Thanksgiving Gratitude

With Turkey Day bearing down hard upon us I thought I would share a few thoughts about what I have to be thankful for this year.  As always, your mileage may vary, but I hope you still have something to be thankful for.

The key feature of retirement is TIME and for that I am immensely grateful this year.

Now that I am retired I am finding myself with time on my hands and hours to fill. But I have not been bored for a single minute. Well, maybe for a minute  — before I looked around the house and saw another project that had been sitting for months waiting to be accomplished, and then off I went again.

I am thankful for those 17 nights of car-camping I did this summer. Because I had the time to do it and enjoy the process without feeling rushed.

I am thankful for another productive garden and canning season which I actually had leisure time to deal with, without cramming it all into corners of the weekends and evenings.

I am thankful for the time to go visit my adult kids in their home environments and do fun things together.

I am thankful for being able to reconnect with old friends that I’ve been too busy for.

I am thankful for crazy hunt-friends who kept their sense of humor when our only “kill” was a kitchen mouse.

Mouse backstrap, anyone?

I do not have a wild turkey to share with my family for Thanksgiving. Nor do I have fresh venison, though I do have a couple carefully hoarded vacuum-sealed packs of venison left from last year’s little doe, and I’m STILL thankful for that even a year later.

And I do have the memory of the single pellet that I managed to put into a wild duck as a follow-up shot to the shot a friend made. I know this because as she was breasting out the bird and cleaning it for mounting she found one of my hex pellets in the breast (She was shooting spherical pellets). So I’m thankful for the reinforcement that I “can” hit a wild duck on the wing with a 20 ga pawn shop pumpgun.

You can cherish memories even though you can’t eat them. But I DO have scads of garden produce with which to feed my family. Produce that I grew myself from seed. Some of that seed I saved myself from last year’s harvest. I used my time wisely and for that I am thankful.

A small representation of scores of pounds of produce.

But here is the downside to having time on my hands. I suddenly feel compelled to do girly projects which I could never manage before. I’m not sure that’s a good thing or not.

Case in point – I cleaned all the dead summer flowers out of a planter I had received as a retirement gift from a coworker and was suddenly seized with a need to re-dress it as a Thanksgiving centerpiece. Am I talented in this direction? Umm, no. But did that stop me from running all over Hobby Lobby trying to find appropriate supplies? Again, no. 

This is where the insanity kicks in. So I get home and discover that I probably need some kind of foam to stick stuff in. I had already spent 40 bucks at HL on a tablecloth and various fall greenery, but did I go back and buy florist foam? Of course not. I went outside to the curb and dug through my own garbage in front of the neighbors to retrieve packing foam that had arrived with my air fryer a few days previous. Waste not, want not, amirite? That part of me will never fade away – retired or not. It may even get worse (I am not a hoarder, I am not a hoarder …)

So all of this to say that I have a great deal to be thankful for this holiday season and I hope that you do as well. Remember the Four Rules of Firearm Safety as you hit the deer woods or the range this holiday. Be Safe and Be Thankful. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! 

Dr LateBloomer is a female general pediatrician who bought her first firearm at the age of 46. She now enjoys many different shooting disciplines including self-defense, IDPA, Steel/Rimfire Challenge, Sporting clays, and even tried 3-Gun for several years. She has gotten started in hunting and has expanded into crossbow. She is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment and works to enlighten her medical colleagues whenever possible.