The Saratoga Sun -

Blessings all year


November 17, 2022

I put my Christmas tree up on Friday. I can hear the screams now! It isn’t even Thanksgiving yet. For many years I didn’t put up a tree or cook, but with the grandkids kids around and my crazy sister, it feels right to start celebrating earlier and earlier.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner I can’t help but dwell on all the blessings in my life. My family of course, but living in a country where I have the right to do pretty much anything I want as long as it doesn’t put anyone else in harms way is truly a blessing.

We are free to go into a building and vote for whomever we want without fear of retribution or injury. Even if our preferred candidates lose their races, we still have so much to be grateful for.

If we want to open a business selling our homemade crafts or used clothing, we can do so. We can sit on the street corner selling homemade breads and jams, or hike the Continental Divide trail for a year.

We can fly flags on our houses showing our political, religious or ethnic views.

Life isn’t always easy. Things don’t always go our way, but we have options. We are free to go to a high school football game, enjoy a beer at a local tavern and take a walk on Veterans Island.

How can we complain about our WIFi being too slow or a weak cell phone signal when all over the world people are suffering? We don’t walk 10 miles for clean water or a scrap of food. We turn on the faucet or go to the grocery store. If we can’t afford to go to the grocery store, we have resources that can help, right at our fingertips.

Yes, I know, America is a mess, but our problems and complaints pale compared to the world’s problems. Most of us aren’t using an old pair of jeans for a pillow, sleeping in the dirt or looking at bullet holes in the wall of your building.

A few years ago there was a study done concerning the poorest 20 percent of Americans. According to statistics, after accounting for all income, charity and non-cash welfare benefits like subsidized housing and food stamps, they still consume more goods and services than the national averages for all people in most affluent countries. In other words, if the US “poor” were a country, it would be one of the richest.

I was reading blogs from people who have been traveling the world. Some of the things that aren’t available in all countries surprised me– Internet and cell phones.

We have access to so much knowledge at our fingertips. I love technology and take advantage of it learning as much as I can. Want to hang out with a friend that’s 10,000 miles away? FaceTime or Zoom calls make it easy. Now that we are all used to it, could we live without it? There are millions still that do.

We have toilet paper and the ability to flush it. Many countries in Central and South America do not have plumbing that can handle toilet paper. Many places just don’t have toilet paper.

Eating utensils; I had no idea how many places in the world don’t use utensils to eat. They eat with their fingers or drink from bowls.

Automatic washers, dryers and dishwashers; can you imagine having to scrub your clothes on a washboard or in a river?

I’ve used a washboard and it isn’t fun.

Many of us in Wyoming don’t use an air conditioner and many of us heat with wood, but can you imagine not having access to these amenities?

Owning a car is uncommon in many parts of the world and yet in the United States, it is practically a right of passage for a teenager.

Fruits and vegetables are available to all of us in America whether canned, frozen or fresh. That isn’t true for many people. Undernourishment is a huge problem across the world.

While there are many more that I could add to this list and few are necessities, they are things to be thankful for. We forget what we have until we don’t have it anymore.

Every breath, every step is something to be thankful for, something to appreciate it. I hope this is a reminder of just how blessed we are to live in America and in Wyoming.


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