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This, that and the odder

Originally I wanted to do a column for Thanksgiving about being thankful for things. I thought I had great subjects, and I would ask all my siblings what they were thankful for this year.

This plan worked until I started getting responses that were lacking originality. For example I’m thankful for my home, family, food, etc. Not that these things aren’t important, but I really wanted to challenge my siblings and get them to think a little harder on all the little but extremely important things for which they were thankful. I didn’t get much until I started giving them examples about things I wanted to include.

Here are some of the little things that make me smile, or breathe a deep sigh of relief throughout my days ...

• I’m thankful every morning when I wake up in bed and our crazy dog Elf was not left outside barking and howling at the leaves that are blowing by.

• When I walk into the bathroom and see all my brothers managed to aim properly, it makes me feel thankful.

• I love the days I am not on dish duty.

• I’m thankful I have such great cooperative (most of the time) siblings that let me take their pictures whenever I want, and that I finally decided to go and buy a camera so I can take those pictures.

• I am filled with gratitude when I walk outside and see a beautiful sunset or a full moon that I can capture in a picture.

• I was so pleased when my piano recital piece was played beautifully after I had totally botched it at the practice.

• My favorite day of the week is Wednesday because I have piano lessons at Mrs. Brown’s house and going there sets the tone for my entire week. She makes me smile. I’m grateful that I started piano years ago.

• I’m thankful that my mom understands my need for control and will let me design the Christmas card this year.

• I love the way my brother Simeon makes unexpected goofy faces, and when he smiles, he does it with his whole face.

• I’m thankful my brother Justus will always let me borrow his docking station (that is pretty much mine now) and will never complain about it.

• I appreciate the way my brother Milo can entertain anyone in the house whenever he wants to. He can take my sister, Faustina, when she is falling apart and get her in a good mood just by playing with her for a bit.

• I am thankful when I get new piano books and I can sit down and play through all the new songs which sometimes takes me hours.

• I love having a 7-year-old sister who can give me fashion advice in the morning when I have no idea whatsoever what to wear (and she gives great advice).

• I feel thankful my youngest sister, Patience, will do just about anything for me (mostly give me hugs) if she can just play Pretty Princess on the iPod.

• I am so happy my mom is almost to the end of her pregnancy, so she doesn’t have to keep counting down the weeks until she feels comfortable again.

• I am thankful we live on a farm and not in town, so when one of my siblings is running around naked you can just laugh and not worry about what the neighbors will think.

I guess my list has taken up most of the room so I will just share the best responses from my siblings.

Milo loves the feeling when he earns a new belt in karate and is the most thankful for his purple belt. He is thankful for the first snow and watching Patience when she watches “Curious George” in the morning because it makes her laugh. Lastly, he is thankful for serving weeks at church because he gets doughnuts.

Faustina is grateful for Tuesdays because that is the day she goes to violin. She is thankful Patience loves her most out of all the kids. She loves it when I allow her to color in my room at night and especially when I join her. She feels thankful for the winter breeze, and she is most thankful for her birthday.

Simeon is thankful when the corn starts turning brown because that means harvest is coming. He is glad he has 32 coloring books and might get more for Christmas. He appreciates he is an artist and can play the piano. He is thankful the coyotes quit eating our chickens, and he loves Fridays because that is when he gets computer time.

Justus is thankful for school days because he loves school and all his teachers there. He is grateful for hunting season and the plentiful deer. He loves that his mom will bring him his lunch when he forgets it and makes treats for all his friends at school and Festival 56. He is thankful for being able to play piano and guitar and having the best piano and guitar teachers in the world.

Patience is last but not least, and her list is short. She loves her kitty backpack!

This Thanksgiving I hope you keep in mind all the simple and little things that are important and make you smile. I know that some people have a lot harder life than others, but there is always something that can brighten your day like a front row parking spot at Walmart or an unexpected letter in the mail.

Amelia Bystry, 15, resides in rural Princeton. You can contact Amelia at amelia_bystry@yahoo.com.

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