Homebodies - Thanksgiving


By Rita Friesen

Neepawa Banner & Press

When I glance around my world, there are so many things for which I am thankful. My health, and I no longer take that for granted, my home, hand picked, my family- an eclectic assortment of individuals that challenge me to growth and provide support- and this world in which I live. And I am thankful.

There are days when it is easier to give honest thanks than others. Reality is that I have got a great life. There is a purpose to my every day. Even the days in which it appears that I have accomplished nothing, I have! I have rested my body and refreshed my spirit and enlarged my soul. A day outdoors, a day with a book, a day on the couch with mindless television, or a day with music of my choice all provide that time away from duties- perceived and real. There are days when a phone call can brighten the hour, and the days following.  A day when a friendly letter deserves to be tucked into a frame! Not like the jury summons I received last week. And I am thankful.

Any time the outdoors blesses me. I am the one that walks in rain and sunshine. A blizzard calls and challenges me to go further and strive harder. I see the change in the skies and the grasses. I hear the song of birds and the wind in the trees. I feel the warmth of the sun and the fury of a wind.  The scent of fresh mown grass, the skunk willow in the spring, the petunias at the cemetery, awaken and stir memories. A piece of chocolate, any chocolate, and a red twizzler never fail to delight me. All five senses function and reward. And I am thankful.

I am surrounded by individuals – valuable and treasured folks. The artists and dreamers. I wonder at their creativity and abilities. Those who still plant trees when they are old. One friend planted apples trees in the decaying stump , knowing that he would never taste the apples, but his grandchildren would. Another transplanted ditch pines into a clearing, simply because, one day, they will shelter a yard.The practical ones. They keep me centered and balanced. I am one with them. I feel safe and understood in their presence. Roll up your sleeves and get it done. The ones with an off-the-wall sense of humour, sometimes I get it and sometimes I simply shake my head. Friends with whom I can howl with laughter and scream in pain, accepting our humanity. And I am thankful.

My memories. I recall horse drawn vans taking me to the four room school house. I got to learn how to set a stook, harness a horse, muck a stall and silence a barn full of essential creatures. I know how to slip my hand under a setting hen, stealing an egg without being pecked. How to get an unsteady lamb to find its mother’s udder, a calf to suck on my fingers as a prelude to drinking from a pail. Early memories, middle age memories, and now, senior memories. And I am thankful.