While this twice-weekly column for the past 20 years has featured serious topics facing our country, this column today compliments you, an American citizen, who wakes up to your 6 a.m. alarm clock five to six days a week—and gets yourself into gear . It salutes you who rouse your kids out of bed, feed them breakfast and get them off to school.
This column salutes you moms and dads who take your kids to soccer practice, baseball, football, swimming, basketball, music and art classes. This column salutes you for participating in the activities of life that make America one of the finest civilizations on planet Earth.
Thank you for showing your kids respect for our laws, our festivals and our heritage as a people. Thank you for taking time to listen to your kids. Their sense of self and their sense of confidence in the world comes from you.
I can say this from my own experiences with my parents. Some people have said that I am very self-confident. Thank my mother. When I grew up, and I cried as a child and kid, my mother came over, and picked me up to make sure I felt safe. My father always encouraged me. With their guidance, I gained self-confidence to do well in the world. None of it given! I studied long hours, worked hard and lived the American Dream. That's what you give your children when you hold them, comfort them and assure them.
Thank you, mom and dad, for taking part in your local art fairs and farmer's markets. Thank you for participating in Lions, Rotary, Booster's, Shriners, St. Jude's, Veterans of Foreign Wars, 4-H, Rodeo and dozens of other clubs that bring our youth up to be productive, contributing and creative members of America.
When I started out my twenties as a math-science teacher, I got to see good parents rear their kids with love, tenderness, discipline and expectations. In the summers, as a United Van Lines trucker driver furniture mover, I got to see parents from every corner of this country.
The vast majority of parents want their children to enjoy life through hard work, homework, sports, the arts, and really, in personal engagement with their communities, churches and clubs. I must say that everything you do/did with your children made the difference in making our society full of generosity, kindness, friendship and excellence on so many levels.
As a cross country bicyclist who has pedaled across this country 15 times coast to coast and border to border in all 50 states, I have been blown away by the kindness of strangers. It's been an astounding ride. In fact, my next book publishes in January 2022: The Kickstand Chronicles: The Miraculous, Funny, Sublime, and Downright Terrifying. Subtitle: Inevitable Moments Along the Journey—Six Continents, 45 years, 150,000 Miles.
That book illustrates the opportunities for self-exploration, for world adventures, and for genuine inspiration during each of our short stints on this planet. Some of us become famous for a moment like the Olympics. Others become famous for a lifetime like Willie Nelson, Brad Pitt or Marilyn Monroe and Amelia Earhart. Others become famous to their communities and/or families.
If you asked most kids who their hero might be, the majority would say, "My mom and my dad."
While my father was an average man, he is a towering figure in my life. He lives in me; he goes with me on all my adventures. His picture in my wallet has traveled with me all over the globe. And, my mother, too! They raised me to be a good person.
The fact is, your parents raised you to become a good person, also. That's what makes America so grand, so exceptional, and so extraordinary.
So, this Thanksgiving, let all of us bow our heads in prayer. Let us give thanks to God, thanks to our spouses, thanks to our kids, thanks for our grandparents, thanks to our friends. When we do that, we enrich our lives, and we enrich their lives.
And, to each of you who have been reading this column for 20 years, thank you. Thank you for the honor of your time. Thank you for your responses. Thank you for your ideas. Thank you for honoring America and all this wonderful country provides for all of us.
Sandi and I wish you an abundant Thanksgiving.
God bless and keep you and yours,
Sandi and Frosty Wooldridge, Golden, Colorado
-- Frosty Wooldridge
Population-Immigration-Environmental specialist: speaker at colleges, civic clubs, high schools and conferences
Facebook: Frosty Wooldridge
Facebook Adventure Page: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World
Six continent world bicycle traveler
Adventure book: How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World
Frosty Wooldridge, six continent world bicycle traveler, Astoria, Oregon to Bar Harbor, Maine, 4,100 miles, 13 states, Canada, summer 2017, 100,000 feet of climbing: