“It seems like everyone has ten pounds of trouble in a five pound bucket,” someone once observed.

Some days, it may seem like that.  It’s really not so. I think it’s the other way around — we have far more to be grateful for then we have trouble. But as the song says, you have to “Count your many blessings.” That’s what Thanksgiving is for.

This year I actually stopped and made a list. That was a nice experience. Sometimes we need to be reminded how far the good things outnumber the bad.

I’ll share my list with you — not to be personal but because I suspect that you and I share a lot of the good things in life — and maybe my list is a shortcut to your list, a way to make the good things in your life standout.

I built my list into four categories:

  • America
  • Parents
  • Body and Mind
  • Family


I love America. I love the freedoms and the safety we enjoy. I’m proud of our heritage from pilgrims to pioneers to modern pioneers in a landscape of endeavors.

We live in beautiful places, the West — in Idaho — with sweeping vistas, clear skies, and mountains framing the horizon in every direction. But I loved Minnesota with its lakes, forests, and fields. Before that, I loved Alaska, and Utah, and Florida, and the short year that I worked in North Carolina. America is so diverse and each area has its own beauty.

I love freedoms that we enjoy and the opportunities that we have. We have an amazing standard of living.

I love Americans. I love their goodness and generosity. I love their creativity and their work ethic. It’s not that Americans are better than others; it’s just that I know Americans.


Abraham Lincoln said something like, “All that I am I owe to my angel mother.” I owe all that I am to my parents.

My mother was an amazing lady of faith and spirituality with an amazing sense of right and wrong and the ability to instill it in others. I hear her voice, “Don’t judge others. If you walked where they walked, you would do the same.”

My dad taught me to work. And he was amazingly generous. He spent much of his life helping others. Plus he was the most dedicated family man I know.

Body and Mind

I look around, especially as the years creep by, and see so many struggling with health issues. I’ve been amazingly healthy. I’m grateful for that.

I’m not the smartest man on the planet. I’m not even as smart as I used to think I was. But there is much that I can do well and my mind functions well enough to see opportunities and figure out problems. Anyone that can do that is blessed.


I’ve enjoyed the company of an amazing wife for 35 years. Each year I love her more and depend on her more. I adore her.

We have five great kids, kids that are kind and generous and try to do what’s right. We have five granddaughters. Love those little tykes.

It’s a great life in spite of ten pounds of assorted troubles.

That’s this year’s list. I ought to post it on the wall where I’ll see it every day and jolt me back to the real world away from those ten pounds that come into life.

I hope you have a very similar list.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Dennis Weaver
The Prepared Pantry

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