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Thanksgiving 2008

This morning I walked downtown to Kristina’s Cafe for a late breakfast. Late, for me, because I had spent a couple of hours learning the nuances of processing book and target orders through the PayPal feature on the new website. At about 0900 I decided that I’d better get out of the house or my computer screen was going to get a non-standard response of 230 gr JHP through it.

The air was crisp, as it should be in Wisconsin in late November, and I couldn’t help noticing the twinges of pain in my knees as I walked to Kristina’s. My waitress, Tammy, brought me my coffee and a copy of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which isn’t a bad newspaper for a communist party publication. By the time I’d read the first section I was thoroughly bummed and decided to just concentrate on my steak & eggs and my new copy of American Handgunner.

I left Kristina’s and went to the bank to make my deposits, then walked down to the post office to pick up the handful of mail orders were waiting there, then walked home. I have to admit that at this point I was pretty cranky.  And I’ve got good reason to be cranky.

In the past month, the American people have elected the most avowedly Socialist president in our history. The media is feverishly echoing the Obama Machine’s planted stories about him being the Second Coming of Lincoln (sorry… I’ve read the history of Lincoln’s presidency, and his roughshod abuse of the Constitution, and I’m not all that impressed). Yet I read on Obama’s website that the first thing he wants to do when he sits in the Oval Office is sign a bill that will overthrow any and all state and federal laws limiting abortion. I read that he wants to make the Assault Weapons Ban more Draconian than the Clinton version, and he wants to make it permanent. I read that he wants to create a compulsory national youth workforce that would be funded on a level equal to the level we fund our military (can you say "Hitler Youth and Brownshirts rolled into one", boys and girls? I knew you could).  And I see a Democrat-controlled congress that has no clue how to deal with our nation’s current fiscal crisis throwing taxpayer money that hasn’t even been collected yet around like blood in a slaughterhouse. Our nation’s economic lifeblood.

Over and above all this are burdens I must bear that I will not share on a public forum, but which have been and continue to be very hard. I am NOT whining. But these burdens are real and sometimes crushing, and it takes no small amount of  discipline at times to keep moving forward. Those of you who know me personally know whereof I speak.

Anyway, about halfway home, walking up the gentle hill to my house, something made me take notice. I won’t speculate, but it wasn’t just idle thought. I suddenly became aware that I was walking home. It’s only about 5 blocks from the post office to my house, but 2 years ago there was no way I could cover that ground on my own two legs. Some folks may take being able to walk 5 blocks for granted, but not me!

All my life I’ve been an active guy. I am not an athlete, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t tried to be one. And I’ve succeeded to a modest degree in a few sports: football, rugby and freestyle skiing as a young man, then basketball for many years in my middle years. But 5 years ago I blew out what little remained of one of my ACL’s, and the downward spiral started. It took 4 years to finally get all the surgeries done… the last one was January of 2007, a right total knee. In the intervening time I’ve begun to walk again, something I used to take for granted.

So this morning when I trudged up the hill to come home, it struck me that today, the day before Thanksgiving 2008, I have a lot more to be thankful for than I have to be fearful of.

I have a good job (I like being an ER doc) in a good hospital. I have a good family: a smart and loving wife of 30-odd years who sees the details I tend to gloss over; two loving and loyal daughters and a stalwart son, three good sisters and a brother and all those good nieces and nephews. A brother-in-law who is dearer to me than any man on the planet, smarter than me by a damn sight, and my best advisor. I live in a lovely small town miles from any Interstate, and a good long way from any big city. I have a good local gun club where I have good friends who share my love of shooting and hunting. I have a wonderful local police department that does a damn good job of making our town a safe place to go for late-night dog-walks. I belong to a church that provides the spiritual support I need on a level that most people who don’t do what I do and teach what I teach wouldn’t be able to comprehend, and my pastor, Father Bob, thinks what I do and teach is rock solid. I have forged a network of people who support me and care about me and what I do. I have forged a snail-mail relationship with my two United States Senators (one good, one not-so-good) and my Representative, and despite the fact that the guy I didn’t want to get into the Oval Office did in fact succeed, I thank God that I live in a nation where that Office is still only accessible by the Will of the People.  And I have my eccentric Tactical Anatomy training business that seems to be beginning to appeal to people.

So, tonight, the eve of Thanksgiving, this most uniquely American of holidays, I find myself  profoundly grateful for the good things that have been granted to me.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all, and may God Bless America.

Especially now.

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