What Are You Thankful For? by Kathy Smith

What are you thankful for as we celebrate Thanksgiving 2014? High on my list is the fact that our country conducted an important mid-term election on November 4 of this year and there wasn’t a tank in sight. There were no protestors at our polling place, I didn’t have to fear for my life or the lives of my family if they did attempt to vote, and the evening news did not report any rioting in the streets.

In fact the election was almost ho-hum. And yet this is such an important part of our lives that we take totally for granted. Our stable government, no matter how much we complain about it, has checks and balances that guarantees us basic freedoms and I am very thankful for that.

My family is the next thing on my list that I am thankful for. I wouldn’t know what to do without them. And even though sometimes they can be demanding, time-consuming and even frustrating, I would not trade them for anyone else. Our families are all unique and we have to make sure we don’t take them for granted. Getting together forThanksgiving, sharing all the wonderful traditional food (Mom’spumpkin torte) and many stories and laughs is an annual highlight for me. We have so many advantages here in Ashtabula County.

That’s why living in northeastern Ohio is the next thing on my list to be thankful for. We have open farm land, woods, room to see the stars, four beautiful, distinctive seasons, and so much more. Yes, I do complain about the ice, snow and cold winter winds, but they just make me appreciate spring even more when it finally arrives.

Next on the list is good health. As I get older, it gets more important every year. Good health is such a blessing.  Without it there are so many problems— endless doctor visits, hospital stays, medicine, therapy, etc. the list goes on and on. Poor health is such a drain on everyone physically, mentally and financially. And it has a huge impact on your life from your first cup of coffee (if you can getthe lid off) through the struggles just to make meals and finally when you fall into bed at night exhausted from daily tasks.

Friends are the next thing on my list that I am so grateful for. These are the people who do so many things for you even when you don’t ask. They are there in both good times and bad, do not judge you or your mistakes and accept you as you are. Friends keep us on the right track in our crazy, busy lives and are so important. We couldn’t survive without them.

I could add so many other things that I am thankful for—adequate food, clothing, shelter, freedom to do almost anything that we want including read a newspaper or book, watch television or listen to music, travel nearly anywhere we wish, and worship as we choose.

As you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner this year, let’s give thanks for the many things on our long, long lists.

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