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Being grateful

In to the Wind

July 13, 2011
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald
Editor’s Note:

On Monday, July 11, Chronicle columnist Mike Gilchrist's internet communications tower which provides service to rural familes in the South Tama County area sustained damage from the wind storm -

Watch for a full report on damage to Advanced Wireless Express in the July 19 Toledo Chronicle.

Previsouly, it was noted- Gilchrist was busier than usual this past week as a co-chair of the 2nd annual Toledo Stoplight Festival. Today’s column is one of Mike’s popular ones which first appeared in The Chronicle on Oct. 16, 2007.

Here's the reprint of the 2007 column - In to the Wind by Mike Gilchrist

I have given you lists of things I like before. I have also written about things I don't like. If I do write about such things, I feel it is important to at least give you the impression I am a balanced person. I wrote about some of my pet peeves recently, so felt, for the sake of balance, I should write about some positive things.

Before my friends or family take offense, they should know this is not a comprehensive list of things for which I'm grateful. I am eternally grateful to my parents, my wife, my kids, my family, and my friends. No, this is just a compilation of tidbits from little scraps of paper I am prone to stuff in my pockets. This list is in no particular order; just random ranting and observations.

People who don't like me

"Huh," you are probably wondering. Put it this way -- my friends and family, while able to guide and help me rectify some character flaws, will tell me white lies to protect my feelings. If I have an opportunity to hear some feedback from a person who doesn't like me, it’s like holding up a mirror to show me my greatest weaknesses. If I can "see" myself, then there are some character flaws I can work on to become a better person. The goal is to have fewer and fewer people dislike me. Of course I have to look beyond those people who don't like me and I don't care.

Rock and Roll Music

Since I am of the opinion that Country Music causes brain damage, and leads to early senility, I am grateful that Rock and Roll has never, and will never die. I have gone through spells in my life when I listened to Jazz, or Classical music, but the true love of my musical tastes lies in Rock music, period. You don't have to agree with me, and if you are a Country fan, don't waste your time trying to effect a conversion which will not happen. I have heard enough songs about pickup trucks, broken hearts, hard drinking, your dog dying, and apple pie. Just don't deprive me of my oldies, and we'll get along just fine.

My dogs

I love my dogs because they don't judge me. Even after receiving a scolding for digging in the yard, they will wag their tail and lick my hand. Dogs will deliver unconditional love, and ask for nothing more than a little water, a little food, and occasional attention. When I come home they are always glad to see me, no matter how my day went, (or theirs for that matter), or what mood I am in. The companionship of a good dog (or three) is soothing to my soul when I have had a bad day.

Non-election years

I get tired fast of all the politicking involved in a Presidential race. The millions of dollars spent on radio and TV spots only serve, in my view, to reinforce my belief that the candidate who lies the best will win. They all lie. They all have hidden agendas, and the process carries on way too long. The way the machine operates now, you no longer have to put up with all the hoopla during the election year, but the year before, and part of the year before that. It‚s kind of like merchants who start with the Christmas displays way before Thanksgiving; presidential politicking just keeps getting earlier and earlier. Bah.

Early morning coffee

I guess I should just call it caffeine. If it weren't for my early morning coffee, I'd be more of an insufferable bastard than I already am. My friends and family are grateful for my early morning infusions. If you knew me better, you would be grateful too. Sometime during or after diner I usually re-up my caffeine level by swilling a Pepsi; my soft drink of choice. I'm fairly confident when Dr. Polly reads this I will be in for a lecture. I know the caffeine isn't good for me, but lack of is not good for people around me. Other coffee drinkers will, I'm sure agree.

Ben Franklin and Mark Twain

Being oft quoted in this space, each holds a special place in my heart as keen observers of the human condition. If either was alive today I would takes great pains to try and meet them. If I could go back in time, it would be in the presence of either.

Police, firemen, EMS and

other public servants

These fine people help make this area such a valued place in which to live. I know if I have a fire here at Gilly Hollow, my "friends" will be quick to respond. If I ever get hurt, I know our well trained EMS and first responders will battle to give the best care. If you don't think our local police do a lot to keep our community safe and free of crime, just look at the statistics. Or community regularly sits statistically near the top of safe cities in Iowa.

Being able to write

I thank God I can sit at this computer and with some effort churn out a thousand words or so for your enjoyment. You might not always like what I have to say, and I might not always like what I write. I am my harshest critic. Writing this column is surely a labor of love, because the paycheck stinks. I am coming up on the second anniversary of this column. That's two years now you've either loved me or hated me. Now if more of my readers were to tell my editor I am not getting paid enough.

Until next time--

You can read past columns by visiting and clicking on the “Local Columns” button at the bottom of the page.

In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2011 Mike Gilchrist. Readers, feel free to contact me at via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA 52342.

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