What We Are Thankful For, by John Parker

Thanksgiving Day will soon be here.  You probably don’t need to be reminded of that because many families have been busy getting ready for this day.  Some will be traveling a distance to be with others while many have families that live close by.  This is a day when we like to get together and enjoy our families and I am thankful for our families and time together.

When you sit down to that Thanksgiving Day dinner with the table laden with all kinds of good food, do you stop to think about all the things you have to be thankful for?  Or think about those who may not have enough and their table may not be loaded with food?

When we stop to think about it, most of us have many things to be thankful for starting right at home.  Personally I am thankful for a warm, comfortable home and for Betty as we share our home.  We had it built the way we wanted and enjoy it.  In one corner of the living room we had a highly efficient gas fireplace installed.  When it is snowing and blowing outside, we are thankful we can just flick a switch and enjoy the fire.  No wood to carry in or ashes to carry out.

 I am thankful for farmers here in our area and across the country for the abundance of food they grow for us.  Family farms, by their dedication and hard work, do a truly remarkable job of making a plentiful food supply for our Thanksgiving table.

To have the opportunity to tell the true story of the kind of job American farmers do is another thing I am thankful for.  Family farms, both large and small, take great care of their animals and are good stewards of the environment.  Sometimes it is a discouraging occupation when they experience a fall like this one when some cannot get crops harvested because of wet weather.  But they keep at it.

Friends are important to each one of us.  I am thankful for the many friends I have had, and still have, over the years.  I was reminded of this a short time ago when Ty Kellogg, organization director for Farm Bureau, stopped in with a book from Geauga dairy farmer Jerry Mitchell.  Jerry is on their Farm Bureau Board.  The title of the book is “One hundred years of inquiry and innovation”, an illustrated history of the American Dairy Science Association.  Jerry had written on the inside cover “A token for the good you’ve done for dairy farmers.  Thanks.” And he signed it.  I am enjoying it.

It is an interesting book that chronicles the history of the dairy industry in this country for more than 100 years.  We have come a long way through the efforts of dairy farmers and using research and new technology.

Since we don’t go to Florida, I am thankful for the chance to do things right around home.  Church involvement is rewarding and I am thankful that we can participate in the church that we choose.  That is not possible in many countries in the world.

A couple of weeks ago, friend Jim Comp asked me to go down to Sugar Creek to a dairy meeting and visit a modern family dairy farm of 1200 cows.  Both the restaurant and farm were located in a beautiful valley in Holmes County.

Last week Dave Cover and Melvin Marrison stopped in to pick up an old coffee grinder that we donated to the Ashtabula County Antique Engine Club.  It was a nice, old grinder built in 1870 that Dad used to grind wheat when I was very young.  We ate the ground wheat as a breakfast cereal and Mom used it some for baking bread.

Yes, there are many more things I am thankful for and need to remember them, not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year.    

John Parker is an independent agricultural writer.