Thanksgiving for bumper harvest and life

Thanks for great harvest:
We dumped the last loads of grain in the last light of day, then took our combines home to a hot supper in the warm house. What a wonderful end to a great season. The farmers in our area could sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with full bins. They have a lot to be thankful for! Both Robert and I combined an excellent crop for our bosses, and the neighbour’s fields looked the same. From what I saw and heard, canola crops were between 50 and 60 bushels/acre, and CPS wheat crops around 80 bushels/acre. “This is God’s country,” one farmer told us when we came to Westlock. I think so!

Loren Koch's three JD9600 combines wait with full hoppers to unload a great CPS wheat crop. (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

Loren Koch's three JD9600 combines wait with full hoppers to unload a great CPS wheat crop. (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

Thanks for family:
Being finished with harvest before Thanksgiving meant we could join my family in Fort St. John B.C. for the holiday meal. 28 of us crowded into my sister Helen’s place. I give thanks for this wonderful, sometimes crazy family.

Thanks for a small harvest:
The farmers in Fort St. John are finished with harvest too, but their bins are only half full at best. While much of the Prairies were drowning in water, the Peace experienced a major drought. They’re thankful that they could harvest the crop dry though. As my brother-in-law Peter Zingre said to us, “it’s still better to be able to harvest a small crop than to leave it out in the snow.”

The Drshiwiski family from Cecil Lake, B.C., on their annual Thanksgiving cattle drive, 'taking them home.' (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

The Drshiwiski family from Cecil Lake, B.C., on their annual Thanksgiving cattle drive, 'taking them home.' (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

Thanks for life:
But a good crop isn’t that important anymore when I think of my friend Joanne. She’s been battling cancer for a year now and was admitted into hospital Thursday before Thanksgiving, to palliative care. You wonder what she could find to be thankful for. She’s very thankful for the excellent and loving care given to her in the hospital. I know too, that she’s thankful for the friends and family that are there for her and for her young adult children. To all of us who know her well she’s been a real role model in how to deal with the hard stuff of life. She never minimized it, and did her fair share of crying out to God: “This isn’t fair!” But she never lost her ability to be grateful for all she did have.

She taught me what a privilege it is to be able to get up every morning on my own strength; to be able to take care of my own needs. My aches and pains, and petty little cares are exposed as just that – petty. I have so very much to be thankful for.

The 33 miners in Chile, their family, friends and the whole world are thankful for their ascent to freedom today. What a wonderful story!

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