Just because she thought she should. The young girl was extremely grateful and my co-worker received the gift of knowing she had actually made a difference this Thanksgiving.

Kathy Smith is a farm wife from Wayne Township. She writes for the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau.

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