If any of you have not read Ashley Biles’ column in last Friday’s issue of The Times, I implore you to go back and read it before continuing on here. It was not only the best column she has ever written (and she’s written some good ones before), but one of the best columns I’ve seen anywhere in a while. It dealt with being thankful for those things we are not always initially thankful for. It is such a great column that I am shamelessly ripping it off here, with just a few things I’m thankful for.
I’m thankful for Jack, our oldest dog, constantly whining to be picked up and put on the couch, then for constantly nudging my hand and putting his paw on me, wanting me to love on him. It didn’t used to be so annoying back when he could jump up on the couch by himself, but his arthritis is getting worse and he can’t jump up by himself anymore. Plus, he can’t sit or lay down in one place too long, so he’s constantly jumping down and wanting back up. But I’m still thankful because Jack is the epitome of unconditional love, always there for us, wanting to be with us, and wanting relatively very little in return.
I’m thankful for Angel, our other dog, because… hmmm… this could be a tough one. Angel is a cute little Pomeranian who will have been with us a year in January. She is a rescue (as is Jack) and is very distrustful of men (me in particular), and the outdoors. The only way she will go outside is if Becky or I pick her up and take her outside. And most of the time, she wants back in immediately, usually before she’s done what she’s supposed to do outside. This, of course, means that she has a lot of ‘accidents’ inside the house that we are constantly having to clean up.
Then there is the picking her up part. If it weren’t for an unfortunate accident of another kind last winter, I would probably never pick her up, because if she is on the floor, she runs from me. Angel and Jack sleep in the bed with us. One morning, Becky left before I did, and didn’t get Angel down. I went to pick her up and she ran from me and decided to jump off the bed rather than have me get her down. She misjudged her landing and broke one of her legs. It has healed completely, but now, she’s is afraid to jump down off of anything! The good thing is, if she is up on the couch when they need to go out, I can get her because she’s afraid to jump down. I guess I’m thankful for her because I don’t have to bend down so far to pick her up (just to the couch and not the floor) and because she reminds me to keep my shoes on (remember the ‘accidents?’).
I’m thankful for the extremely annoying sound of the seatbelt unfastened buzzer in Gene’s truck. I hear it every time Sheila calls me. The buzzer is constantly going off while we’re talking on the phone and at times, it drives me absolutely batty. One time I even told Sheila I would not talk to her until she either buckled up (which she needs to do all the time), or got to where she was going and turned the truck off, just so that buzzer would stop. Still, I’m glad to hear it, because when I do, I know that one of my best friends is calling me, and I’m thankful to have her in my life.
Finally, I’m thankful for my wife Becky, who is still around despite all the annoying things I do to her. I’m thankful that after 30 years of long work weeks filled with night meetings and weekend work, relatively few long vacations, failing to get the hair out of the tub after a shower and out of the sink after shaving, and endless nights filled with the rumble of freight trains and roar of tornadoes (what she says my snoring sounds like), she’s still here. I’m thankful for that because I love her and know how lonely life would be without her.
What are you thankful for?