Six Things I’m Thankful For
1. Black Friday
Ordinarily I don’t like any type of event that causes me to get out of bed before noon. And the idea of waking up at 2 a.m. to go shopping while slugging my way through the door has not appealed to me in the past. Some stores give away beautiful snowglobes to the first 50 or so customers racing through their doors on Black Friday. Even that incentive hasn’t encouraged me to experience this fun Friday affair after Thanksgiving. However, I need a pre-lit Christmas tree and I don’t want to spend the big bucks (some cost $1,000). I called Lowes and asked the saleslady if they planned to discount their Christmas trees for Black Friday. “Some,” she said. I asked her when the store opens on that day. “Last year it was 5 a.m., so I think that’s the time it will be this year,” she said. “Oh no!” I wailed, “You’re not serious!” She replied, “You think that’s bad! I have to be here at 4:30 a.m.” Then she wailed. I suddenly felt like we were kindred spirits at this point, so I asked if I could call her a few days before Black Friday to see what trees would be on sale. “Sure,” she said and told me her name is Connie. Even though I now have a friend at Lowes, I’m feeling stress at the thought of waking when it’s still dark outside to get dressed and make the 40 minute drive to Lowes. Really, is a Christmas tree that important? Why don’t I get a 90-inch TV at Best Buy while I’m at it…to make my suffering worthwhile. Even so, I’m thankful for Black Friday as we didn’t have this shopping event after Thanksgiving when I was a kid. Actually we didn’t have fake Christmas trees that look better than fresh-cut trees… like we have today. Back then, fake Christmas trees had branches made of aluminum foil, some had big globs of white, pasty stuff to resemble snow. If you had a fake Christmas tree back then, people actually felt sorry for you. They would whisper to one another, “Do you know Mrs. Smith has one of those artificial trees! Oh poor Mrs. Smith. I can’t even fathom the pain she must feel having to look at that thing on Christmas morning!” Today, fake Christmas trees look exactly like the perfect Christmas tree you always dreamed of but couldn’t find at a Christmas tree lot. Even better, they don’t get pine needles on the floor and don’t need water. You can even spray them with pine scent that smells like the pine woods. How wonderful modern times are! And now we have Black Friday to help us buy one of these precious wonders at 5 a.m.
2. Washing Machine
It goes without saying why I’m thankful for this marvelous appliance. If washing machines weren’t invented, we’d have to beat our clothes clean on a rock in a river or creek. This would be difficult for those of us who don’t live near a river or creek. Since I live in the Arizona desert, I’d probably have to wait for rain and then beat Jerry’s jeans in the rain-filled street gutter. Thankfully, we have washing machines. I do miss my LG washing machine I owned when I lived in Washington state. But it was very heavy and Jerry preferred to not drag it to Arizona. So we left it with the new owners of our house. How I miss it! The LG played a happy tune to notify me the clothes-cleaning process had finished. It had a polite, happy nature like, “♫ La, la, your clothes are done and have a happy day. ♫” Now I have a GE washing machine and it doesn’t have a happy nature. Instead it rudely beeps loudly and incessantly. It has an evil nature like, “Get in here ♫ and get these clothes Beeeep-beeeep-beeep ♫ or I’ll annoy you until you Beeeep do.” On the other hand, my washing machine makes up for it’s rude, satan-like tendencies by paying out like a cash cow. It’s better than an ATM or winning slot machine. I find coins in the machine in almost every wash. Quarters, dimes, pennies…they appear out of nowhere at the bottom of the machine. I established long ago that all money I find in the washing machine is mine. Mine, I say. Therefore, I can’t wait to do the laundry no matter how annoying the beeps get. When I hear beeping, I know my personal wealth is growing.
3. We no longer consider instant coffee real coffee
I remember when Taster’s Choice seemed like gourmet coffee. Mmmm, freeze dried coffee! You added hot water to it and voilà–almost like real-tasting coffee! Or so we thought. Today we have coffee that comes in bags and isn’t freeze dried, but fresh-picked from the mountains somewhere in South America. We have organic now, which is a word never used when I was a kid. I recall my mom telling me to wash my apple because it had DDT on it. We took pesticides for granted back then. I’ll certainly be giving thanks this Thanksgiving for my organic Italian brew from beans handpicked in Guatemala or Peru.
4. Things don’t always happen for a reason
When my sister, niece and I found ourselves stranded in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport after midnight last summer, people suggested this happened to us for a reason. I tried hard to think what the reason might be. For what reason were we stranded, with no help from the airlines, after missing our connecting flight? What meaning was there to fending for ourselves in an almost empty airport late at night? I couldn’t think of any reason. “Maybe there is no reason,” suggested my friend Phyllis. Oh! That’s the best reason I had heard. The reason is there is no reason. I felt such peace after she said this. I no longer struggled with seeking life’s meaning to my missed flight and the purpose behind wandering the empty airport in Minneapolis. I suddenly felt free to go on to happier thoughts, like my next trip to a faraway place, the one that has no connecting flights in Minneapolis.
5. Dr. Seuss
If it weren’t for Dr. Seuss, I may have never been excited about reading. My life changed when my first grade teacher, Mrs. McNicholas, read The Cat in the Hat to our class. I pleaded with my mom to buy me the book so I could read about the Cat’s adventures by myself at home. She bought the book and I learned to read it. The whimsical cat with the tall red and white-striped hat ignited my love of reading. And if that hadn’t happened, I would have never entered the Goodreads challenge this year, setting a goal to read 52 books in 2015. I’m way behind in this challenge, and I blame it on Delta airlines causing me such stress that I didn’t feel like reading for a month.
“The more that you read,
The more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
The more places you’ll go.”
I wouldn’t want to live in a world without humor. Can you imagine what that would be like? Ellen Degeneres wouldn’t be well-known or have a talk show. She’d probably be working at the post office saying things to people (with a serious look), “Do you want priority mail? Do you want stamps with that? We have the Farmers Market Forever stamps series featuring tomatoes and corn and cantaloupes.” In addition, knock-knock jokes wouldn’t exist. We certainly wouldn’t have 20 whoopee cushion sounds on Youtube videos. I dare you to watch and listen to these various whoopee videos without cracking a smile. Which reminds me~if we didn’t have humor, clowns would be known for creating elephants and giraffes out of balloons but not for making people smile. I once heard someone say that God must have a sense of humor since he created artichokes, a vegetable with sharp points on the outside and fuzz on the inside. I have to admit, God couldn’t have kept a straight face when creating that.
hee, hee, the end. ♥ 11/2015