A week ago I returned from a trip to Las Vegas. A trip that I shared with my three daughters. The purpose of the trip? Making memories. Reflecting on our trip, I realized how thankful I truly am, quirks and all. One of our more fun aspects of the trip was starting up conversations with our taxi cab drivers.
Our conversations always started with, “Where are you from?” “Do you like Vegas?” “Why did you move to Vegas?” “Do you like living here?” And then we would expound based on their answers. Very interesting and enlightening. Because of those conversations, my first thankful reason is freedom.
1) My freedom – I know, you are thinking everyone says that. But what stopped me in my tracks was a comment made by our Ethiopian taxi cab driver. What he said was quite profound.
“You don’t appreciate or understand freedom like I do. It’s impossible.”
Wow. . . And you know, he is right. None of us know what living without freedom is like. How could we possibly know? He proceeded to tell us how his country’s government takes it share of the farmers crops, no matter how hungry it’s people were and . . . they were hungry. Another taxi cab driver was from the Philippines. Even though we did not discuss freedom, he did tell he was going through a tough time in his life. He holds an MBA, but the only job he could find was driving taxi. But even so, he was genuinely thankful for his job. And another interesting note – out of 5500 taxi’s in the city, only 9 own their own cabs. Maybe Las Vegas should change that so more people could own their own business?
2) Family – Yes, I love all my family, quirks and all. And we have our share. (smile!) This past year has really been trying and yet, at the same time, joyous. On the joyous side, I have a new granddaughter! She is so sweet – always a smile on her face! In fact, all my grandchildren make me smile!
On the trying side, my mother went through cancer treatment a year ago and is still recovering from the treatment a year later. A few weeks ago, she broke her hip and is now healing. Because of that, both my parents are now living in an assisted living. And now we need to put their house up for sale. Understand, this is the only house they have lived in during their married lives – over 53 years and a “FOR SALE” sign will be put in the window.
As we start to empty the contents of the house, the realization that life was not easy for my family. Our house was very small. There were four of us kids, plus mom and dad. And I often wonder how we all managed to live there. The only bathroom in our house was only accessible through my mom and dad’s bedroom. Even though that is very awkward to me now, it was normal for us then. Money was always scarce. Even though we didn’t have much money, I do not ever remember going hungry. We may have eaten some strange things because that is all we could afford, but we were not hungry. So glad we had access to affordable food.
So many memories. I am thankful for having my parents in my life and the life we had. It was our life. . .
3) God – I am thankful for having God in my life. He has given me more blessings than I deserve. And I know that no matter what happens, at the end of the day, He is still in charge. And that is a true blessing.
4) My simple life – My life is simple. My house is simple. My clothes are simple. My car is simple. I live on a quiet, simple farm. Bottom line is I have a pretty simple lifestyle. And I am content (which is my definition of happy) with “simple.” And, yes, I am thankful for my “simple life.”
5) My imperfections – and I have many. I am an introvert, which makes me feel guilty at times when I prefer time in “my space.” I will never eat chicken and dumplings and I hate snakes with a passion. And I like electronic devices way too much. But, with all my imperfections, this is the life God gave me. And I am thankful, quirks and all.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and be thankful, even though our thankfulness may not be the same. In fact, sometimes we have a very different perspective on thankfulness such as My Thanksgiving post from last year . But these are ALL blessings that God has given each and everyone of us.