As we all know, Thanksgiving is a time to stop, reflect and give thanks for everything we have been given this last year. I cannot express the good things that happened to me this last year without stopping to take a moment and think about the things I have lost as well.
I have lost a couple good friends to the dreaded "C" word, cancer. It seems the more time goes on, the more we experience different forms of grief in our lives. We have all been there and we will all be there again when we need to mourn the loss of someone dear to us for any one of a number of reasons. As the saying goes, "Time marches on." How true that is! For instance, it is hard for me to believe my father has been gone for more than six years already. I miss him every day.
I have run into several people this year who ask what my dad is up to these days. When my reply is, "He died of mesothelioma July 23, 2006." The usual reaction is one of shock and wanting to know how we got his cancer. That happened several times in September when I was in Worthington for my fortieth high school class reunion and the annual Turkey Day celebration. It also happens when I go to Gopher basketball games and someone who knew him will ask me how he is doing. It happened the first game of the season as I ran into a newly retired man who played basketball for my dad in college.
I also found out one of my friends from Worthington lost his life, as did two extended family members.
That is enough of the sad news.
Some good things happened this year I would like to mention. The first, and biggest news I would like to share is my little brother; Chad got his Drum Wallet patented on April 2, 2013. That was exciting news and his prospects are growing exponentially as sales are picking up and the word is spreading worldwide about this exciting drum accessory. If you are interested in learning more about the Drum Wallet click here. If you cannot get there with that link, click on this site: thedrumwallet.com. If you are a regular reader of my site, you know I have written about Chad and the Drum Wallet before. I am his biggest fan and very proud big brother to see all of his hard work start to pay off in getting the patent approved.
I have also seen a steady rise in book sales of my book entitled "I Still Believe In Tomorrow" which is available on my website at patcom.com. FYI: they make great gifts for the upcoming holiday season if you happen to be interested. If you order them through me, I will make a personal signing to the intended recipient.
Some of you know of my Mom's brother Bob who is renovating the barn on the home place where mom and her nine siblings were raised. The barn was built in 1901 and for the last six years Bob has been commuting at least twice a year to do work on his man cave/hunting lodge to the point where now it is livable and every November he comes up from Louisiana and other family members come from as far away as Alaska to hunt pheasants and work on Bob's barn.
This year, he brought his wife, Linda and her grandson, Matt and his wife, Felicia. Whenever the barn is full of people, it is difficult to concentrate on any one conversation. However, Matt managed to read a good book in the middle of all the chaos with a conversation going on right behind him. Here is a picture of him focusing intently on his read:
Click on the image to make it larger:
It was the first time in several years I have been able to make it up to the farm for a weekend of listening to stories and watching memories be made. It is always a great deal of fun listening to family members share memories of growing up in a different time when the barn was used for milking cows, feeding calves and housing horses. Of course, after a hunt, there are always stories of the day that sometimes are debated quite loudly about how someone actually shot or missed a coveted ringneck pheasant! Whenever I take someone with me who has never witnessed time at the Robert Michael Smith Private Game Preserve, they come away stunned and not quite sure of what just happened. However, they always want to go back another time. It is a unique experience!
I am very thankful to my uncle Bob for his commitment, and dogged determination to bring the barn back to life for its new purpose. It is truly a labor of love for him and we all appreciate it greatly!
I am also thankful for my siblings, their children and my mom for the Thanksgiving celebration we will have tomorrow at Mom's house. All of my siblings will be there except for Tammy. Fortunately, she was just in town for a few days and got to spend a weekend in the barn.
Before I leave I want to share with you a joke I have had for many years and posted it on my Facebook page last year. I hope you enjoy the humor in my cartoon:
Who said turkeys are stupid?
I hope you all travel safely, eat too much good food, enjoy your company, get in at least one tryptophan induced nap and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
As always, I look forward to your comments.