In my family, we have a Thanksgiving tradition. Instead of saying a prayer, we go around the table and say at least one thing for which we are grateful. Six years ago, my family found out that Kim was having twins when she said she was grateful for them. You could’ve heard a fork drop. This year, I won’t be with my family for Thanksgiving. We’ll be in Green Bay with Dustin’s family and that’s okay. But, I didn’t want to miss out on saying those things for which I am grateful. So, here they are in no particular order.

  • Jarred, Portia, Tyler, Caitlen, Danny, Alex, Ashlyn, PJ, Nicolas, Carson,  and Thomas.  Having children in my life is the greatest joy.  I am grateful for being allowed to touch their lives , to be a part of watching all of them grow up and (for Jarred, Portia, Tyler and Caitlen) watching them move from childhood to adulthood.  I love each and every one of you more than you will ever know.
  • My extended family.  There’s something to be said about coming from a large family.  I have cousins from nearly one side of this country (Utah) to the other (Washington D.C.) and from top (Minnesota) to bottom (Florida).  I don’t get to see all of them very often, but I know that if I needed one of them at any time, they’re all just a phone call away.  So, thank you, family.  Being a Totsch is probably the luckiest thing to ever happen to me.  If you’re lucky enough to be a Totsch, you’re lucky enough. 🙂
  • My brothers – Scott and Brian – and their wives – Robyn and Tara.  I can’t imagine what life would be as an only child and I have been blessed to never have to find out.
  • My parents.  I don’t always like them and I’m sure they don’t always like me, but I’m grateful for them being in my life.  I know people who have had a harder time with their parents than I have had.  For that, I am grateful.
  • My friends.  It is said that one is rich if one has a lot of friends.  Well, that is certainly the case for me.  I am blessed with friends who love me for me.  Yes, they roll their eyes when I go on a tirade about any subject near to my heart and they kid me for being long winded, but they’re always there for me.  I’d list them all, but I think the blog has a text limit.  Two that come to mind are Jerri and Preston.  Where would Cheryl and I be without the two of you in our lives?
  • My job.  Oh, my job.  Like most people, some days are better at work than others, but – especially in these hard economic times – I am eternally grateful for my job.  I’m doing what I love and getting paid to do it.   On the bad days, I remember that this pays the bills and on the good days, well, I can’t believe I get paid for having this much fun.  Yeah, there goes my friends rolling their eyes because I REALLY LOVE writing SQL code.  Best of all, my employer makes you feel like you’ve joined their family and I am grateful that I have been able to join this family.
  • My co-workers.  I’m the oldest person in the IT department, so it really feels like I’ve gained a bunch of little brothers and a sister.  We tease each other, help each other and stick together like a real IT team should.  Never in my life have I been able to work with such a fantastic team and, even when I’m bitching, I am very thankful for our IT family.  I have been able to hone my SQL skills like never before.  It has been an amazing ride since I started working here and I look forward to what our future holds.
  • My country.  Oh, we have some issues, but I wouldn’t want to live in any other country.  I love America.  I love being an American.  I’m proud of our flag, our Constitution and all that it means.  We’re going through tough times, but we will make it.  I truly believe that we are the greatest nation on the planet.  I thank God everyday to be living in the land of the free.
  • My life.  I’ve had good times and bad times and every single one of them has made me the person I am today.  I am grateful for the lows through which I have gone for they have made me so appreciative of the highs.  If you see only the sun everyday, how can you appreciate the easy days?  There must be a time for struggles that make you stronger, so you can take a breath and enjoy the easy side of the street.  I have had things happen in my life I didn’t think I would survive and, yet, like the song says, “I’m Still Here.”  So, thank you, God, for giving me this life.
  • My God.  I’m not sure how to put this, except to quote the Kris Kristofferson song, “What did I ever do that was worth loving you, For the kindness you’ve shown.”
  • Finally, my wife – Cheryl.  In the words of Alex, “Holy Crap!”  I know it hasn’t been easy being with me.  We’ve had good times and bad.  I hope that at the end of our lives there’ll be more pennies in the good times jar than in the bad times jar.  I am pretty sure that I have never done anything in life to deserve being loved by a woman as wonderful as you.  You put up with my socks on the floor and you give me magic drawers.  Without you in my life, well, none of this would be worth it.  What fun could it possibly be if I didn’t have you to share in all of it?  In the words of Jackie Gleason, “Baby, you’re the greatest!”

To all of you reading this blog post, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope that you all can count abundant blessings in your life.  If you can’t today, well, tomorrow is another day and I hope you can then.

Happy Thanksgiving!