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Stuff n Nonsense - Time To Be Thankful
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It goes without saying that we should always count our blessings but it’s a sad fact that many of us are remiss in our appreciation for those most important in our lives or the advantages we benefit from on a daily basis until a certain time of year duly reminds us.

Of course, I am thankful for so much — the health and wellness of my children, steady employment, and our new home — but I thought I might point out the blessings that are, perhaps, overlooked.

In a short list, here they are:


Common sense: I’m thankful for the modicum of common sense installed in my brain for each day I realize that not everyone was similarly blessed. In other words, there are some real candidates for the Darwin award running around out there — and most of them think they can drive.


Central heat & air: I grew up in the mountains. If you wanted heat, you put a log on the fire or layered on more clothing; if you wanted to cool off, you either went down to the swimming hole or marinated in your own sweat. I’ve come to appreciate the joy of flipping a switch and adjusting the temperature with impudence.


Dishwashers: Handwashing dishes should be reserved for a lower level of hell. The only thing worse, perhaps, is standing in an icy stream and beating your clothes against a rock.


The meat aisle: I love meat. I don’t love knowing where it came from. I am sincerely appreciative of the wonderful people who make the meat appear — packaged neat and tidy — in the meat aisle at my local grocery store so I don’t have to be reminded that at one time that delicious roast was one of the Happy Cows.


Midol: Really? Do I need to explain? I think all men should be appreciative of this product as well. Is there anything worse than being crampy, grouchy, puffy, retaining water, and emotional? Well, perhaps a tax audit…because there’s no pill to fix that one.


Cell phones: Honestly, I don’t know what we did before them. A world without cell phones sounds good in theory because, let’s face it, sometimes we don’t want to be found, but in practice, it’s just annoying when you can’t connect with someone within the two second time frame that whatever your particular crisis demands.


DSL: Oh, say it with me! A hale and hearty thank you to the genius who delivered us from dial-up. Being on dial-up is as pleasurable as watching grass grow and nearly as slow.


I suppose I could go on and on for I am thankful for so much in my life but I’ll leave with this final note…all these things are worshipfully wonderful but without the people in our lives — the ones we love and cherish and make our time on this planet worthwhile — it’s all just…well…still awesome because let’s face it, when was the last time you sent a message via smoke signals?

Be thankful, people. It’s the season!


Kim Van Meter is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News, and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at or by calling 847-3021.