There is nothing like stressful times to make a person feel thankful. Last week my pickup started idling roughly. My husband is a great mechanic, but he didn’t have the tools and workspace he needed to fix what he thought was wrong. So, we took it to a local mechanic to get it fixed. It was supposed to be a 2-hour, $225 fix.
Well, it’s a week later and I am still pickup-less and I have no idea how much it will cost or when I will get it back. I’ve spent much of the week being frustrated – I’ve had doctor appointments (apparently I’ve developed some bad seasonal allergies in Texas), school field trips and substitute teaching jobs that I’ve needed to get to.
Though I’ve felt the inconvenience of not having my pickup this week, I’ve also realized just how much I took the luxury of having my own vehicle for granted. When I get my pickup back (hopefully soon – everyday I think that it could be the magical day) I will sure appreciate it like never before.
This experience reminds me of one I had when I first moved to Hays, Kansas back in 2009. My daughter was 3 and my son was just 2 months old and I felt completely overwhelmed with colic, the stress of moving and the complete absence of friends and family. The lack of a dishwasher was the icing on my verge-of-a-mental-breakdown cake. Dishes are my least favorite chore (I’d rather clean bathrooms!) and I spent what seemed like hours washing bottles and toddler dishes in the sink. I vowed right then and there to never, ever take a dishwasher (or running water) for granted.
Today, even though I still don’t like doing dishes, I am oh-so-thankful that I have a dishwasher to help and I’ve never despised the chore like I used to.
In our country I think we not only take things for granted, but also people. I’m thankful not only for the folks who sacrifice their lives in the military, but I’m also thankful for the people in our community who work in difficult jobs everyday. These folks make valuable contributions to our country. Our lives wouldn’t be nearly as comfortable if they didn’t do their jobs.
Some of the most unsung heroes in my life are the people who pick up our trash. In my neighborhood there are 2 guys who come by every Monday. They usually are there in the afternoon, but I’ve seen them out working as late as 10 at night.
One day last summer I forgot to put some trash out, so when I saw the trash men come by I bolted outside with my bag. I handed it to the trash guy and somehow took a big whiff of the truck as I ran back inside. I nearly threw up from the awful smell. The Texas heat made it smell even worse than those trucks that come by farms to pick up dead animals – and those smell horrible.
At that moment I realized just how much harder my life could be. Since then, I’ve been on the lookout to go out of my way to say thanks to all the folks who do the difficult (and dangerous) jobs that make my life easier.
So, to all the military, trash men, rendering truck drivers, pickup mechanics and everyone in between, thanks for making the United States the greatest and safest country to live in.