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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



     It’s one of those crazy weeks during the year when we are granted with a shortened work week, and feel the brunt of “buy it now” capitalism thrust upon us in a major way.  What tends to get lost in the shuffle is a small little holiday that was started as a thank you party for the peoples who helped the colonists to survive their first year in the new world.  Incidentally it was the same peoples who the colonists later killed and stole land from, but let’s keep within the spirit and take a few minutes to be thankful. 
    In my younger days I once dated a young lady whose family had a tradition that no one could eat until they had gone completely around the room giving each person a chance to say what they were thankful for.  I only survived this because I had been hardened by years of Uncle Paul saying grace at the annual James reunion but I did note that it was the only Thanksgiving I ever attended where people took a nap before they ate.
     So in order for all of us to make it to the sweet potatoes on time this year, I decided to share with you a few things I’m thankful for here and hope you’ll take the time to give thanks yourself.  Let’s get started shall we?

  1. I am thankful to be a Cyclone.  Oh sure, it is easy to say that after last week’s game against the steam roller that is OSU, but I sat through the Walden years.  Through countless hours of harassment from Hawkeye fans.  Through games against the Cornhuskers where the 50 point rule should have been in affect.  However, through it all I’ve been loyal and I’m proud to be ONE.
  2. I’m thankful for children.  Not only my own, although they are truly a blessing, but children in general.  It is amazing to think just how enriched our lives are because of them.  From sitting through dance recitals to seeing them throw a monster block against a defender, to the day you suddenly realize that they know much more than you do, our lives are constantly impacted by these little people.
  3. I’m thankful for family.  Both the kind that you can’t get rid of and the ones who come into your lives and become like family. 
  4. I’m thankful for the ability to laugh at myself and to get back up when I’ve been knocked down.  Of course, I would much rather go through life without the knock down part, but without those times, I wouldn’t truly understand the times when I’ve truly succeeded. 
  5. I’m thankful for doughnuts and road trips.  Both are easy ways to start conversations and friendships.
  6. I’m thankful to live here, in Iowa, surrounded by the beauty of the land.  It may not be a showy place, or even “hip” but it’s home, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
  7. I’m thankful for HIS gifts.  From the moments when He rejoices with me, to the days He admonishes me to “be still”, to the times when He has picked me up and  carried me; I know that I’m never alone.
  8. I’m thankful for you.  Yes you!  For each of you that pick up a paper each week or long online and read this column, I’m thankful for you.  I wouldn’t be able to share without you.
  9. I’m thankful for the people I have surrounded myself with.  Who understand what it means to be honest, trustworthy and faithful.  I’m also thankful for the people who I no longer have in my life who showed me the opposite so I would know the difference. 
  10. Finally this week, I’m thankful for having hope.  The hope in a new day, in new people, in peace and in love.  Without hope, we live on the edge of death. With that hope it makes me realize every day that our time here is limited.  Not all of our experiences will be good ones and not every day will be well lived, but with hope I know that each morning I have the opportunity to start anew and to make a difference in the lives of those around me. 

     See you next week…Remember, we’re all in this together.