Okay, so I wrote my blog about Thanksgiving and you may or may not have already read it. But I am here to write some more. As I look at all the challenges I face now, those I've faced in the past, and those I know will come in the future, I keep in mind all the things I have to be thankful for which make it all worthwhile.
I have a wonderful furry companion dog who keeps me company and brightens my days. And I used to have what I truly thing was the smartest dog in the world. She gave me 10 years of companionship and constant amazement at the things she did and taught herself to do; things like coming to get me on the porch when my cell phone was ringing in the bedroom--she led me to the phone and sat; when I answered it, she went back to her spot on the couch. She managed to find her leash, untie the knot it was tied in for storage, and sit by the door with the leash in her mouth until I took her for a walk or a ride. She went around the room and shook hands with everyone at my mother's house before we went home. The new dog has yet to do any of these things or anything similar. But dogs, like children, should not be compared or favored one over another. They should be loved and cared for because of the individuals they are, and we should be thankful we have them. Thankful for the loving devotion they give us.
Personally, I'm also thankful that my parents taught me that there should be no favorites among a family's children, and that animals should be cared for and appreciated for what they are.
I'm thankful for a lot of things my parents taught me, things like honesty, integrity, a good work ethic, and more. I'm thankful I got to spend a lot of time with my father growing up. He taught me a lot of things; can handle minor home repair jobs myself, and basic car maintenance if I have to. Dad taught me to always finish what I start and to give a good day's work for a good day's pay. Dad taught me how to shoot a rifle, how to build things, and how to use a lot of different tools. He taught me how to mix cement and how to lay brick. He taught me to drive a tractor and mow the lawn. He's gone now, and I still miss him every day, but I'm so thankful I had the time with him that I did, and I'm glad I moved to Florida when I did. I still plan on moving back home to Pennsylvania, but being here for the last few years of his life gave me the opportunity to spend a lot more time with him, and I'm so thankful for that.
Mom taught me to cook and sew and clean, all skills that everyone needs. But she taught me fun stuff too, like how to quilt, and that we need to take time every once in a while to just spend time with each other. I miss those days when Mom and I would both take off for Pittsburgh to spend the day going to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Highland Park Zoo, the National Aviary, Phipps Conservatory, Buhl Planetarium and more. Of course, we couldn't go to all those places in one day, but with our regular mom/daughter day, we managed to get to all of those and more. It's hard for her to get around these days, but I'm thankful she's still here and we can visit often.
I'm thankful I have sisters who call to see how I am and just to chat. I don't like the fact that we are separated by many many miles, but I'm so thankful we keep in touch. And I'm thankful my extended family also makes the effort to keep in touch. Cousins from all over the United States email and telephone me, and I can reach out to them any time as well. I'm thankful for that. I know there are those who have no family or whose family has lost touch. I can't imagine what that would be like, and I'm thankful I don't know what it feels like.
I have my family, my friends, my home, a job, a truck, and people who care....that's a lot to be thankful for. I know I will rise up to meet the challenges in the future and that I will still have my family and friends by my side; i know that because they are currently there for me, and I for them. I can't think of anything more important to be thankful for than the love and support of family and friends (and of course my dog!).