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Itching to be Thankful

What I'm thankful for ... 'cause it's that time of the year, whether I like it or not.

SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK
Some years, it’s difficult to write a Thanksgiving column. In a time of war, domestic strife, scandal, and disaster, it can be hard to remind yourself of the things we should be thankful for.
Also, while covered from head to waist in poison ivy.
Let me be frank. Right now I don’t care if I live in a great country. If someone can make this itching go away, I won’t care if I live in Outer friggin’ Mongolia. If someone can both make the itching go away and explain how I got poison ivy in the first place, I’ll see to it they get the Congressional Medal of Honor.
But what the heck, I’ll give thankfulness a shot. Let’s avoid the obvious, though – the stuff that’s been covered more than my body’s covered in rash. Here are some of the more unusual things I’m thankful for:
I’m thankful there are morons in the world. It makes me seem smarter. I’m of only average intelligence, but every time a person gets in the news for doing something really stupid, it makes me seem more like a poster child for MENSA.
So, keep writing your bank robbery note on the back of your own deposit slip. It gives normal people something to talk about.
I’m thankful for deer. Not only do they give hunters something to do between summer and basketball season, but they give drivers good reason to be alert. As I’ve said before, many deer are hit by cars this time of year because the animals can’t stand the thought of going through another Indiana winter, and so they walk out in front of moving vehicles. So, watch out for those suicidal deer.
I’m thankful for the Weather Channel. Who’d have thought 24 hours a day of weather could be entertaining? The forecasts may not be any more accurate than before, but at least we get lots of TV pictures to remind us it’s not so bad where we are.
I’m thankful for political campaigns. They make me feel dirty, which leads me to take more showers, so thanks to politics I’m a cleaner person.
I’m thankful for lawnmowers. Yeah, they’re noisy, they burn gas, they blow up and shower you with white hot metal – well, they do me – but they’re also one of those overlooked signs of our technological greatness. I mean, a machine that cuts your grass! Think about it. It’s part of that wonderful progression, from hunter/gatherer to goats roaming your lawn to reel mowers – and now we have little cars roaming on another planet, collecting dust. Like my last three lawn mowers are.
I’m thankful for trees. Maybe I won’t write poems about them, but I appreciate them. Walk outside, just about anywhere around here, and look around. Now imagine the same scene, without trees. I rest my case.
I’m thankful for family. As long as you have family, you don’t really have to make friends or enemies – you’ve got a ready made soap opera at every family reunion. You can’t choose your family, and that’s part of their charm. And if you think your family’s bad, watch “The Godfather”.
I’m thankful for reality TV. Thanks to that unique fad, I don’t have to waste nearly as much time watching television; in fact, I can just turn it off and – gasp -- read a book.
Speaking of which, I’m thankful for those lists of banned books that people assemble from time to time. Thanks to them, I don’t have to look for something to read: I can just go down the list.
I’m thankful I can.
I’m thankful for computers. They drive me crazy; they’re time consuming; they’re costly. But you know, if my writing is any good (I’m told the jury’s still out), it’s that much better because I can go in and, with a tap on the keyboard, replace a phrase with its much better cousin. When you’re pounding on a typewriter and have to retype an entire page if you change one word, you’re not as likely to try to make your work perfect.
Not that I’m perfect, which I’m thankful for.
I’m thankful for neighbors (the good ones). Some say it’s too bad we don’t talk across our neighbor’s fence any more, like in the old days. I think that’s true; we all need to go outside more, connect with our own communities.
But still, I’m thankful for the great people you can meet over the internet, people who aren’t necessarily the same as those who are physically around you. I now have friends of every color, religion, and nationality. Heck, I don’t know if we’d get along in real life – but here, in that electronic universe called cyberspace, we’ve still become friends in the truest sense of the word.
I’ve also connected with old friends, and family members who I’d be too lazy to get in touch with otherwise. Maybe it’s the lazy man’s communication – but it’s still communication. I’ve been exposed to the thoughts of men and women from Malaysia to Canada, from England to the Phillipines, and from half the states in the good old US of A. I can’t even guess where some of them are, and that’s significant. Why? Because I’ve discovered that, stripped of preconceived notions, people are just people – all over.
Isn’t that something?
So, despite everything going on in this world, there’s still plenty to be thankful for. I’m – um – thankful for that. Heck, like the stereotypical Pollyanna, I can even find reason to be thankful for poison ivy …
Because it’ll be oh, so nice when it’s gone.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
curiouswombat
Nov. 18th, 2005 08:28 am (UTC)
I’m thankful there are morons in the world. It makes me seem smarter. I’m of only average intelligence, but every time a person gets in the news for doing something really stupid, it makes me seem more like a poster child for MENSA.

