As I was listening to the minister at our Thanksgiving service talk about how many things we have to be thankful for, it struck me how relative our attitude can be. In fact, it brought to my mind an event that happened when I was sixteen that I doubt I will ever forget.

I had traveled to Ohio and a group of us teens had planned to visit the US Air Force Museum at Wright Patt in the town of Dayton which was about a half hour drive from where we were staying.  As we loaded up, there was high drama and excitement as there usually is in a group of teens, especially when both sexes are present.   I had committed to riding with a young man who was in his early twenties. I had deemed him cool enough to garner at least a couple of girls who would want to ride with him.  (Frankly, I had no illusions about my own coolness factor! I had learned early on that coolness took work. You had to hang out and be the butt of cooler people’s jokes, and it interfered with reading, riding horses, reading, camping, reading, and hanging out with guys that were a lot of fun but lacking in the coolness department.) When everyone was settled in their respective vehicles, we realized, much to our chagrin, that no girls had chosen to ride with us.

As we headed down the road, there were two quite sour young men inside.  The driver was taking out his anger on his tires and engine.  The rider (me) was quite frustrated that he had chosen this ride and wondering if the driver was as cool as he had thought. Looking back now, I think the driver was blaming me for scaring off the girls.  As we followed the long line of cars, we grumped to each other about how they were all a bunch of losers and jerks. (We really had a poor attitude about it.)  We came to a stop sign and the driver, being from California and used to 4 way stops everywhere there was a stop sign, gave a quick glance each way and eased out into the intersection.  I casually glanced down the highway and my attention suddenly focused on a car headed right towards my door at a high rate of speed.  In that instant, I thought death was imminent, but that didn’t stop me from yelling!  The driver, to his credit, reacted instantly and floored it, probably saving my life. A split second later, the car clipped our rear bumper and went sliding on down the road a couple hundred feet. Sliding because it hit just right to knock the front tire and wheel off. I have never before or since experienced such a rapid attitude adjustment! Suddenly neither of us could have cared less who rode with us. We (especially I) were just happy to be alive! I have thought back to that day a lot of times and it is a good reminder of how good each moment really is. We (especially I) were just happy to be alive! I have thought back to that day a lot of times and it is a good reminder of how good each moment really is.

I, and all of us here at C&E, thank you for your part in another great year. A year full of highs and lows, for sure, but moment by moment, a great year.  We wish you a very blessed and Merry Christmas and a great start in the New Year.