Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

I intended to write a nice long description today of all the things in my life that I am thankful for. Technically it is still Thanksgiving. I still have about 15 minutes to finish this.

I am thankful for my dear wife. I spent several years as a bachelor after I got out of college, maybe too many years. I had developed habits and customs suitable for a bachelor and didn’t really want to change them. When I was fixed up with my dear wife on a blind date I agreed to go only to get my secretary at work off my back. She couldn’t stand the fact that I was young single and didn’t care if I was dating anyone or not.

I wasn’t looking to get married or even serious about anyone. I was here for a short three year stint and then I was getting out of the hell hole. That was 21 years, a wife, two houses and three kids ago. I still have all but one of the houses.

I thought long and hard before I proposed. Not because I was worried about marrying the wrong girl. I knew she was the right one. I just didn’t know if I wanted to be married at all. Looking back I made the right choice. Sometimes I have to wonder if she did when she said yes. There was a time when I wondered if I even wanted to be married. Now I can hardly imagine being single.

My dear wife is kind loving and beautiful and I’m a very luck guy.

I am thankful for my kids.
We never thought of having more than two kids. After having the first we gave serious thought to not going through with our plans for a second. But after four years we decided to go ahead. Surprise! Surprise! Twins! Suddenly I was a father of three kids. I needed an extra room in the house, more space in the car, another college education, extra food, clothing everything.

So far it is working out just fine. My kids are smart, personable and a delight to be around. At least that is what their teachers tell us. We have to keep reminding them who we are because we are sure it’s not our kids they are talking about.

I am thankful for my job. I have worked to better the defense of the United States my entire professional career. I don’t have the temperament to have succeeded in the military. I don’t mind following orders but I have a tendency to ask “Why?” a lot. As a civilian engineer that kind of behavior is expected. As a man in uniform it would have gotten me into a lot of trouble. I have had interesting things to work on most of my career. There have been some slow periods that were tough to get through. But for the most part I have enjoyed what I do. I don’t love getting up and going to work. There are so many other things in life that I would rather be doing. But they don’t pay the bills or allow me prepare for retirement. So I get up and go to work each day.

I am thankful for the dangerous men and women out there in the world doing dangerous things in the night so that my family and I can sleep in peace and comfort. I’m talking about the men and women of our volunteer military. I have met a lot of men and women (mostly Navy) serving in the armed forces. They have without exception been kind, compassionate dedicated, hard working and very intelligent people. When I see our elected officials, or Hollywood stars denigrating them by implying that they are stupid, or just poor folk with no other options it really gets my blood boiling. The men and women of our armed forces are my customers. They are the people who use the systems and weapons that are developed where I work to defend our nation. But most importantly they are the people doing what needs to be done to keep my family and my country safe. They deserve much more than a couple paragraphs in an occasional blog. That is the main reason why I have spent my entire career working in military weapons development. They are keeping me safe, so helping make sure they have the best training, weapons and equipment possible to do their jobs is the least I can do.

I’m thankful for my volleyball teams. I have mentioned several times in the past that I never really liked living in Ridgecrest and that I really hate living in California. But the time I get to spend with those girls makes me love living here more every day.

I am thankful for my friends.
It is the people around us that make getting up in the morning to face the day worth while. I have been blessed through the years with a few really good close friends. But in addition to them I have had a lot of good decent casual friendships also. Sure there are always the jerks in our lives we have to deal with, but I am thankful for them also. Without the jerks how would we know how much we appreciate the good people in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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