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All around me, people are waking up in anticipation of stores opening at 4am. Not me, though. I'm awake because I'm having trouble staying asleep. I have no desire to endure full-contact power-shopping in a mob of super-bargain-enraged soccer moms who sprint for the doors of a store as soon as they can hear the jingle of keys. I had enough of that back when I worked the selling floor of a department store.

I thought about writing a "things I'm thankful for" list, but then realized that it would have to be a "things for which I am thankful" list in order to maintain proper sentence structure, grammatically. Then I got to thinking about how it seems that, at times, the only time people take a minute to be grateful is the six weeks from the end of November to the first of the year. After that, it's back to whatever they were doing before.

Anyway, here are some of my thoughts:

I'm grateful to live in this great country. Despite the fact that we caucasian people arrived here a little less than 600 years ago and booty-bumped the then-current residents across the continent, I love it here. It's the only home I've known, and I've ridden from coast to coast on a motorcycle to see an amazing ribbon of interstate from Washington, D.C., to San Diego, California. It's a tiny slice of a huge place, and every mile is filled with beauty.

I'm grateful to live in this great state. Indiana is one of the "fly-over" states in the middle of the US, but we manage to feed a good portion of the whole country from our fields. Our medical research facilities in Ft. Wayne, Indianapolis, and other cities, provide state-of-the-art technology that is used around the world.

I'm grateful to live in the greater Indianapolis metropolitan area. Ok, so I'm technically in Carmel, but I've lived in and around Indianapolis for almost 20 years. It's home. A big enough city for some really cool things (like the Colts!), and still small enough to feel familiar.

I'm grateful to live in this house with the family that I have. It's me, my wife, and my stepson, most of the time, except for when my two daughters come for a weekend. Quarters can get cramped, there isn't always room for stuff, and the view is of the neighbor's back yard, but the kitchen is spacious and well-suited for how I like to cook.

In interest of brevity, I'll just state that Wife 2.0 is working much better for me than 1.0 did.

I'm grateful to my anonymous friends who have shown me how to have a life like this one. Without their constant help and direction, I'd have floundered, foundered, and fallen long ago. When I say that I owe them my life, I mean nothing less. It is a pleasure to associate with just people, and an honor to be of service in return for the service given me.

I'm grateful for my students. This school year has been a struggle in a lot of ways. So was last year. Nearly a quarter of my students from last year have stopped in the building to say hi to me, though, and tell me how they are doing. I imagine that you might have to be another teacher to really appreciate how much that means to me, that they would take time from what they are doing now to get to the building, check in and get a visitor's pass, and then come all the way upstairs to see me. One of the boys that I constantly rode for behavior last year showed up just last week.

I'm going to head back to my blankets and CPAP machine and try to fall asleep again. It will be interesting to see how this sounds when I read it in the morning. I'm not checking spelling or anything else at this point, and sometimes the errors are really funny.


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April 2015

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