Giving thanks more than once a year

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A wonderful little boy told me the other day, “It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving Day to say what you are thankful for. My teacher telled me that.”
On the day this little fellow told me this, we were in the throes of our first blast of winter, complete with howling winds and blowing snow.
I asked him, “What are you thankful for?” and his answer surprised me.
“Um … grass when it is green, not white. And Burger King, but not for breakfast, because they don’t have kids’ meals for breakfast. No toys for breakfast. Remember that, OK?”
When I got up, for the second time, this morning, I awoke to the wonderful scent of turkey roasting in the oven. It was worth getting up in the middle of the night to prepare and stuff that turkey, if for no other reason than to awake at a normal hour to that wonderful aroma.
And I couldn’t help but think, “This is a pretty big thing to be thankful for, no matter what day of the year it might be!” My house was toasty warm, my children were asleep in their cozy beds as a blizzard brews outside, and a peaceful day lies ahead.
Staying home. Life tends to be pretty hectic for everyone anymore. When a day comes along that allows us to stay home together with our family and block the rest of the demands of the world, that is a very good thing.
I am grateful for two kids who are working hard in school, tackling some tough subjects and bringing home impressive grade cards.
I am grateful that they are responsible, kind, caring people. I am grateful that they appreciate what they have. I am grateful that they love me and aren’t afraid to say so, even in front of other people.
I am grateful for family.
I appreciate more and more with each passing year the fact that I was raised in a secure home. I listen to horror stories from young girls who I work with, and wonder how they survived such chaos, such abuse, such unimaginable insecurities as innocent children.
I am grateful for all of my jobs. I am grateful for the health and vitality to accomplish them all, day in and day out.
I am grateful for memories. I think of all the times I have shared memories with you all, my Farm and Dairy family, and I am touched when I receive nice notes, saying that these memories are enjoyed and appreciated.
I am grateful for those kind notes, and am thankful to have a Farm and Dairy family.
Thankful for pets. When I count my blessings, I always count my wonderful companion pets, too. I cannot imagine my life without them, not even for a minute.
I am a dog-lover from way back, and perhaps that early connection with a little fawn-colored Pekingese who gave me undying love and friendship within a large family helped to mold me into the person I have become.
I could count on Chippi Chan to listen to my complaints, my heartaches, my triumphs and terrors. When no one else had time, Chippi had all the time in the world, just for me.
All of this adds up to the fact that I am grateful for well-grounded tranquility and security in a world that seems so unsettled.
That is a whole lot to be thankful for, no matter what day of the year it is!

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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, in college.

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