There are many defining moments throughout the year – times to reflect on the progress we’ve made from the year before and make promises for the year ahead, times to celebrate and pay respect to the freedoms fought hard for; such as the Fourth of July we’ve just had.
Then there are the times to be thankful for the goodness come our way. Realizing we’re still a ways from the actual Thanksgiving holiday, but hankering a bit for the cooler weather, the thought occurred to me to mention the things I’m thankful for…here and now…hell, why wait till the last Thursday in November?
– Thankful when I can turn a good deed for a friend with no questions asked, no strings attached, just helping out a pal.
– Thankful for a good magazine that comes through the mail like Photography Today, or Vanity Fair, or yes, sometimes even Rolling Stone. Go Christopher Hitchens and Matt Taibbi. The real treat is grabbing water to quench my thirst as I sit down for a perusal of what’s between the pages. Keeps your mind fresh to learn new perspectives and stay acquainted with the written word, ‘specially when you’re not thirsty.
– Thankful for the ‘delete’ key on my Mac computer. So much easier to correct spelling with spell check, and then enter or delete depending on the scribble being attempted. Also the ‘delete’ feature on FaceBook…to delete the folks who wanted to be ‘friends’ and then bore me with Farmville or Mafia Wars…or whatever. I don’t mind a little social networking as it keeps me active, but if all you can talk about on those pages are yourself and petty things, well it ain’t my cup of tea or glass of ice water.
– The “Shuffle” feature on my iPod and stereo players. Lots of the good, old stuff, seems to need a little shuffle every now and again making some of it sound ‘all brand new’ again.
– Thankful for my ears and being able to listen…to the sound of the wind through the trees here at Rustica, the sound of Lady Frisco and Lord Nelson as they bark at the sounds they hear and protect their space. I like listening to friends and strangers alike telling me stories or simply remarking about the weather or sparking a conversation about politics. What others have to say may surprise you and not be always on the money, but if you listen well enough and long enough you can learn a few things. Every now and then an ‘ear candle’ adds to clarity.
– Handi Wipes…the slick little tube of antiseptic wipes likely kept me from catching the flu this past season, although the two flu shots could have played a role as well. Door knobs, lots of folks shaking hands, and the day to day exposure to ‘germs‘ can be handled by washing face and hands frequently, keeping hands away from the face, and an occasional cleansing with wipes of pollen in the eyes and nose.
– Cruise control on the Eddie Bauer 2005 Expedition. Nothing better to keep from getting a ticket than the CC. Some folks don’t like it or use it…their choice. For me it’s a Godsend and makes me a safer driver. Just be careful when you’re on cruise control with the idle right leg so that it doesn’t start tapping to the music.
– TomTom GPS…it’s programmable and update-able with the computer, for new road changes and re-routing. My children gave me one several years ago, and it’s made travel alone a joy…even the choice of five voices to talk to me…I chose the sexy lady with the heavy breathing.
– The clothesline…laundry day for sheets, pillow cases, towels and jeans is made all the better by sweet sunshine and fresh, wafting air drying them out. Yessir, it’s the ‘Clothesline Saga’ for freshness that doesn’t come from a bottle or spray can.
– Habern Freeman Physical Therapy…for rotator cuff and knee problems, he’s the ‘go to guy’ if you want to avoid invasive surgery. I know folks who’ve had rotator cuff issues and gone under the knife, and they still can’t swing a golf club or tennis racket. Habe got hold of me on that count and maybe I’m not Tiger or Roger, but I can play golf and tennis, without pain. Thanks Habe.
– Attentive Waiters/Waitresses…the ones who listen when you order. Not the ones when I ask, ‘How are the tomatoes?’ who say, “Don’t know, don’t eat ‘em.” Yep, that actually happened at The Lodge down Hickory way. When any of us ask a waitress a question regarding the food the best thing is to just give an honest answer…and believe me, there’s nothing wrong with saying, “I don’t know, but I can try to find out.”
– Wooden Backscratchers…the single folks’ best friend…need I say more? A locksmith I know even carries one in his service van, for those itches while on the road. There are several around the house at Rustica from nearly every souvenir stand I’ve visited around the world.
– JetStream uniball pens…honestly my penmanship is better when I write with one…and my penmanship is pretty bad.
– Thankful for getting up and out of bed every morning. These days, the creaks and ailments can magnify and it’s refreshing to get out of bed and start the day. Many of my friends can no longer do that and as long as I’m able, I’m surely thankful to walk this earth and be able to visit them.
That’s about it for now. As soon as I wind this column up you can bet there will be more things to be thankful for. Matter of fact there is, already…I’m thankful for the folks who read this column and when we meet up from time to time they tell me they enjoy it. Thanks to you one and all…
Todd Holden writes from his home, takes notes on the spot, doesn’t do ‘shorthand,‘ and spits at people who are texting when the light turns green.