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Despite life's trials, there's plenty for which to be thankful

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

Some days, things just don't go right.

You sleep through the alarm. Saving time, you go to a drive-through. The donut moron gives you the wrong coffee. You don't find that out until you need it the most.

Your boss needs someone to kick and you're it. Your computer crashes repeatedly. At lunch, the sandwich you buy has celery in it. You hate celery.

You buy gas on the way home. You pass another station down the street. It has gas 10 cents cheaper.

You come home to find that your dog has over-turned the garbage. As you clean it up, you realize he's peed on it as well. He's sitting near you watching you clean it up. He's cocking his head in that cute way.

Your big fat orange cat has shed all over the house and you don't have a fresh vacuum cleaner bag. He has a urinary tract infection and is trying to kill you as you attempt to shove a syringe with antibiotics down his mouth.

The vet said it would be easy. You realize you hate the vet.

You pray there will be plenty of hot water for a nice long shower, but someone else has beat you to it. A cold shower builds character, right?

You finally turn in for the night unaware that the battery in your alarm clock will run out of juice about 2 the next morning.

Ah, life.

Some days it's difficult to know if there's anything for which to be truly thankful. Most of us have bad days and little annoyances, but if you think a moment the majority of Americans do have reasons to give thanks.

I know I do.

My wife was scheduled to go to New Orleans the Monday that Katrina hit. If she had gone down to her conference a day or two before she would have probably been trapped there.

I'm thankful that we avoided that and I feel deeply for the people whose lives were impacted so dreadfully.

I'm thankful that more and more Americans are questioning the Bush Administration on its policies on Iraq. Coming from a military family, I know the sacrifices people make and no one should ask lightly for those sacrifices to be made.

I'm thankful that my friends and family are in good health.

I'm thankful that I'm employed. I know what it's like to be without work and, despite what some might think, it's not fun at all.

I'm thankful that I can pay my bills mostly on time.

I'm thankful that after nearly 27 years of marriage, my wife can still tolerate me.

I'm thankful that I have a great staff. Life is a lot easier working with people whom I genuinely enjoy being around.

What are you thankful for? If there is one rule of the universe that I have learned it is that life can always be worse. It makes sense then to examine what you have and realize your blessings.

What I like about Thanksgiving is that it's a holiday that transcends religious belief. If there is a higher power in your life, that entity can receive thanks through a non-denominational holiday.

Oh, I forgot one thing.

I'm thankful that Lucky the Wonder Bichon doesn't pee on the over-turned garbage every time he does that.

That is a blessing.

These are my opinions alone. Send your comments to or to 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA, 01028.