Yes! Don't they? (I don't mean isn't it wonderful that they make YOU look clever - I mean as a general thing!! You know what I mean!)
ozma914
Nov. 18th, 2005 11:13 am (UTC)
It's all relative.
Yeah, I know what you mean. :-) But then, sometimes I have to look around at people and wonder if any of them are hanging around me because it makes *them* look smarter.
frimfram
Nov. 18th, 2005 10:51 am (UTC)
I think I like the lawnmowers comment best. And to illustrate cultural diversity, I don't even have one, not least because I don't have a lawn. /tinytim
I have to be content with a vaccuum cleaner that works not by sucking up dirt, but by crushing the dirt into infinitesimal fragments when you roll the machine's tremendous weight over it, breaking both your arms in the process.

I can even find reason to be thankful for poison ivy …
Because it’ll be oh, so nice when it’s gone.

Eep, get well soon. We don't have it here, so I don't know anything about the stuff. How long does the allergy take to clear up?
ozma914
Nov. 18th, 2005 11:11 am (UTC)
You don't have poison ivy there??? It's paradise.
Actually, it's fading now because I broke down and went to the doctor, begging for medicine. On me, poison ivy generally hangs on for about two weeks, and because I'm a bit more sensitive than most people it's pretty unpleasant.
The medicine made me kind of queazy, though. What can you do? :-)
frimfram
Nov. 18th, 2005 11:45 am (UTC)
The original Albion!
Heh. We're pretty lucky with the climate and geography here. Not much of the wildlife can actually do you any damage. No dangerous animals, no poisonous plants. I think it's to do with the reason we all chat about the weather so much. Sure, it changes all the time, but it never changes into anything incredibly deadly. You can greet someone with "Brrrr, bit windy, isn't it?", knowing they very likely won't shrug and say "Blew the roof off my house! I'm homeless and destitute now!" Which, you know, conversation killer :)

Sorry the medicine is unpleasant. I hear spoonful of sugar is good in these circumstances...
ozma914
Nov. 18th, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
weather country
Come to think of it, I recall reading that John Smith and the Jamestown settlers were surprised to encounter poison ivy as they explored the New World; that would have been the early 1600's, I believe. I wonder if they thought it was some kind of curse?

The early American settlers were a bit surprised by the whole tornado thing, too. Well, one thing you can say about my country; there's always something interesting going on. Just not necessarily a *good* interesting ...
And yes, I have encountered those times when I had a good sob story to tell about my misfortunes, only to encounter "my boat got sunk and my dog carried away by a water spout!" or some such thing.
ozma914
Nov. 24th, 2005 07:03 am (UTC)
I've lived in a few apartments, and I think I prefer the lawn. Not the least of which because the neighbors aren't quite as close. But there is that mowing thing ...

I thought MY vaccuum cleaner was bad!
hieispike
Nov. 18th, 2005 03:58 pm (UTC)
despite everything going on in this world, there’s still plenty to be thankful for

Yeah... even with all the little things that annoy us or upset us, we're still pretty darn lucky compared to a lot of people.
ozma914
Nov. 18th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
There's always chocolate
Here, here.
cbtreks
Nov. 18th, 2005 06:21 pm (UTC)
I’m thankful for family. As long as you have family, you don’t really have to make friends or enemies – you’ve got a ready made soap opera at every family reunion. You can’t choose your family, and that’s part of their charm. And if you think your family’s bad, watch “The Godfather”.

Truer words.... I love my family, I miss them and wish I lived closer - but sometimes, when I'm talking long distance with my sisters and they're recounting the antics of my assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins, I get to thinking "hmmm, 2000 miles - not so bad!"
ozma914
Nov. 18th, 2005 10:14 pm (UTC)
Long Distance
2,000 miles -- wow. I know some times when I'v wanted to move that far just to get away from them, but I don't think I'd like that for long. Unless it was way, way warmer than here. Then I could learn to adjust. :-)
synaptikchaos
Nov. 18th, 2005 11:41 pm (UTC)
freakin LJ and its lack of edit feature!
...animals can’t stand the thought of going through another Indiana winter, and so they walk out in front of moving vehicles. So, watch out for those suicidal deer.

That explains why I haven't seen any deer in Wisconsin.

ozma914
Nov. 19th, 2005 07:05 am (UTC)
drive safe
It could be they're all migrating south. We've been getting 6-10 car-deer accidents every day in Noble County.
mygothangel
Jan. 14th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
still hopelessly addicted...

PS interesting music choice *g*
ozma914
Jan. 15th, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
Since I work in a dispatch center and hear constant radio traffic for 8 hours a day, I don't generally turn my scanner at home on. I don't remember why it was in that case; most likely I heard some sirens and turned it on to figure out what was going on.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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