Thanksgiving – what a great holiday. This is a wonderful time of year to celebrate and reflect on all the many gifts and blessings we have received throughout the years. Since I’ve lived quite a few years, my blessings have been numerous. I am especially thankful for my neighbours, my first family, friends, and last but not least, my husband and five sons. My siblings – whom I consider my first family – are very special indeed. I keep in touch with my brothers and sisters as much as I can. My sister Joan, who lives in Shipka, is very kind and generous to Tom and me, so to her I say thank you on this Thanksgiving Day. A couple of months ago, I was talking to my neighbour and she was quite astonished that I had raised five sons and lived to tell the tale. I told her that having five boys was the best thing that ever happened to me. “Well,” she said, “I had two sons and I find that boys are so dirty.” My response to her was, “Yes, you’re probably right, but I made sure that my guys were clean as they had to take a bath or shower every night,” to which she said, “Whatever!” I think the idea of taking a bath every night backfired on my son Glenn on one occasion. Glenn and Tom Jr. (my oldest boys) had an opportunity to visit and have a camp-out at a neighbour’s farm. Since we’re basically town folk, this was quite an adventure. Instead of having their bath the night before, I made the boys take their bath before they left for the farm. Tommy was okay with it, but Glenn put up quite a fuss. He insisted he was going to get dirty anyway, so what was the point? I prevailed and the boys were freshly bathed when they set out. When they got to the farm with a group of other kids, they were quite excited to see the animals and the farm machinery and the rest of the makings of the farm. After they were there they were allowed to explore a bit, which was a lot of fun. Glenn decided he’d like to go up in the hayloft and see how that felt, so up he went. He got walking around and everything seemed fine. Then, all of a sudden, he stepped in a hole and fell through the loft into the cows’ toilet. He was covered in manure. Was he ever ticked! Glenn thought he would get dirty at the farm, but not this way. When he came out of the barn smelling like dung, the kids thought it was quite funny. Off he went to the bathroom for – you guessed it – another bath. So yes, boys do get dirty, but you can always clean them, and this is another thing I am thankful for. Count your blessings this year, and be ever so thankful today and every day.