Things to be thankful for

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The holiday season is here. Time to start making those holiday lists, planning trips to the grocery store and trying to figure out what to get friends and family for Christmas. I have a rather large family with lots of kids who all have different likes and interests, so it can be a bit of a task.

As I write this, we are getting ready for Thanksgiving. Our Thanksgiving is spent with my in-laws for lunch, and then with my dad, my brothers and their families for supper. It’s what I like to refer to as the holiday gauntlet, but I am thankful to have the time with family, and the next day to recoup. Many folks don’t have anyone to spend the holiday with or a holiday meal, let alone two, so I am truly blessed. 

While I’m thankful for all I have, there are many things I feel I take for granted, things I should be thankful for, like clean air and water. These necessities of life are hard to come by for some, so I am thankful those things are not a struggle for me. 

I’m thankful for laughter. I love to laugh, and if I laugh until I cry, that’s the best kind. I’m thankful for the laughter and giggles of children playing without a care in the world, as it should be. Laughter brightens even the darkest of days. 

I’m thankful for memories. Sometimes I can’t remember how to do simple tasks, but I remember things like that big pile of dirt in the backyard and a Shetland pony named Tootsie. The pile of dirt did not make my mother happy, but my younger brother was in heaven. Tootsie bit me, making a lasting impression. 

I’m thankful for purple irises. Growing up, there as a thick patch of them on the south side of our house. They are long gone, but when I see those purple flowers, it’s like I’m 5 again and picking them to take to my mom. 

I’m thankful for the mistakes I’ve made. If a person doesn’t make mistakes, then they can’t learn from them and improve themselves.

I am thankful to have my early mornings outside. Most of the time it’s still dark when I’m outside, but I like seeing the last few stars fade away as the sun starts to peek out. It’s the most peaceful part of my day. 

I am thankful we have motion lights to help me spot an occasional skunk making its way around the shop in those early mornings. I’m also thankful neither I nor my trusty canine companion have accidentally stumbled upon one.

Speaking of my canine companion, I’m thankful to have her. Nell is 100 pounds of pure love. She is my protector. She makes me smile with her unconditional love. 

I’m thankful to live in the Ozarks. After college, I moved to Northern Missouri for a few years. I lived in a small town, it wasn’t my hometown. I’m thankful to be home. 

I’m thankful to have access to safe, affordable food. Prices are going up for groceries, so I have to alter my shopping list some, but I am not standing in a line, hoping the food doesn’t run out before my turn and I have to return home empty handed. 

Finally, I am thankful for our farmers and ranchers. Without farmers and ranchers, our world would be much different place than it is today, so thank you for all you do. We can’t do anything without your hard work. 

Happy Thanksgiving and happy holidays from everyone at OFN! 

Julie Turner-Crawford is a native of Dallas County, Mo., where she grew up on her family’s farm. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Julie, call 1-866-532-1960 or by email at [email protected].

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