This time of year it is commonplace to reflect upon the things for which we are thankful, especially with Thanksgiving Day just around the corner. So before you carve the turkey, dig into the trimmings and plop yourself down on the couch to nap, or talk to loved ones, or watch a football game on Nov. 22, take stock on the good things in your life and reach out to those for whom you are grateful. Better yet, make it a year-round practice. Why wait for the holidays?
To get an idea of what your neighbors are thankful for this holiday season, West Des Moines recently polled several local residents. As expected, their answers varied, but almost everyone we talked to responded that they were thankful for their family and good health. No doubt, they are probably at the top of your list, too.
Members of the Offerman family, who appear on the cover of this month’s magazine, offered to share a few things that they are thankful for this year. Katie, the family’s matriarch, says, “I am thankful for my family and friends, good health, and living in America where I have warm, safe shelter, food and freedom.”
Her husband, Adam, concurred by simply responding, “Ditto what my wife said.”
Their children, Aidan, 9, and Adalyn, 6, also weighed in on the conversation. Aidan responded, “I’m thankful for my friends and family.” While Adalyn says she is thankful for “Her mom and dad, her house and bed with blankets, birthdays, fun stuff, toys, friends, food and holidays.”
So without further ado, take a few minutes to read this month’s cover story. Then take a few more minutes to count your blessings. You will be happy that you did.
“I’m thankful for the love and respect of my family, my nieces and nephews, and children and grandchildren, and the love that I feel when I see them. When I see them, their faces light up and they smile and they have such a heartwarming response that it’s beyond anything you can put down into words.”
“Good health and my family.”
“Waking up every morning healthy. If you’ve got your health, that’s all you can ask for. The rest is easy.”
“I’m thankful for many things, including my family and to have a job.”
“I’m thankful that I have a job and that we have our freedom of religion, speech and the press. This country has been blessed. I think people should be more thankful. To call it ‘Thanksgiving Day’ doesn’t do it for me. We’re blessed compared to other countries in the world.”
“I’m thankful for God who helps people’s lives with love.”
“Family, friends, my job and the beautiful weather today. There’s a lot to be thankful for.”
“I’m thankful for family and in this economy, having a job.”
“I’m thankful for Valley Junction and the chance to open a little business there and how everybody knows everybody on the block. I’m also thankful for my health.”
“I’m thankful for being engaged and for my family. They’ve been a huge support to me through thick and thin, whether it’s been emotionally or financially. I’m also thankful for my job. I recently broke my arm and my bosses have stuck it out with me when I needed that support. They’re like an extended part of my family.
“On the business side, I’m thankful for being able to do what I want to do
for a job. Before my mom passed away, she told me to pursue my dream to sell antiques, so that’s what I’ve done. On a personal level, I’m thankful for my family. That’s No. 1.”
“My family… a thousand times over. I’m also thankful for the opportunities that I’ve had in my life. I have two kids, ages 7 and 10, and they mean the world to me.”
“At age 95, I’m thankful to be healthy and alive. I’m also thankful for my family and friends.”
“I’m thankful for all the obvious things like my family, my health and my job. I’m also thankful for people who obey the law and don’t text while they drive. I’ve seen too many people almost get in accidents because they were texting. It’s scary.”
“My family and their health. My father has diabetes and lost five toes recently, but he’s going to be able to participate in Thanksgiving Day, and he’s done a 360 with his health. That makes me very happy.”
“I’m thankful for the people of Valley Junction and their kindness. It’s a warm community.”
“I’m thankful for every day that I wake up. I do some volunteer work at the Des Moines Art Center, and I’m thankful for being involved in that, as well as for my family and friends.”
“I’m thankful that my family is doing well, and that they’re healthy. That’s the best thing right now.”
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to see my extended family at least once a year. We get everyone together for Thanksgiving and rent out a hall. The women go shopping, and the men hang out. I think I like Thanksgiving more than Christmas sometimes because everyone can be together.”
“I’m thankful to live in a democracy where we can vote for our leaders, but I will also be thankful for the day after elections when I stop receiving phone calls and mail from candidates.”