The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 13, 2012

Give thanks — for everything

By Peggy Goodrich, columnist
Enid News & Eagle

— Are you truly thankful? Think about it.

We say we are thankful, but do we take for granted the wonderful things that have been bestowed on us? We set aside one day a year just to express our gratitude. Is one day enough?

I am almost convinced that we have to be very ill before we truly appreciate our health. We have to have someone in our family or a very close friend who has gone through a serious illness or surgery before we can honestly enjoy good health. We cannot know what we have not experienced.

Along that line, we really cannot appreciate our doctors or medical science until we have needed their services in desperation. Then we know how important their knowledge and compassion are.

Thankfully, I have not lived in a country where religious freedoms are missing. However, if it were taken from me, I know I would never sleep in on Sunday mornings. I would be the first to Sunday school and church. Too bad that our religious freedoms are interpreted to mean we are free to worship or not. We would never think of keeping our kids out of school until they decided what they wanted to be, then send them to school for that subject. Yet we have heard parents say that they won’t force their kids to go to a church Let them decide what their religious preference will be when they get older. Our kids need some basic background before they can make an educated choice in religion as well as a career. Religion is something many of us take for granted.

We take all the credit for the creature comforts we enjoy. We think they all come because of our paychecks. Those comforts and material things come with a price, but we need to be grateful for them and not take them for granted. Ask anyone who has had a total burn-out of their home or had it destroyed by flood, hurricane or tornado, and they will never again take small things for granted without special thanks.

We here in America have such a long list of things for which to give thanks. We have education, the very best in the world. We have a free government, a democracy, and can speak against it without fear of prosecution. We enjoy good roads, museums, art, music, and too many other things to even mention.

We have families that live in liberty to raise as we choose, without government interference. We have freedom of choice in nearly every life situation. We have clear minds and free spirits.

With all the things we have, we are still often in pursuit of something else, and few of us stop to really give thanks for our bounty. As Grandma used to say, “We never miss the water until the well runs dry.” Too often, we don’t appreciate what we have until they disappear or are taken away. Are we truly thankful?

I am especially thankful for my humble background in the country, with parents and grandparents who loved me and cared for me and provided for me and taught me to do things and appreciate what I had. Every day, I thank God for my many blessings.

I am grateful for a comfortable home, a loving, caring church, our Bible study class, my education, my gift for writing and enjoying it, and this newspaper that accepts and publishes my “masterpieces.” I am grateful that I love to cook and have informal dinners often for friends and family, and for the young Marines who have embraced us and become part of our family.

I am especially thankful that Jim maintains such a sweet, kind attitude with all the health problems that he constantly faces. He is a joy to care for because he is so appreciative. I am indebted to friends and family who help with Jim’s care and and give me and Jim a brief respite.

I am grateful for our policemen and firemen who come at a moment’s notice if we call. We feel safe when we sleep, because we know they are awake and alert.

I am grateful for neighbors who look in on us and help with little things, that are big things to us.

I love America, my home. I love living in Oklahoma. I love the beauty of nature of our gorgeous seasons. I enjoy its back roads and its scenic views. I love my neighborhood surroundings.

Most of all, and last but not least, I am grateful for a husband who adores me and for the 44 years we have been happily married. He has brought such peace, comfort and joy into my life. He and our sweet dog, Richey, make our household complete. I am truly blessed.

Occasionally, it is good to pause in our pursuit of happiness, just to be happy, and thankful. If we had only one prayer to pray, it need say only “thank you.”

For raves and thanks, try this wonderful pie. I have shared it before, but occasionally, someone calls me to hunt out the recipe again.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

2⁄3 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter

6 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup chopped pecans

1 unbaked pie shell (9-inch)

Combine milk, butter and chocolate chips and place over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Combine eggs, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla and pecans. Stir in chocolate mixture. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, until set. Top with whipped cream or ice cream, as if it isn’t rich enough already!

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.