Sunday, November 17, 2013

Gratitude, Part II

49. . . .to my younger brother who showed me the way to put a sprinkler system in by not only finishing (well, almost) what he started at my house but also by maintaining what he's done at Mom's.

48. . . .to my mother who, well, put up with everything I did, ever, with a smile, by putting up with what silly little things she does now, such as telling her doctor that she's OK with going without oxygen when we visit because we have boring conversations and she can sleep through them.

47. . . .to my mother again who doesn't mind if we bring our dogs over to visit, by visiting often.

46. . . .to CS Lewis, JRR Tolkein, Richard Adams, Sinclair Lewis and so many other authors for writing such excellent books, by re-reading them again and again.

45. . . .to my long-suffering wife who plays Santa Claus so well for our children (rivaling the real guy) by playing Santa Claus to her with more than what she buys for herself and gives to me while saying "Here, surprise me for Christmas."

44. . . .to the folks at Read Write Web, who write so many goofy articles, by making fun of their articles every chance I get.

43. . . .to the City of Ammon Utility Department, which does such a fine job of collecting our trash every week, by not putting anything in the can that's not authorized.

42. . . .to grammar slobs all over the Internet, by giving up my Grammar Nazi bent for Lent.

41. . . .to our dogs Dottie and Daisy, who make life that much more exciting having two furry children in the house, by racing around the staircase in the basement, alternately chasing them or being chased by them.

40. . . .to Monkey, mom's cat, who hides when we come to visit, by bringing our dogs, who flush her out and give her some exercise.

39. . . .to my cat-loving sisters, who take care of the orphans and strays, by showing them Crazy Cat Lady videos from the Simpsons whenever I can. And by letting them call me the Crazy Weenie Dog Man.

38. . . .to whoever it was who Photoshopped my brother Al to look like the happiest Grim Reaper ever, by sharing this photo.

37. . . .to Ebeneezer Beesley, who wrote so many wonderful bits of music to accompany Mormon hymns, by singing "High on the mountain top, a badger chased a squirrel . . ."

36. . . .to the ladybugs who winter in my woodpile, by shooing them out of the wood before I throw it into the firebowl.

35. . . .to my quick-witted brother Al (same guy in the photo above) who, when he hit me in the side of the head with the stub from the carrot he was eating, was smart enough to reply that I was among the "wortle-y wounded," by sharing this joke. And having to explain that "wortle" is Dutch for carrot. We're half-Dutch, see.

34. . .to my Dutch ancestry which makes me more quietly stubborn than others, by being quietly stubborn.

33. . . .to those Dutch ancestors who got kicked out of their synagogue because they wouldn't relinquish the front  pew that the rich guy paid to sit in, by not really caring where I sit in the chapel as long as I can doze there.

32. . . .to those Dutch relatives who hid Jews on their farms during World War II, by honoring the memory of those who were not able to remain hidden.

31. . . .to Dad who took us out of school for a few weeks to visit The Netherlands so we'd connect better with our heritage, by remembering there's a whole nation of people across the sea who might appreciate some of the Dutch jokes Dad told us.

30. . . .to my Aunt Sharon, one of only two people I'll allow to kiss me on the lips, by letting her kiss me on the lips.

29. . . .to my Aunt Sharon again, who made me those wonderful plaid "Aunt Sharon pants" when I was a kid (Sorry, it was the '70s), by letting my kids occasionally wear something I find blindingly objectionable.

28. . . .to Mike Henneke, who put up with my joke about Forks, Washington, by vowing not to repeat it. At least today.

27. . . .to whomever it is who currently owns my 1990 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais, by remembering what a wonderful car it was, despite its cosmetic warts.

26. . . .to Steve Martin, who wrote such wonderful modern screenplays to the likes of Silas Marner and Cyrano de Bergerac, by repeating often, with my wife, the line "Boys, the ladder is up. Boys, the ladder is up. BOYS! The LADDER! IS UP!"

25. . . .to the crooners and balladeers of the 1950s and 1960s, for recording so much wonderful Christmas music, by playing it year-round, no matter who thinks I'm insane.

24. . . .to my children, who steal my pens and then act shocked when they discover three or five of them in their bedrooms, by not getting mad when I take them. And when they steal them again.

23. . . .to Brigham Young, who said "This is the place" and then had the gumption to stick it out when things got bad and people got complainey, by not wondering why Dad decided Idaho would be a good place to settle as an immigrant in the 1950s.

22. . . .to the manufacturer of this computer desk who chose such a fine imitation wood grain laminate for the surface, by covering as much of the surface as I can with books and paperwork.

21. . . .to the guys who installed our gas furnace in 2012, by staying warm in our house and taking the heat for granted, until I remember how inexpensive gas is compared to electric heat.

OK. Top 20 tomorrow. Or at least an additional 20. I've been doing them in no particular order.

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