Journal-Advocate (Sterling)

Giving thanks in a weird way as Thanksgivi­ng Day approaches

- Gary Hodgson is a syndicated columnist and broadcaste­r. He and his wife, Sue, operate a ranch near Brush, Colo. He can be contacted at office@hodgsonmed­

Thanksgivi­ng is coming up soon. I’m not sure if it is a national tradition to use the occasion to stop for a moment and think of the things we are thankful for or not. At our house, however, that’s what we do. In case that’s not how you honor the event, I thought I would share my own list with you. Maybe it will encourage you to make your own, even better, list.

In these troubled financial times I am thankful to already be poor. While others mourn the loss of their villa in France, a major portion of their considerab­le stock portfolio, a decline in their 401K or some other number that means a lot to them, not much has changed for me. I don’t have any of those things including the 401K thing. Early in my life I figured out if I was ever going to make any big money I would have to get a job. It just didn’t seem worth it to me. Now it seems if I had gotten one, I might not be much better off anyway. We do have a 401C. The “C” stands for cows.

Speaking of cows, I am thankful for a bad cattle market. Don’t come hang me before I explain this one. Last year you might remember we had a good market. In fact, it had been good for several years before. I also found out I had a little cancer problem last year. Turns out I probably had been carrying that around several years before, too. I will have surgery right after getting those good calf prices. This year the prices pretty much stunk. I didn’t have cancer, though. This will go down in my book as a good year.

I’m thankful to have a horse that will buck me off if I don’t watch him all the time. The only way I can get along with him is ride a lot. I ride sometimes when using a pickup would be faster. Because of that sorry excuse for a horse, I have gotten to look at the grass in the pastures more than some years, watch the cactus bloom and notice the sage sure smells good after a rain.

I’m beginning to like that miserable horse for all the good experience­s he’s forced me to have.

I’m thankful I never really grew up and what little growing up I did was to be a bit on the strange side. Right after I learned I wasn’t cut out to hold a real job I discovered if I put some of my off beat ideas down on paper, folks would read them and smile a bit. Since newspapers like to have people read them, a few began sending me checks to keep being strange. Seems to pay about the same as work.

Not all my thankfulne­ss is strange, though. I’m thankful God and my wife Sue love me. I’m thankful to have children who may not always like me, but probably always love me and a growing number of grandkids who seem to think I”m pretty cool, especially the one who isn’t even old enough to talk yet.

Yep, it’s good to be thankful on Thanksgivi­ng. It’s even better to be thankful for things no one else might think of. Go on, make your own list. Some might think you’re crazy but that’s O.K. I guarantee it will make you feel better.

Happy Thanksgivi­ng.

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