Giving thanks


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Although the stores would have us believe otherwise, the next U.S. holiday on the books is Thanksgiving. The buzz around Thanksgiving food is thicker than granny’s gravy. Everyone is looking forward to stuffing their bellies with the delicious dishes that only hit the table once a year.

And with the recent events in my life (my family’s life) you’re probably thinking that this post is all about giving thanks for my family. Or if you’ve been reading since the beginning of MN Meditations, that I’m going to pay tribute to you, my readers, on my 2 year writing anniversary (I’m absolutely awful at remembering anniversaries…and had to save this draft to double check MN Meditation’s archives!).

It’s obvious that I’m thankful for my family – always have been and always will be. And you know that I appreciate the time you take to read my ramblings.

But this post is about a being thankful for skills. Life skills that I’ve picked up and perfected over the years. Life skills that I am thankful someone taught me. Life skills that come in handy when you least expect it.

[Random] Life skills I am grateful to know:

  1. The basics of sports knowledge and know how
  2. How to locate a home’s circuit breaker and fix a blown fuse
  3. Where to find the main water shut off in a house – how to turn the flow of water on or off
  4. The ability to drive backwards down a long, windy driveway in the dark
  5. How to drive a 4-wheeler and snowmobile (I prefer 4 wheelers)
  6. The ability to drive a “hayride” truck through the woods, back it up into a garage, and hitch an extra wagon to the back end
  7. How to drive boats of various sizes, drop anchor, prep a motor, dock at a dock, and park in a lift (and operate the lift)
  8. The art of pulling tubers behind a speed boat
  9. Water sports: slalom waterskiing – how to drop a ski and get up on one – as well as cut hard and throw up a nice rooster tail, wakeboarding – how to get up on one and at least “hop” over the wake a few times, tubing – how to hold on tight and knock someone off their tube and/or give them a good spray
  10. How to dig for worms, prep a tackle box, tie fish knots, hook my own bait, cast a perfect cast, reel in a “big one,” and take my own fish off the line – touching the actual fish (no gloves or towels for this angler)
  11. The basics in bonfire building – where to find the supplies in the woods, how to build the “pile” of wood just right, and how to keep the flame aglow all night long
  12. The bare minimum in rock climbing skills and belaying – setting up a site, tying the ropes, and coaching someone through the climb
  13. How to tend to animals – cats, dogs, fish – and farm pets – cows, sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, deer, and ducks
  14. How to properly care for a snake (corn snake) – provide fresh water, feed the snake a mouse, and hold and handle the snake
  15. What it takes to catch a snapping turtle successfully
  16. The basics in archery – what a quiver is and how to load an arrow, anchor at the mouth, properly release an arrow, and hit a target
  17. The ever-so-necessary skills of practical jokes
  18. How to paint a house, swing a hammer, use a vise, work a screw driver, assist someone using a table saw, properly hold a ladder for someone to climb, and other home improvement skills
  19. Where Middle C is on the piano and how to play “Heart and Soul” (this coming from someone who took 10+years of piano lessons…)
  20. How to drive places without a GPS…
  21. How to drive a golf cart without crashing
  22. How to re-fill the paper towel holder in a public restroom
  23. The basics of lobstering (a skill I will probably never use again, but handy nonetheless)
  24. How to operate a sound board (I know it sounds strange, but it is worth knowing)
  25. And a whole laundry list of other skills I am forgetting right now

You get the point. I’m thankful for these random life skills. I’m thankful for the people who taught me these skills. I’m thankful because these are the important things in life. The skills that build memories and moments with family and friends. Because at the end of the day, it is not about the actual skills, but about the family and friends who were there with me.

Whether you or your country celebrate Thanksgiving, are there any random life skills you’re thankful for?

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