Forgive me if this is familiar ground I’ve covered before; my steel-trap memory, like my eyes, isn’t what it used to be after two-score and four-plus years on this earthly plane.
Thanksgiving was and is my favorite holiday. What I mean by that is it always was my favorite holiday through my first three decades. And then it wasn’t for a while be cause I took so much for granted, because I allowed bad memories and pain (much of it self-induced) to steal my joy, because I focused on my circumstances and not on all the truly amazing things with which I’ve been blessed
It is again my favorite holiday, with the caveat that, in general, I love holidays and could make a case for Christmas, Easter, and Independence Day as well. After all, my favorite sport growing up was always whatever was in season, so ask me again in a month I’m rambling, and I’m told I don’t have much space, so I better get to what I want to say.
This Thanksgiving, our household—my lovely wife Bethany, my loyal companion Case, and myself—decided to share a few things for which we re thankful. Ladies first.
Note: My wife said she could have listed many, many more things, but here’s her short (somewhat random) list, complete with emojis, which I’m not sure will transfer to newspaper print.
Things I am thankful for…
The saving grace of God in my life that allows me to live each day with purpose and joy
• My best friend, my salty Finn, my
dreamer, my current construction man,
my encourager, my provider, the one who
makes me laugh, the one who tries to give
me anything I want, my adventure partner
and the love of my life—Brian [heart emoji.]
• My family.
• My amazing friends
• My sweet puppy Case who never fails to
keep me entertained or keep me company
in the kitchen [smiley face.]
• My home, heat, blankets and sauna that
keep me warm in northern Minnesota.
• My plants—specifically my succulents
and the happy geraniums I saved from the
• Running water
• My eclectic, custom-made new kitchen
and my cast iron to cook and bake with
• Wool socks in the winter and flip flops in
• Books. My Bible, cookbooks, adventure
books, history books… I guess I’m thankful
I can read. I’m thankful for my eyes that can
see to read.
• Beautiful peonies in the summer
• My favorite “grumpy old guys” at work
who always make me smile and let me fill
their coffee cups.
• My gardens.
• Mostly I am thankful for every breath, every moment, every day I can live. To delight
in all the blessings, little and big, that God gives. I’m thankful for those in my life that I can share that joy and happiness with.
Case, my rambunctious 90-pound lab/ terrier, who you may have read before in this space, is eagerly awaiting his turn next, if only because I promised him a treat when he’s done.
Without further ado, here’s Case:
It’s difficult to type with my drool gumming up the keyboard, but I did hear the Man mention the word “treat.” Let’s get this over with. I’m going to try my paw at poetry.
Belly rubs and my doggie door A fenced in yard to explore Still wait permission to go outside But the bitter cold I can’t abide So, I come in, whenever I want The Man’s quiet time to haunt I also interrupt Annie’s naps It’s supper time, I want some scraps I especially like my favorite spot Next to the radiator, nice and hot I’m very thankful for my adopter But I wish he’d buy me a helicopter
Well, Case, that wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but it’ll have to do. And no, I’m not buying you a helicopter
In all seriousness, 900 words couldn’t even begin to cover the myriad things I’m grateful for, and after the beginning of this column, it s already nearing its end, and I’m not even warmed up yet. So, I will try to be something I’m usually not in print: Succinct.
If I could only use one word to sum up all that I am thankful for it would be this: Grace.
The type of grace I’m talking about isn’t effortless or charm of movement or form, or a generous, pleasant disposition, or even the short prayer of thanksgiving before a meal though I appreciate all of those graces I especially appreciate Bethany’s grace in putting up with me
I’m talking about amazing grace—the unmerited mercy and blessings of the Almighty, without which I wouldn’t be writing this.
Amazing grace How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me I once was lost, but now I’m found Was blind, but now I see
My chains are gone I’ve been set free My God, my Savior has ransomed me And like a flood His mercy reigns Unending love, amazing grace
Nine years ago this week, I was a desperate slave to a self-destructive lifestyle. By grace alone, I’ve been set free since then, and for that, I am eternally thankful. It’s yours, too, if you want it. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Brian Miller is a longtime local writer who resides with his wife Bethany and The Lost Puppy Case in Eveleth.