It’s that time of year again – a time when we traditionally look back over the previous year and think about all the things we should be thankful for. It’s a time to remind ourselves to see that our glass is not half empty but really half full. Here are just a few things I am thankful for this time of year.

I am deeply thankful….

That I am not my neighbor Rich Donaldson. Man, what a streak of bad luck he’s been having lately.  First he sells all of his stock when the market tanked at rock bottom at 6500. Then he invests his remaining life savings in a company that manufactures telephone booths, saying he was convinced cell phones were just a fad. Uh, no, Rich, not a fad. On the bright side, Rich will make you a great deal on a telephone booth. No reasonable offer will be refused. Comes complete with a Yellow Pages directory (if you’re old enough to remember what those were.)

That through a rigorous program of regular strenuous aerobic exercise and weight training, combined with a reduced calorie diet consisting mostly of kelp, almonds and curdled skim milk, over the past three months I’ve only put on two pounds.

That over the past twelve months neither one of my two daughters ever once seriously contemplated the use of lethal weapons against their sibling (if you don’t count pepper spray) in their daily shouting matches over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher or who caught who wearing the other girl’s dress/shoes/ear rings/sweatshirt/jacket/perfume without asking. (Editor’s note: The two smiling, cooperative sisters doing dishes happily in the photo at right bear no resemblance to my actual daughters when they do the dishes. I am convinced these are child actors.)

That this past spring, my wife never found out when I told her I was going out for a drive with our then 15-year old daughter Rachel that I actually was letting Rachel drive the car herself (before she got her learner’s permit). Thankfully, my wife never reads this blog, so there is absolutely no chance she will ever find out about my little deception. Man, would I be in the dog house big time if she ever knew. You have no idea.

That each weekend, as soon as I have finished doing the laundry, cleaning up cat spit-ups, taking Rachel to soccer, picking Rachel up from soccer, getting the groceries, trying to fix the virus problem on our kids’ computer, cleaning out the garage, vacuuming the house, helping Emmy with her social studies term paper, raking the leaves, working on my blog, driving Emmy to the mall, picking Emmy up from the mall, fixing the clog in the kids’ bathroom toilet, negotiating a temporary peace agreement between Rachel and Emmy over who actually caused the toilet to clog, and figuring out whose college education we will need to forego in order to pay the 17 past due bills, I can finally relax and watch the final seven minutes of the football game. Just as well I missed most of the game. My team lost by 4 touchdowns.

That I am not James Heselden, the owner of the company that builds Segways – those little two-wheeled novelty vehicles that you see once every five years and think to yourself “Man, I haven’t seen one of those things in five years.” The company did very badly this past year. Mr. Heselden did worse. He died this year from an accident – caused when the Segway he was steering went over a 30-foot cliff into a river. Rest in peace, Mr. Heselden.

That I don’t know a single person personally who openly admits to being a member of the Tea Party. I hope this streak continues.

On a related note, I am thankful that Sarah Palin has a new reality show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska. I can only hope that the show gets renewed for the next 20 years – so she does not have time to mess things up in the Lower 48. Look Sarah, go pat that mamma Grizzly. She looks so cute.

That I have a day job that I really enjoy and which thankfully pays far better than my blog site does. (But YOU can change this. You can have your very own Exclusive Sponsorship of View from the Bleachers for a full year for just $150,000. For details, call me toll-free at 1-800-RUA-FOOL.)

That as much of a disaster as my lawn continues to be, with out of control weeds, toadstools, moss, mole holes and flooding, there is not a darn thing I plan to do about it until next spring.

That although I may have the body of a 55-year old man, I still have the maturity of a man less than half my age. (My secret? Having absolutely no concern about embarrassing myself or my daughters in any public situation.)

That despite some harrowing moments last month in my first ever yoga class, I somehow survived and was able eventually to reunite with my family and tell them about my terrifying ordeal. (And I have been going to yoga ever since.)

That my local baseball team, the lowly Seattle Mariners, proud owners of the worst record in all of major league baseball this past season, won’t be playing a another game for at least three months. That’s three blessed months I won’t have to endure the misery of watching them lose another 1-0 game. Thank you, Jesus.

That I discovered the brilliant TV sitcom, Modern Family (the best comedy on TV in years) and that I am reminded with each new episode that my kids are no more narcissistically self-absorbed and text-message-addicted than most other kids these days and that they will eventually grow out of this annoying phase – shortly after I am deceased.

Thta ths yrea I fnaly larened how 2 txte msseage. I msut sya, its os esay. I thnik I hvae the hnag of ti.

That over the course of 27 years, 7 months and 3 days of marriage, my wife has steadily lowered her standards with each successive year as to what she requires in a husband, and for reasons incomprehensible to me, continues to let me live in the same house with her.

I could go on and on. Most of all, I am thankful to be a part of a family that will put up with a dad / husband with the maturity of a nineteen year-old, and a family that is still willing to be seen in public with me (albeit at the safe distance of about 15 yards’ separation).

I am thankful to be living in a country that can have a Congressional regime change without our nation resorting to violence and civil war and instead relying mainly on embarrassingly misspelled Tea Party posters (right).

Finally, I am enormously thankful to have the opportunity to write this weekly humor blog, knowing that there are at least seven or eight of you out there still willing to put up with me week in and week out. I just have one question for you: Have you no literary standards whatsoever? Isn’t there a ball game on or something better than wading through this drivel? (Okay, that’s two questions.)

Happy Thanksgiving to you and the important loved ones in your world.

That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.

© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2010 – 2011

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