At this thoughtful and sometimes frenzied time of year, I would like to take a moment to publicly express thanks for my many blessings.

  • I’m thankful God sent His son to die for our sins. We’d be in a world of woe without that eternal gift.
  • I’m thankful for America and its abundance. We’re facing some challenging times, but it has never decreased my love and appreciation for this most remarkable of nations.
  • I’m thankful for my parents. Through their 54 years of rock-solid marriage, these fine people have demonstrated the art of matrimony and helped ensure the success of their children’s marriages.
  • I’m thankful for my daughters. Now 16 and 14, these young ladies have proven to be wonderful teens. Adolescence has long been denigrated as a difficult and acrimonious time in many families, but we have no (well, very little) strife or emotional meltdowns.
  •  I’m thankful we’ve educated our girls at home. Since they have grown up free from the peer pressure that sends too many teens spiraling into emotional chaos, we’ve never had to battle the usual angst so often associated with adolescence.
  • I’m thankful for our friends. Where would we be in this life without the love and support of friends? Think about it.
  • I’m thankful for our neighbors. Friends can be scattered all over the world. It’s an extra blessing when friends are neighbors as well. We’re surrounded by decent, hard-working, like-minded families that get along wonderfully.
  • I’m thankful for our health. My husband and I have passed the half-century mark and we are, thank God, overall in excellent health. Illness and injury can be such devastating things.
  • I’m thankful we live in a remote and low-populated area. While we have our local issues, we have few of the problems that plague high-density urban areas. While it’s true we can’t enjoy magnificent opportunities such as museums or symphonies without traveling a great distance, we get the day-to-day joys of beautiful scenery and the wonders of nature.
  • I’m thankful we’ve been able to offer our girls the rare advantage of an old-fashioned and innocent childhood. In an era of jaded, promiscuous and entitlement-driven teens, our girls and their friends are breaths of fresh air.
  • I’m thankful we have no television reception. Our kids watch stuff on the Internet, yes; but they didn’t grow up staring vacant-jawed at the idiot box for hours each day. Instead, they read, played, built forts, developed their imagination and otherwise did stuff.
  • I’m thankful we live on a homestead. Our little 20-acre farm has afforded us endless learning opportunities in self-sufficiency. Our failures keep us humble. Our successes add to our knowledge. In today’s modern world, it’s the rare person who is truly connected with his food sources.
  • I’m grateful for our livestock. Raising critters keeps us grounded and responsible. It teaches us (and especially our kids) to understand the cycle of birth and death. Our animals provide us with food – meat, milk and eggs. They provide us with manure, which we compost and use to enrich our garden. And they provide us with responsibility – we must always be attentive to their needs.
  • I’m thankful that our chosen lifestyle has been one of frugality and thrift. We were forced to scale back nearly 20 years ago when we started our home woodcraft business, and those early days of extreme deprivation have allowed us to adapt and be flexible in this new economy.
  • I’m thankful to be a writer. Many people have childhood dreams that never come true. I’ve been blessed beyond measure in that my dream did come true. I’ve always been interested in word craft, and while I don’t possess the skills that so many other phenomenal writers do, I’m content to make my own small contribution to the written word.
  • I’m thankful for the Internet, which still (at this point) guarantees First Amendment rights for Americans to express themselves. Additionally, the Internet offers novice writers the chance to hone their craft and publish their work through many nontraditional avenues that weren’t available during my years as a struggling wanna-be writer (when traditional publishers were the only option).
  • I’m thankful to WND, which offered me the unexpected platform of my own column several years ago. Never in a zillion years did I anticipate being a columnist. Wow. WND even printed my book. How cool is that?
  • I’m thankful for my blog readers, who have shared our lives through bad times and good. These loyal and delightful people have followed our family through thick and thin, and their words of encouragement (and even occasional snarks) keep me focused and driven.
  • I’m thankful we’re preppers. Having the “supplies, knowledge and community” (the three pillars of preparedness) offers a great deal of peace of mind during uncertain times.
  • “I’m thankful for the dogs,” said our older daughter on Thanksgiving morning, as both girls spent some time lavishing affection on our canines. Where would we be without beloved pets?
  • I’m thankful we work at home. Living as remote and rural as we do, there are many times the weather does not encourage stepping foot outside the house. At such times, we can continue doing what we do to earn a living without facing a difficult commute.
  • I’m thankful for the millions – billions – of genuinely nice people out there. We only hear news stories about the bad people, but how about the good ones? The ones who offer a smile, pick up garbage, help the homeless, volunteer in endless venues and otherwise make this world go round? A resounding “thanks” for being nice.
  • Last but not least, I’m thankful for my husband. Don and I have stood side-by-side for 22 years, and we’re still going strong. Life with a wonderful spouse is one of the greatest earthly blessings there is.

Right now America stands at the cusp of something very, very big. I don’t know what the future will bring. My family and I will celebrate our blessings while we can.

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