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The typical thankful column

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POSTED November 20, 2012 9:17 p.m.

I’ve been inundated with reasons to be happy of late. Some are simple, some carry more emotional weight.

The first things on the list stem from the Thomas McGuane book I am currently ingesting. Wouldn’t you know it; the book is about a life of fishing. But the thing about it and most books I read about angling is that they aren’t just about catching fish.

By the way, I’m thankful I can read, like to read and do it daily. I don’t have a Kindle, iPad or any other kind of digital reader.

I’m thankful for books. I like to feel the pages, underline words, comment in the margins and use old fishing licenses or ticket stubs to mark my spot. I like the wrinkle in the spines, the non-mechanical sound of turning pages and the muffled plop it makes when hitting the floor after I reach the back cover and sit to ponder the end before walking it back to the shelf. I like wedging it back between the other upright books and kneeling down to consider the next read or re-read.

I like it when other people read books too, because it’s easier to find friends behind Thomas McGuane, Russell Chatham or John Gierach covers. I’ve always thought that I’d meet my future wife while she was reading, The River Why. If she were reading a Kindle, I would have no clue about her perfection.

Enough about books.

I’m thankful for the 90 days I’ve fished so far this year. I’m thankful for advanced graphite technology which makes my Sage TXL-F 1-weight fly rod one of the coolest things I own.

I’m thankful I have a job. Shortly after I was hired there was a lot of retirement and turnover, so I rose in seniority. When the economic pain started, my job wasn’t in doubt. I will never forget this and will never approach my job with diluted enthusiasm because I have tenure or seniority. If I do, I need to quit or should get fired.

That said, I’m thankful I’m passionate about something other than work. I don’t consider filling this space work, though technically it is. I don’t consider experiencing things I will then write about to fill this space work either. That’s just fun. I’m thankful Jonamar considered my pitch to write about my misadventures in the outdoors and the editors gave him the OK.

I’m thankful for pulled pork.

I’m thankful that though Taylor Swift tells me we are never getting back together, Carly Rae Jepson wants me to call her. She’s Canadian, I bet she’s got some steelhead stories.

I’m thankful Mom and Dad taught me how to conduct myself, so when I screw up, I know it and don’t blame anyone else. Most of life ends up being responding to curve balls or crisis, so how to deal with it all becomes vital.

I’m thankful I have stories of growing up on an island in Alaska in a town of 700, went to a high school of 65 and graduated with 14 others. My childhood was what it was, and it was great. Nothing about it was cheapened because of population or location. Bored is an attitude, and we can choose our attitudes almost all the time.

I’m thankful that at any given moment I’d rather be on top of a mountain, and it took sweat and burning hamstrings to get me there. If I were actually on top of said peak, I’d think about family and faith, then be thankful some more.

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