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Grim's Tales: And thanks for being our reader too

I wrote a column several weeks ago explaining why a reporter writes about the things we write about, but I think that subject pales significantly to this. I hope you agree.

I woke up grudgingly and grumpy at 2 a.m. Sunday when my pager blared at me that somewhere out in the cold there was a fire. After leaving the fire hall in a pumper truck, we barely got out of the Backus city limits and I had a suspicion where the fire was. When we arrived on scene, I was very glad to see that it was not my childhood friend’s home where his parents and brother still live, but it was their garage.

The garage was filled with all of my friend’s fishing gear, his mother’s van, the family lawn mower and tiller, venison to see them through the winter, and many other sad losses, but not a single person was hurt.

I woke at 2 a.m. anticipating how tired I would be at 7:30 a.m. when I had to wake up again for church, and that made me annoyed. I can’t help now but think how grateful I am to be able to respond to this scene, and how much more infinitely grateful I am that nobody was hurt.

A lot of people out there are hurting right now. It’s been a long, cold winter and everyone seems like they are limping by mood wise and money wise. I don’t think I know anyone who is coming into spring unscathed.

I am among those who felt sorry for myself for this reason.

Until now, I was unreasonably distracted by my own problems.

When our washer broke, a friend lent us one. When our refrigerator broke, we still had the garagerator (a garage used as a refrigerator during winter). I won’t deny it has been frustrating.

We fought the fire until past 4 a.m. I went to church, tired, head aching and smelling a little of smoke, and prayed as many times as I could during Mass, “Thank you for keeping my friends safe, and thank you for keeping us on the fire crew safe.”

Whether you are the praying type or not, whether you have had the worst winter of your life or the greatest, I would recommend expressing your appreciation for the good, either to your God, or to your friends, or to someone whom you think deserves thanks, or all of the above.

We so often forget about the good and dwell on the bad. Almost like the good never happened at all. That makes life hard.

Whether you are a believer or not, there’s always someone out there to thank. If you do it sincerely, it might even get you feeling optimistic, so I suggest you give it a try. I’ll even give you a starting point.

Wrap up in warm clothes and go outside at about 5 p.m. Just stand there and remember how recently dark fell by 5 p.m.

Bask in the sun, and watch the spring come.