Among the things that I'm thankful for is that my Mom's health is good as can be expected for 77 years old. It is great to see my Mom so active and surrounded by a great group of friends.
She enjoys the card games, the bunko games, the lunches, the time together, it is a a great thing to see her happy. She deserves it.
Life is not always fair, and my mom paid her dues in many ways. It's nice to see that my grandfather was right when he said, "God doesn't sleep. He takes care those who have earned it - either way."
My mom has earned a good life. And yes, I'm thankful that now she's living the life she was denied for so long. No one should be denied being happy.
My wife is a good woman. I met her right after my divorce and she has been both friend and wonderful companion ever since. I didn't know how she would like living out here in the so-called "boonies." Yes, Glencoe is considered the Boonies by many - even out here.
Glencoe is definitely the country, but it's also the mountains - and yes, some say we are the "back woods" or the "back country." Our population hasn't changed much in years, in fact we keep being threatened with loosing our Post Office because our population is so small. And coming from the Bay Area, my wife has had to make adjustments.
I'm thankful that she has. Like a fish taking to water, like a horse to hay, like a country-girl waiting to be shown a place of her own, she is happy out here.
My grandfather once told me that a man was more than just someone who could drink and fight. He said a man is someone who can take care of his responsibilities before himself, and that caring that his family was well cared for was really the true test of being a man. So yes, no kidding, I'm very thankful that she is happy here.
I'm thankful that my In-Laws are great people, and yes, I thank God that we get along so well. It is the truth that I actually start missing them right after they leave for home after visiting for a weekend. They like it up here, the quiet appeals to them, the freedom and space, I know it feels like their private Bed and Breakfast.
Where my father-in-law comes up and has to unwind some when he first gets here, that's not the way it is for my mother-in-law. He's a good guy and friend, a shooter, a smart man, knows more than most mechanical engineers that I've known, and he definitely has a sense of humor that can be over the top sometimes - but then again, can't we all. Yes, he is a good guy.
My mother-in-law takes in the mountains as if she were born in them. It might me her Kentucky heritage, American Indian blood, her all American "We can do it" attitude, he closeness to her daughter that makes her at home here. And yes my friends, having family feel at home in my home is a big deal to me. I'm thankful that that is the way things are around here.
I've been here in Glencoe over a decade now, and it's only been in the last 2 years that I've gotten to know more of the folks around these parts. Mostly its due to my volunteering at the American Legion, and yes being volunteered for a position within the post has made a big difference to how busy I am with the post.
I'm thankful for so much these days. Sure this year I've had another concussion from another fall from a horse, screwed up my neck and shoulder after Murphy whacked me a good one, and of course a week ago I just about broke my leg.
But really, I'm still thankful. I have friends like Curtis Janto who asked me to a part of his wedding. I was shocked that he'd want to old codger in his wedding party, after all, he is old enough to be my son. But I was part6 of their beautiful day, and I feel blessed to have been a part of it.
I talked with Curtis a few days ago, we laughed about this and that - but I can tell he is now taking his new role as husband in the right way. He is a good man, and his dad Mike has all the reasons in the world to be proud of him.
Curtis has the ability to right himself when things are not going in a positive manner. That in itself takes a real talent to do. It is done by first letting go of what is throwing you off center and grabbing onto what you need to right yourself. Identifying which is which is part of the trick. Saying to yourself that you were wrong about something and making changes to get on the correct path can be difficult. Most times egos get in the way, but seeing the harm that might take place if you don't make things right - that can motivate you into action.
Obama has none of these abilities, but thank God that Curtis does. Curtis can see what he needs that to do to get ahead, and that will make him a good provider and husband. He will always be a great son and friend, and yes I'm thankful for that.
Then there's Larry Bruns and Steve Duman. They put up with my crazy ideas at the post. And yes, I'm very thankful that we got the post painted and have we've now started on the kitchen. It is amazing to think what can be done with the right eye and attitude.
Those who see what needs to be done, and have the attitude that they themselves can do it, even alone if have to, they get things done. That attitude is always a magnet to those like minded people who have the same desire. And yes, I'm very thankful that Larry and Steve are like minded great friends.
As Second Vice Commander of our post, I'm in charge of the bar and the kitchen - and volunteers make it go. So yes, I'm very thankful that Chris stepped forward to help. He really is my saving grace around there.
Talking about Steve Duman, he showed up on my property this morning. He said he knew that I've bummed up my leg and that I might need some help. He knew that I've needed some help to get my barn squared away. Today, with his help, we did just that and everything looks great. I couldn't thank him enough.
