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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I am Thankful For...

As we approach the annual Thanksgiving holiday here in America most of us have many reasons to be thankful. The country is experiencing a very depressed economy and the holidays are not very appealing to most of us because we are either feeling the pinch ourselves or know someone close to us who is barely surviving. Still, just being here to face the struggle is a blessing to me. I asked a few of my closest friends to put together a list of things they are grateful for this year. Here is my own list.

I am thankful for my family and for my own fairly good health. I have a few medical issues but at the moment none of them are life threatening and I have the strength to care for others in my family less fortunate than myself. In my younger years I would never have understood what a blessing it is to be able to take care of others but now it is the fuel that keeps my body moving and my heart forever filled with contentment. I am thankful to have my mother still here with us against all odds. She will celebrate her 89th birthday on the 26th, God willing.

I am thankful to be gainfully employed at a reputable company. We all have gripes and concerns with our employment but just to have a job in these trying times is a huge blessing. I cannot say that I am always able to pay every bill the moment it arrives but I am able to rest peacefully knowing there is food in the house and the utilities have been covered.

I am thankful for the many friends who encourage me when I feel like giving up, make me laugh when I feel like crying, and uplift me when my legs are failing. There is no one I have ever met who never needs a friend. I try to be a good friend and I have been blessed with the friendship of many in return. While I sometimes say the wrong thing or fail to notice something someone really wants me to acknowledge, it is never done intentionally. I cherish each and every one of you who reaches out to me through daily contact, email, phone calls, occasional jokes, cards, or even just by remembering me in your thoughts and prayers. My heart aches for those who have no one to call a friend.

I am thankful for my vehicle! I made the last payment and it's still running! Seriously, many people take the privilege to drive for granted but I cannot imagine not being able to get to the market, attend conferences, travel back and forth to work, even just get away from my daily life a few hours.

I am thankful that my son has been able to complete college. He has faced many obstacles on the path to adulthood but he has still managed to get out there and live his life. I am also thankful that my daughter has become a woman I am proud of every day. She is strong, determined, and dedicated to making her life the best it can be. Did I mention she is also beautiful? I am also thankful that my son, Cole, has accomplished more than he expected from himself. I may not have had him from the moment of his birth but he is a part of my heart and soul now and he does make me smile...even if I can't always tell him that. (Wouldn't want his head to swell or make him stop trying!)

I am thankful, and I know this one sounds strange, for people like Betty White. This lady just continues to amaze and inspire me. I see many people in their sixties who think it's time to retire and sit on the porch while the big dogs run without them. Betty, on the other hand, is well into her eighties and she takes on new challenges, stretches her wings with creativity, and never uses her age as an excuse not to do anything, well, except maybe bungee jumping.

I am thankful for my pets. They listen to me when I don't feel I can share my thoughts or heart with a human. They never ask for more than I can give and they treasure me above all others for no more than a bowl of food and a warm place to sleep. I really wish more people understood the way pets think and act. Please just don't tell the dogs I was praising the cats. It could get ugly around here!

I am thankful for every man and woman out there putting on a uniform and putting their lives on the line to keep us safe here at home. While others will be enjoying a bountiful Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow these men and women will be on the job. In fact, even when they sleep they are on the ready and fully alert to do whatever it takes to get their job done. I am proud of every one of them as well as the veterans who have already served their country.

Last but not least...well, actually, it is the least....chocolate! If you promise to give me chocolate you don't have to worry about my handgun or my mood!


Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011

Okay, just for the record, this is not a political statement. This actually happened to me while I was at work last night. I thought you might get a kick out of it.

A dark blue pick-up truck pulled into the lot and came to a stop right beside of the guard house where I was working. A man of about sixty-five to sixty-eight years of age stepped slowly out of the truck as I walked up to ask him the standard questions concerning what business he had at the site, identification, etc. He was a wiry man with white hair, a wispy white goatee and the most inquisitive eyes I have seen on a man of his age. His face was heavily wrinkled but his attitude was definitely that of a much younger man.

"Miss, I was a wonderin' if you all might need any more security guards around here. I have a lot of snow on the roof but there's still plenty of fire in this old furnace!"

I responded by telling him the coal company itself did not hire the guards and gave him the contact information for the security firm that employs us. I also suggested that he might want to do the same type of work in another environment that would be indoors such as a mall or department store.

"I started to stop here a few times to inquire about work but it wasn't 'til tonight that I took the time to come on in here. I saw you walking out there and I just figured you wouldn't shoot me for asking a question. You got far too pretty of a face to be shooting people for asking questions." At that point I was guessing he had been a farmer because he was great at spreading around manure.

I was giggling and the gentleman started to talk about next year's election and how people on social security were finally getting a cost of living increase this coming January. As my mood turned more serious he asked, "I bet you're pretty good in the kitchen ain't ya?"

I answered with, "Well, I do know my way around the kitchen. I can confess to that."

He immediately responded with, "You ever make republican puddin?"

I was back to giggling. "No sir, I can't say that I have."

"Well girl, you take about a cup of boiled white rice and add about a pint of real milk. Don't use that skim milk crap that don't even leave a ring in the glass when you're done. Then you add in about a cup of sugar and some butter. I would say about two heaping tablespoons of butter ought to do the trick. Before you serve it, you mix up some democrat sauce to spoon over it and make the portions small, you wouldn't want to overdo that stuff. It's powerful."

"Democrat sauce, Sir?" I asked.

"I'll explain this a bit more in a minute but I learned this recipe from an old hillbilly. Anyway, to make the democrat sauce you need some good Wisconsin cheese sautéed in prune juice."

"Oh, that doesn't sound good to me!" I complained.

He laughed and said, "It's a sure thing for binding you to the party but keeping you as loose as a goose!"

He took the time to explain that during a previous period of economic distress the government had subsidized Wisconsin dairy farmers and in return had obtained tons of cheese they distributed as commodities to people in need of food stamps. He didn't give me any time to reply as he climbed up into his truck. He was laughing so hard he could barely get himself positioned behind the steering wheel. I watched him until he was out of sight and he was laughing until he was completely out of my view.

I thought this job was going to be boring.......

© Dianna Doles Petry