Don’t be a turkey, be thankful for every day



Thursday will be Thanksgiving and for many of us this is a day when we pause, reflect and give thanks for what we have. The sad thing is this too often is the only time we do that.

Maybe with Thanksgiving coming up we should take more time to be thankful for what we have and grateful for all the people around us. In the flash of a moment all that we have can be gone.

Maybe if everyone was more thankful for what they have today and every day there would be less hate in this world. Wouldn’t that be wonderful.

This Thanksgiving if you do not think you have any place to go, there is. Webster Area Ministerial Association is putting on a Thanksgiving meal. It takes place Thanksgiving Day, 11:45 a.m. at the Golden Age Center, Webster. Reservations are encouraged at the Golden Age Center or any Webster area congregation. Home delivery is not available, but takeouts are at 12:30 p.m.

It is a great way to start being thankful for an organization like that to put it on and all the people involved in the annual Thanksgiving meal.

So now is the time to change being thankful just on Thanksgiving, and try to be that way each day.

I know I am truly blessed with a loving wife, family and friends. While we may not be together for Thanksgiving, like any other day we will be in touch. There are so many other things I am thankful for each and every day.

I heard this one day, so keep this in mind about being thankful. If tomorrow you only had what you were thankful for yesterday, what would you have? I believe it would change how thankful all of us truly are today.

From all of us at the Reporter & Farmer, have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.


Count your blessings, name them one by one



While this Thursday is jokingly called “Turkey Day,” it’s really about more than the food.

Although food coma is a real thing, Thursday is one day of the year where we’re meant to slow down and intentionally think on what we’re thankful for. Don’t hear me suggest we should only take time to be thankful on Thanksgiving, but in our busy lives a person can easily get so caught up in the whirlwind of life that they forget about their blessings.

Most probably know of that old time hymn, the one that goes, “count your many blessings, name them one by one…” It’s one of my favorite hymns, but to be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever truly tried to count every one of my blessings. During my prayers, I usually cheat and thank God for what He’s given me in a blanket statement that covers all.

I have this friend who is in the habit of writing down the things she’s thankful for. I think it may have been inspired by author Ann Voskamp who did the same thing and ultimately published her list as a book titled One Thousand Gifts.

While there is not the space to run a list that long here, I do want to take a moment and share with you a few things I’m thankful for.

Jesus’ sacrifice on a cross. Without Him, I’m nothing.

Family. As messed up and divided as we are sometimes, they’re part of what made me who I am.

Friends. Those who see me through – the tough times and the good. The ones who are like family.

Pets. My horse and my cat. The one lets me get away and the other calms my anxiety when I can’t.

My house, even at the risk of my landlord seeing this and deciding to raise my rent. The space feels just right for me.

Living in America. Somewhere there is due process. Those who don’t agree, I’ve found, tend to be those not willing to go through said process.

Our military and law enforcement. They do their best to keep us safe and make many sacrifices along the way.

South Dakota. Her sunrises and sunsets. The scenic view of this state.

My women’s Bible study group. The collective wisdom from those ladies helps grow my faith.

The kids who come to my Sunday School class. Their curiosity, energy and enthusiasm is contagious.

Chocolate. Just chocolate.

So remember, be thankful all year around, but especially take time this Thanksgiving. It’s just a reminder, in case you haven’t stopped to count your blessings in a little while.

When parents disagree and the courts decide



Why is it that only the non-custodial parent is held responsible?

A custodial parent can tell the other parent, the non-custodial parent if you will, if they get to see their child or not.

If the non-custodial parent can not pay the required child support the state implements, the penalty inflicted on the non-custodial parent starts with getting their driver’s license suspended and then ultimately they go to jail.

While I worked within the sheriff’s office setting that is the one thing I was just baffled about. I had to book parents who were picked up and arrested for non payment of child support. Most of the time these parents were picked up from their place of employment. It baffled me due to paperwork that could have been filed at their work place, while allowing them to keep working and start garnishing their pay.

If you asked a majority of these parents how often they get to see their children, “rarely” is usually what you’ll be told.

Are all non-custodial parents up to par when it comes to raising their children? Not always, but a majority of them are. One could say the same about a custodial parent.

Remember the court decides who gets to be the custodial and non-custodial parent in most cases. They also get to say the non-custodial parent must relinquish 50 percent of their paycheck to the custodial parent. Oh and don’t forget about the insurance. The non-custodial parent will be picking up that also.

I know non-custodial parents who have gone broke taking the custodial parent to court because they don’t see their children. But instead of the court mandating a punishment towards the custodial parent, the non-custodial parent has walked away head down while their child support goes up.

I’ve personally heard a Division of Child Support professional say, “I do not care if you have no money left over at the end of the month to support your family, you can live in a cardboard box for all I care as long as your child support is paid.”

Now imagine this parent calling over and over to speak with their children, the court system has already deemed they don’t care if the custodial parent doesn’t abide by the custody agreement, the custodial parent tells them the children are busy or they just don’t answer. Now what?

Can you imagine the frustration? You are told, we don’t care if you get to see your kids even though you are sound of mind and body to raise them, but you will pay for them.

There are many custodial parents who have led their children down a path to hate the non-custodial parent. They have told them their parents don’t want them or they have a new family now. Which knowing a lot of the people I do, is far from the truth. One rule of any custody law is not to speak ill of the other parent. Yet so many do. Can anyone imagine what that psychologically does to a child?

I could speak about this for days so I will close with this: Nobody thinks they will get divorced. I sure don’t know the answer to the “perfect custody agreement” but I have always thought a blended family could be positive for children to have so many people who love them.

I’d rather be loved by more people, wouldn’t you?

Cross country ride will be adventure of a lifetime



I want to ride my bike across the country. No, I’m not that great a rider. No, I’m not a spring chicken. No, it won’t be easy – or fast.

But what an adventure. John and I often host cyclists who are riding through our area. You should hear the stories they tell of their time on the road. Until hearing some of those stories I didn’t realize it was something I wanted to do. But now the idea is planted.

It was supposed to happen a couple of years ago. But I didn’t want to do it alone. Adventures are much more fun when you share them with someone. The friend who was planning to share that particular adventure found out she was going to become a grandmother during our time away and I couldn’t blame her at all for canceling.

Last year I took a bike mechanic class and bought some of the equipment necessary for a cross country trip. I took my first overnight trip, riding to a small town halfway to my mom’s house the first day and sleeping in the park in a tent. It was going well until a couple of hours into the second day when I was impatient to get to the next town. Pulling over to the shoulder to consult my map for mileage, my bike tipped over. Really slowly – one of those 0 mph things. My shoes clip in to my pedals so I couldn’t get a foot down on the ground. I got up, dusted myself off and looked around to see if anyone was watching. Then I rode the 12 miles to the next town and had Mom pick me up there. An x-ray at her local clinic showed that yes, my rib was broken.

But that hasn’t changed how I feel about riding. It’s only changed the proposed plan. I stumbled onto a used RV for sale by a family member, so instead of carrying everything we need for three months on our bikes, we can take all the comforts of home with us. We just need to finalize a driver and get together to map out a route.

That leaves this fall and winter to get into a lot better shape. I’m hoping there won’t be any more new grandchildren until next fall.

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