Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Nov. 26, 2001

Did you realize that we are all filthy rich?


Thanksgiving is behind us, and hold on to your hats ­ it's time for the rush to begin. Before we know it, January will be here and we will be cold, cold, cold again.

What wonderful weather we have been having! I just can't believe it, especially since last winter was such a tough one. I know that it's too much to ask for winter to disappear completely, but I am hoping that, at the very least, it will be mild.

I am thankful for the nice weather, among so many other things. It is that time of year again to reflect and think about life.

The fundraisers have started up now. The churches are collecting for Christmas gifts for children whose parents would have to choose between a doll or a truck and milk. The charities are calling, and I am realizing how fortunate we are.

Could you imagine having only one outfit to wear? I go through the morning try-on ritual before work most days of the week, without much thought on how lucky I am to even be employed and have a choice of what to wear, not to mention a choice of where to work

The unemployment rate is beginning to climb again, and is something that most of us take for granted. In my yearly reflection, I've decided that I am thankful to have my job, even on a crazy Friday when I would rather be doing just about anything else.

What are you thankful for? Have you asked your children what they are thankful for?

I asked my eight-year-old, and he told me nature, his parents, and a few other things. He also told me, in no uncertain terms, that he is not thankful for his little brother at the moment.

This was also the day that I found a sign on his door that had a big red circle, with a line diagonally across, with "Cam" written in the center. I guess that meant "No Cam Allowed."

I'm guessing that baby Cam was digging in his stuff again by the looks of his unthankfulness. Incidentally, Mitch usually likes having a brother, but even the most easygoing kid can hold a bit of resentment some days.

Darn, kids!

I was thinking to myself the other day. One thing that I always thought was cool is that we, in the United States, are considered filthy rich to most of the world. Filthy rich. The not-so-cool part of it is we are so filthy rich that we don't even realize it. How strange is that?

So, I am thankful for being rich by the world's standards. That is the first time I've ever had the chance to to say that ­ I always hoped someday I would be able to.

All kidding aside, I am most thankful, though, for my health, and the health of my family. Even our parents are all in good health ­ both body and soul ­ and they are really, really old . . .

Okay, just kidding . . . they are definitely not old, which I am also thankful for. As I age myself, I consider them to be much more wise than old, and full of insights that I would never have considered.

I am also thankful they still like me, even after all of the money they've borrowed me that has yet to be paid back in full.

You would think that, since I am so rich (again by world standards), I would have been able to pay them back years ago. Soon, I will be able to blame it on my own kids. And around and around the money will go.

I guess I have something to look forward to. Next year at this time, I will again need to remind myself of how fortunate I am. I am hopeful the positive things in my life, and there have been a lot of positives, will have stayed the same.

If not, maybe I will buy some new positives with all the money that us rich people have . . .

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