A wood burning cook stove held a place in the corner of my Mom’s kitchen. When my middle brother headed off for the Army, I inherited the responsibility to kindle the fire in it every morning. After, of course Mom roused me from beneath the pile of quilts that made up my bed.
Mom’s kitchen was warmed by that old stove whether she cooked anything on it or not. She did have an electric range sitting on the other side of the kitchen. It warmed with the flip of a switch, but certainly lacked the character of the wood burner. My bucket list includes a kitchen with a wood burning cooking stove, if for no other reason but to keep alive cherished memories.
I often find myself thinking of those days. We called them simpler times, a time when life was not so complicated. Truth is the times seem more complicated today than they did last year, or last month or even last week. Times change, but people mostly remain the same.
At this time for giving thanks, we have difficulty deciding for what we should be thankful. Some of us even ponder to whom or to what we should be thankful. I do not know any man or woman’s heart in that regard so I will leave the question to whom or what as something each of us might ponder. It is a time for thankfulness, but so too is it a time for introspect.
Thanksgiving was a special time when I was growing up. Mom’s kitchen was a busy place and even the old wood burner would see some work. We did not run to the store for turkey or ham and there was really no telling what might turn up on the table for dinner. I remember birds losing their heads over the matter, being scalded, plucked, singed, dressed and put in the oven. There would be ham from a hog that I dutifully slopped one time or another and as hunting season was on there was no anticipating what else might show up. As long as there was Mom’s potato salad, sweet potatoes, banana pudding, chocolate pie and big fat yeast rolls, I was set. It was a time to be thankful and I was taught a time to count my many blessings and to count them one by one.
I am thankful that I was born an American. I am thankful for our founders and their brilliance in examining the reasons other nations and forms of government failed and from that examination designing for us the most effective form of government ever. It is a system designed to right itself when led astray by unscrupulous people, but as they warned us a government that only works for a moral, law abiding citizenry.
I am thankful for the men and women who sacrificed throughout our nation’s history, from the very beginning up to this very day to secure and preserve freedom in this land and others.
I am thankful for the honesty of those I count as my friends. Friends who do not fear telling me the truth, otherwise they would not be friends.
In this life, I certainly feel blessed and certainly more than I deserve. Through life’s trials, situations that for me could have turned disastrous did not. There have been times when I have felt wronged or to some degree rejected only to find the new path on which I was placed a better one – the right one. I believe we all have a path to travel and as long as we stay on the right trail things will work out. I am thankful for that bit of life’s wisdom and my belief of its origin.
I am thankful for the family values taught me at times of lighting that wood burner and the honesty and work ethic I saw each day from my Dad. I am thankful for the best wife, son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren a man could be blessed to have.
I am thankful for the faith that just as people find the right path to travel our country will also find its way.
Take time to gives thanks this week. Count your many blessings. Count them one by one.
To your family from mine, have a blessed Thanksgiving.
© J. D. Pendry 2014 American Journal