I told him so and Steve simply said, "that's what friends do for friends!" Hes' right, and I'm thankful for his friendship. He is one great guy!
I find solace in seeing that our little piece of the world up here is fairly squared away. Most folks up here work to keep it that way. Sure some call us "Hicks" - but so what! Heck, I've been called a lot worse than that - even lately as a matter of fact.
Yes, even our small American Legion post has its problems. Minor usually, nothing big really. Lately it's with a fouled mouth individual who has pushed the envelope for a long time now.
He is around 65, and surprisingly he still hasn't learned the real facts about swearing. Fact is that I'm sort of shocked that he has never learned that foul language and swearing up a storm loses its shock value after you use it more than once or twice. And really, people really stop paying attention to what you're saying - and really start paying more attention to what kind of ignorant boob you are when you swear every other word.
Of course, if your parents swore a lot than it's probably true that you swear a lot. And of course if you were in the military, than you probably perfected your swearing to an art form. And that was probably great when you were talking with other 18 to 20 year olds who all probably talked just like you, but of course your probably weren't around women and children when you talked like that. If it was, or is, then too bad and shame on you.
But for a man in his mid 60s, you would think that at some point in his life that he would have had to deal with regular people - you know, adults? I mean, I remember going home on leave once while I was in the Marine Corps and saying "pass the #$%@& the potatoes" at my mom's dinner table.
I remember how that was an educational experience - to say the least. It was an instant awakening to what is OK around my Marine buddies, and what was not OK around everyone else. I never forgot the lesson or the embarrassment.
But even in the Marine Corps, I remember finding out that there was a difference between swearing a blue streak when we were out in the field as a young Lance Corporal - and later attending a Platoon Commanders meeting with all Staff NCO and Officers in attendance. I learned quickly that when in Rome, try to show a little Class. Besides, I found out that no one really pays any attention to you if you use nothing but foul language.
As for foul language coming from an old man, well it sure shows people that age hasn't taught him very much at all. Heck, if by the age of 60 he really needs to swear to get your point across - then he must really have a problem with speaking clearly and understandably. Of course, like with some these days, maybe his problem is that he may be time to lay off the drugs and the dope, and stop hanging out with bloody idiots.
But really, I'm thankful that we only have one swearing senior citizen around these parts. At least only one like the one who I'm thinking about. The guy can't put together a full sentence without swearing every other word. And the real irony? Well the real irony is that the guy can't understand how his foul mouth is very offensive to the men and women around him! Imagine that!
Now that I'm talking about my dislike for foul language around women and children, I'm sure someone out there is going to write and say, "Hey, what kind of Marine are you that doesn't swear?"
Well, let me make something clear here, I swear. In fact, I started swearing a blue streak the other day when I almost broke my leg - but I'm not talking about that moment when you cuss because you hit your thumb with a hammer - I'm talking about everyday conversation, and especially when women and children are present. During everyday conversation, let's be honest here, there is very little need for it to make your point.
And yes, I'm thankful for that! But of course, there are other things to be thankful for.
I was sent a News Article about a massive wildfire in Arizona that has burnt down more than 30 homes and has forced nearly 10,000 Americans to evacuate their homes. I was sent the article because someone wanted me to comment on it simply because the people who started the fires are Illegal Aliens who are crossing the Southeastern Arizona desert.
So what can I say about it that Americans haven't heard? This is the same Illegal aliens, who the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which is the investigative arm of Congress says has purposely started multiple wildfires in a five year period with the intention of destroying homes and killing Americans.
It is a form of attacking Americans. It is a form of Terrorism. And no, I've never said that only Muslims are Terrorists. This is Terrorism from across our Southern border. It is a way of attacking Americans in an attempt to kill us!
But wait, the whole idea that it is vital to secure our southern border is something Obama does not want to acknowledge. The Obama Administration and the Democrat Party look to these same people who are starting these fires as prospective Democrat voters!
This is an attack on American soil. And yes, I wish Obama would find the courage to go to Arizona and Texas, and face the people down there, and tell those 10,000 Americans who had to be evacuated their homes that he is honestly and truly doing all that he can do to secure the border to stop these sorts of attacks.
Really folks, if this is all that Obama can do to solve the problem - then he is pathetic!
And yes, that brings me to something that I'm thankful for this year. The fact is that I'm thankful that Barak Hussein Obama only has one more year in office, and you bet that I'm extremely thankful for that.
Maybe after he leaves office, he can go home to Kenya and open up a Golf Course and New United Nations building there. Then again, maybe after he's in office he can just go back to Chicago where in-action and impotence is considered a great job - and pathetic politics is the way of life.
Story by Tom Correa