Today is Thanksgiving in Canada, and I for one have a huge amount to be thankful for.
Without doubt the most important thing I can be thankful for was to have the wisdom to select and marry my wife Joan some 57 years ago! After that comes the rest of my family and their family. Along with that of course, comes the fact that generally speaking we have enjoyed good health. That is not to say that we have not had our health problems, but thanks to some great medical people and some genetic luck, we have survived to this point. We have our aches and minor pains, get a cold like anybody else, but I consider our family to be healthy. At the moment none of us are facing any life threats, other than old age. I will be 80 within the next 60 days. But even so, I believe I won the life lottery.
I am thankful that I was lucky enough to find work at General Motors of Canada for over 30 years, working with some great people in a great company, That luck allowed us to feed and educate our family, pay taxes to our government that provided the infrastructure for us all. It has also provided a good life in my retirement. By that I mean, that we are comfortable, but we do not, nor do we ever intend to take round the world cruises. We have cruised, and travelled to be sure, but we are careful with what we spend. I am grateful for having had the opportunity.
I am thankful, that we are fortunate to have a good warm home to live in, that we have access to clean water, electricity that we can always rely on, and local shops that offer clothing and fresh food on a regular basis. There are many people in my wider Canadian community, too many in fact that cannot make that statement.
I am thankful that our governing bodies have recognized that some people are homeless, and so have taken steps to provide at least a level of living similar to what we enjoy and take for granted. Progress is being made, but it is slow, and I think it would be a good idea that we make an extra effort at home in Canada to speed up the resolution to the homeless problem. One step might be to redirect all the money we ship off shore to countries that do not like us much, and where the bucks often go into arms and the country leader. The resident population gets nada.
I am thankful for the opportunity to live as we do, right against the Rocky Mountains, where within an hours drive we can embrace some of the most magnificent mountain views in the world. I am thankful that when it is really cold and snowy, we can escape to another world of warm. We can not only cruise to warmer climes, but we can rub shoulders with people who live very well, but with a different outlook on their day than we might.
I am thankful too for the ability to travel at all in our world, and to do so in an orderly manner with little in the way of restriction. There are a lot of places that I will never visit, nor do I wish to, due to restrictive regimes, war, and generally backward policies that lead to poor education, and hence backward destructive policies and lifestyle.
In keeping with the previous thought, I am thankful for having met with and learned from so many immigrants that have come to Canada, and who have and continue to contribute so much to the fabric of our country. From China to the Philippines and more, these folks have all brought a work ethic that speaks to work had and improvement, for themselves and in doing so they improve our country.
I am thankful for a health care system that does look after our needs medically. From when it started by Tommy Douglas, it has been a work in progress, and continues to this day. Once one is finally in the system after the delays and waits, one is given what may be considered the best health care in the world. It will get better in time, but in the meantime we have to live with all the layers of bureaucracy, that rob the system of financial resources. It is still pretty great though, compared with the very costly US system, that leaves some 30 million Americans without health care. So much for the wealthiest nation in the world, for now anyway.
I am thankful for the community we live in. We made the move to our present home just over 15 years ago. It is an age 50 plus community. We are therefore among people of like desires and needs. It has been tended in a landscape way by one of our residents who works tirelessly to keep our grounds looking first class. He is assisted by a small group of folks who make sure their section is always looking good. I am thankful for all this sense of community we have. It is quite a happy place.
All has not been well in our province this year. We were unlucky enough to experience the worst floods in southern Alberta that are on record. Having said that, I was amazed and thankful at the outpouring of help, and volunteering that was provided by hundreds and hundreds of ordinary Albertans of all stripes. So out of adversity we were able to collectively put forth a huge effort to look after the victims of the floods. I ma thankful for that, and I am thankful that while there was some lives lost in the floods, it could have been a lot worse. I was impressed also by our various levels of government who rose to the occasion. Our own CEMA, in the city handled the flood an a very professional manner. Our political leaders out performed I think. They were everywhere making sure that people were safe, and were being looked after. The whole flood scene made me feel proud to be an Albertan!
I am thankful for all my email friends who have contributed to keeping me informed sometimes, keeping me amused at others, and occasionally sending something that makes me think. Some of my email buddies are the same kids I went to school with, some are from all over the world I have met on line, some from our travels, some I worked with, and some as close as next door. My life is richer I think or all of them.
So, there is is, I am thankful and grateful on this Canadian Thanksgiving Day for all of this and more. I know there are many other things I could write about being grateful for, but I considered this to be enough for now. I felt compelled to write it down, and maybe if you read this, you may feel compelled to think about all the ways you are thankful for what you have. And I assure you, you will have a lot, when you think about it!
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.”
Ain’t love grand?
I think you will agree that this snippet of courtroom conversation from the US of A is a veritable Valentine.
Q: Mrs. Smith, on your direct examination, you stated that your husband was unkind in his remarks to you. It is a fact, is it not, that he would tell you he loved you?
A: Yes, but it was the way he said it. I would ask him if he loved me and he would say, "Of course, I love you. Can’t you get that through your damned fat head?"
Have a Great Thanksgiving Day, and be nice to one another.