This is the week to be thankful, right? Even the ungrateful of this world will usually find something for which to be grateful, and for at least one day be pleasantly human.

This will not be about the typical Thanksgiving topics. Family. God. Roof over my head. Puppies. Everyone knows already that we should be thankful for those things. So, I’ve made my own list.

Reasons I am Thankful:

Rust. It teaches me that nothing last forever. Time changes things. Moths and rust really do give us perspective. And, if you’re lucky enough to get your rusty stuff on TV, some guys from Iowa might pay you thousands of dollars for it.

Baseball Gloves. There’s nothing quite like the feel of a good soft glove and the sound a ball makes when it hits the pocket just right. If you put one on, the kid inside is reborn.

Fishing. I don’t care how many times you fling a worm into the water, the anticipation that this could be the cast that catches the big one never goes away. It’s about living with the hope that the next thing will be the best thing.

Recliners. Best Sunday afternoon naps in the world. Say no more.

Cows. The best resource for steak on the grill.

A Good Guitar. I’ve had a department store model from Sears and a fairly nice brand name. It doesn’t matter. Make the music your own.

Crock Pots. I don’t claim to know how to use one, but I love the concoctions that come out of one after about 8 hours on simmer. Who wouldn’t be thankful for that?

Dogs. I miss Max nearly every day. He’s been gone for several years and I still find dog hair in my truck every now and then. He was a good one.

Hands. There was a local lady who lost hers not too long ago due to some awful infection. I don’t know how I would handle life without hands.

Photographs. The real kind packed away in boxes that you go through on some rainy day. You smile a thousand times at all the moments of your life. Occasionally, you put one in a frame so you can see it more often.

Rubber Tires. The modern tire is a true marvel. Most of us alive have never traveled on anything less. I road about 300 miles yesterday on 8 of them that didn’t fail me. Thank you, Carlisle.

A Hot Shower. I have bathed in creeks and lakes. I have showered off in ice cold water at scout camp. I have stood in the mountains of southern Mexico in front of a black pipe that came from some hidden source up on the mountain. An iceberg, perhaps. There is no substitute for a hot shower.

Pull Tabs. We’ve had them on Coke cans for decades. Now they’re on soup cans. Wish I had thought of that.

Campfires. There’s been so many. Glowing faces surrounded by a blanket of darkness. Warm on the front side. Cold on the backside. I can never resist poking in a stick, pulling it out and watching it burn.

Stupid Jokes. Why does a Gorilla have such big nostrils? Because he has big fingers. How can you not be grateful for that one?

Flashlights. I probably have 348 of them laying around. In the bottom of drawers. The glove box. Tool box. Cabinet. On the night stand. 345 of them don’t work. Two have batteries that are dead. And I just put new batteries in one, but I can’t find it. I’ll just buy another one.

Church. Although I know some have been severely disappointed by church folks, I still contend that the Church has been the bedrock of who I am. I’ve learned to look past the flaws. I am grateful when others look past mine.

Electricity. Just let the power go off for a few hours and you’ll find out real quick how spoiled we are without it.

Tools. I’m about as bad about tools as I am about flashlights. It’s an addiction. There should be a TA group. “Hi. My name is Paul, and I’m a tool addict.”

Cake Batter. I like cake, but I almost like scraping out the mixing bowl better. And this is the season for cleaning up after my wife’s baking efforts. Bring it on.

Eagle Brand Cans. Similar to left over cake batter in a bowl, but overall the best ingredient ever licked off a spoon.

Three-Hole-Punch. We have an electric one at home. Not everything should be kept on a computer. Notebooks still work.

Junk Drawers. Who doesn’t love digging around, sifting through 20 things you don’t need to find the one thing you have to have right now? My wife cleaned ours out a few months ago and I am certain she threw away the one thing I need. Whatever it was.

When you really stop and think about it, it’s the thousands of little things that should cause us to be thankful in this life. Gratitude cannot be reserved for one day out of the year. There are reasons every day to pause and know that life is going to be okay. Reasons not to let the negative outweigh the positive. Reasons to give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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