What Am I thankful for?
I’m thankful for the gift of life, the love of my family, for the air we breathe and the water we take for granted, the food, warmth of our homes and for this day. I thank God for being able to be with my family. All 30 of us will be enjoying the turkey and all the trimmings.
I’m thankful for my parents (now deceased). They raised us with strict rules. We are German of descent from Carroll, Iowa. It seemed like everyone was Catholic and pretty much had the same rules and regulations. I was a farm girl, I had good work habits and there wasn’t a job we would be excused from. Picking corn, shucking grain, milking cows....seemed like every kid had to do the same things. I didn’t like it, but those were the rules. I know my children don’t believe some of those stories, especially walking 2 ½ miles to and from school.
I’m thankful for my husband of 57 years. He took me off the farm. I waited 49 months for Vern to come home from World War II – being in Africa & Italy. I didn’t see him or talk to him for 43 months. But God saved his life and sent him home. We raised five children – have ten grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Now I wonder how I managed to do all the cooking, cleaning & laundry. It wasn’t easy to keep the sanity, especially when they started to clean, cook & bake. Seems like there were cookie crumbs, flour and sugar everywhere on the floor and in the drawers. But today I think they are better cooks than I am.
I’m thankful for the green grass, blooming flowers and the trees looking so regal. God Blesses us with rainy days, sunny days and I even enjoy snow.
I’m thankful for this good country of ours and I’m proud to be American. I’m grateful to live in Iowa with the corn and beans looking so lush in the summer months. I love animals and have a dog, Sam, who rides in the car with me to church or wherever I go every day. She rides with me unless it is too hot or too cold. She is a wonderful companion and co-pilot. I’m grateful for the wildlife....the birds entertain me at the feeders, the squirrels were busy this summer burying the nuts in my potted plants and flower bed. Guess it was easier to dig than the hot, dry, hard soil. If you need oak and walnut seedlings – see me.
I’m grateful for being in good physical condition. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to walk, as I had hip replacement. But God answered my prayers. I prayed to St. Theresa and when a friend, Ann, brought me a beautiful pink rose the second day after surgery, I knew my prayers would be answered.
I’m thankful for my religion and freedom of speech. Let us not forget the Armed Forces.Tell them we haven’t forgotten them and they are in our prayers every day. Also remember those who have lost their lives. Remember, too, our deceased family & friends. God Bless all of them.
Last, but not least, I’m thankful for Father Joe, Father Anthony and Father Sam. What a wonderful job they do each day. They keep St. Pius going in the right direction and all the people in the many departments so that we remain the friendly, caring parish with good leadership. We are so blessed.
I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving. For those who are homeless and hungry, that they will find places that are willing to provide food, love & care. Have a good day. Thank you God for our many benefits & gifts.
Written & read by Helen Schleisman at church on Thanksgiving Day, 2002. Read again before the meal at our family Thanksgiving, 2010.