Gripes aside, plenty to be thankful for

Thursday is Thanksgiving Day.

So how thankful am I?

I’m not really one to sit down in a quiet spot and contemplate things to great depth €“ unless I’m hunting or fishing.

But hunting season takes place immediately prior to Thanksgiving and, when one is trudging up the lonely mountain paths and there are zero deer showing themselves, one’s mind tends to wander from the “zone” of high alertness that one should maintain.

So recently, as I was trudging up a lonely mountain path €“ it may have been that day when the rain was blowing horizontally across the land €“ the question popped into my mind after several hours of futility: How thankful am I, really?

It’s a good question to ask, if you think about it. Despite the unpleasant things we complain about: a bad economy; the flu;

blackberries; malfunctioning vehicles; poor service; whoever happens to be in office; the weather; wayward relatives; wayward acquaintances; medical bills; etc., we have plenty we should be thankful for.

What do I have to be thankful for this year? I’m not really into lists, but I decided to make this one. It, obviously, won’t be comprehensive, but it’s a start.

Food. When I look at how photos of how other people live, picking through the sand to find seeds to feed their distended bellies, I’m reminded that we have it really good.

Yes, there are problems with our food system. Yes, people get sick from bacteria-tainted meat, or peanuts, or whatever. But considering how those things happen to a few people once or twice a year in a nation of 308 million people, things are really pretty good.

Clothing. We have it better now than anyone in the history of the world has when it comes to dressing ourselves. Imagine, if I had to find and kill a deer just to clothe myself. Not only would that require hunting skills that I apparently lack, but I’d have to skin it, spend weeks scraping and drying and tanning the hide. Then I’d have to figure out how to sew it all together.

Hmmm, I could do all that or I could go to the local store and buy some blackberry thorn-resistant, breathable, water-resistant, insulated gear that is colored to blend in with the surrounding landscape. I could do this with the money I could make in one day working at the lowest pay rate allowed by law. Really, it’s a pretty sweet deal.

Plus, in this system the women in my household can have all the shoes they want