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Lately on Ricochet, we’ve had a few posts and comments about gratitude. I came across this photo of my son Alan, my dog Bob, and Marie my loving companion, and that photo reminded me of what I should be grateful for.
I have a sore on my foot, and Marie orders me to the couch each morning and tells me to put my foot in her lap. From there she kills the germs in an open crack with hydrogen peroxide, then seals the crack with New-Skin, and finally softens it all up with foot cream. She finishes up by massaging my feet and lower legs.
Now that is what I call a loving wife. We’ve been married for 59 years, and I thank the gods, whoever they might be, for sending Marie my way.
I’m also thankful for my son Alan, a sweet boy with a mellow personality. I’m afraid I had very little to do with the formation of those traits. While I was away teaching and drinking coffee and reading in my office, Marie was doing the harder job at home raising our two children, Alan and Annie. We’re very proud of both of them and grateful that they turned out so well. Annie became a funeral director, and Alan became the manager of a private plasma company.
And of course, I’m thankful for Bob the Dog. In my dotage, I talk to myself a lot. Sometimes Marie comes into the room when I’m talking to myself. I tell her that I’m talking to Bob (which I actually do a lot). Bob and I are best buds. I laugh at him at least twenty times a day, and he probably laughs at me.
So there you are. Bob the faithful companion, Alan the mellow son, and Marie the loving wife. What more can a man ask for? To answer that, I need to move to an inanimate thing. Yesterday, Marie and I put together and installed a sauna (see below) in our main bathroom. I already know that I love saunas. When the gym was still open, I would bask in their sauna after every workout. Now I can just take a few steps from the bedroom and step into my own sauna.
By the way, most saunas today heat the body with “far-infrared rays.” These far-infrared rays penetrate the skin much deeper than normal heat, and numerous studies have shown that far-infrared relieves aches and pains (including arthritis pain), improves circulation, helps heal wounds, and so on. I’m thankful for our sauna.
You’re probably ready — perhaps eager — to say that Kent is one smug son of a beech. I suppose I am, but I also know that it didn’t have to turn out this well. In fact, I just got word this morning that another of my colleagues from the old days at a Kentucky university where we all taught has died (we’re dropping fast) and two are in bad shape.
The gods have smiled on me. They could have looked the other way.