Brown Creeper, Boise, Idaho

Brown Creeper, Boise, Idaho

As WC writes this, it is snowing lightly outside. A Brown Creeper is working the spruce tree trunk just outside the window. Mountain Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Lesser Goldfinches are working the bird feeders, bringing flashes of color to a monochrome winter landscape. It all serves to remind WC that there is much to be thankful for that can also serve as a motivation as the year and decade move to a close.

It is 28° F outside; it’s 68° F indoors. It’s too easy to take that for granted. In the richest country in the world, there are folks who have no home, or who cannot afford to heat their homes. WC is thankful for what he has, and resolves to address the problem of the homeless and the poor.

WC’s refrigerator is crammed – stuffed like a turkey – with leftovers from Thanksgiving. But there are folks all across our country who wonder how they will find their next meal. The number of folks dependent on food banks for their groceries is growing in Boise and elsewhere. WC is thankful for the bounty he enjoys, and resolves to work to reduce hunger in America and in the world.

WC spent Thanksgiving afternoon with his extended family. Three generations, enjoying company, laughter, food and fun. One of Mrs. WC’s many remarkable qualities is her family. WC is inexpressibly thankful to be a part of that big, boisterous clan. And that Mrs. WC, almost 25 years ago now, said, “Yes.” And yet loneliness and its cousin, despair, are all around us. Especially among the young, suicide is an epidemic. Mental health issues are one of the roots of homelessness, substance abuse and crime. We have to do better.

WC was lucky enough to have a number of talented, patient and dedicated teachers: Jerry Norum, Eve Kozloski, Marlis Strange, Bobbie Childress and Dom LaRusso, to name a few. Those teachers saw qualities in WC that WC didn’t know were there. If this blog shows rare flashes of intelligence, good writing or insight from time to time, it’s because of the superb education and self-discipline those folks nurtured in WC. WC is deeply grateful and thankful to each and all of them. Teaching is, if anything, harder today, and the role of teachers more important than ever, yet our teachers are underpaid, overworked and unappreciated. WC resolves to do more to support teachers.

WC is grateful that the Founding Fathers gave us a federal government with three branches, and that one of those branches, the judiciary, is still doing its job, after the congressional and executive branches have abdicated. And that WC was able to work on the fringes of the judicial system.

WC has no doubt his readers could find much to be thankful for as well, and have themselves already worked hard to make the world a better place.

Yes, an utterly reprehensible, miserable excuse for a human being is disgracing the White House, but there is increasing evidence that a majority of voters are fed up with Trump’s litany of hate, fear and corruption. WC is thankful that the media, and especially the much-maligned newspapers, have worked to expose and educate.

In the fog and miasma of the Trump Administration, in the face of the unrelenting existential crises afflicting America and the world today, it’s easy to lose sight of the many things for which we should be thankful.

Don’t let that happen.