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Thank you, coin laundry

Even during a global pandemic, you and I must find something to be thankful for.

We must do this because it’s important.

My best days are always filled with gratitude. My worst days are always filled with ingratitude.

Times are hard right now. There’s so much sickness, financial loss, fear, unhappiness, untruthfulness and down-right-full-on meanness.

But even in the “worst of times” there’s always something to be grateful for.

You can be grateful for your family, your spouse, your job, your dog, your backyard, your feet, your breath.

Yeah … your breath. Breathing is a blessing to be thankful for.

I look at it this way: As long as I’m on “this side” of that “long-dirt-nap” that’s coming to everyone eventually, I can be thankful I’m still alive and kicking.

If I’m alive, I put that in the “win column” and try to express my gratitude.

There are days, however, that slip by me when I am not grateful for my many blessings. There are days that are filled with heartbreak, challenges, losses and even death.

On those days, I must take a deep breath and remember that I’m still upright, breathing and alive. Some cannot say the same.

So it’s a gift. It’s a gift to be grateful for.

I got up very early yesterday to get my van repaired in the Shoals. The repair went really well and really quickly. This is strange because getting auto repair finished quickly almost never happens.

I was elated that I had this little “gift” of a few extra minutes before a meeting I’d planned for the afternoon, and I figured I’d treat myself to a big tall cup of coffee at McDonalds.

As I pulled up to the McDonalds, I glanced over and saw a coin-laundry. Back when I was a kid, we called them laundromats.

Staring at this coin laundry, almost instantly, I was back in the cold, hard winter of 1977.

That’s the year my father died suddenly.

He died of a pulmonary embolism.

My mom and brother and sister and I were thrown into a hellfire storm of daily challenges. Everything in our lives seemed to have been turned upside down and inside out.

One of those challenges was that our crappy old washer kept breaking down on us, so we’d cart off all our clothes – usually wet because you don’t know it’s broken until it’s full of wet clothes and stops working – to the local laundromat.

We’d spend four or five hours washing clothes.

Those times were not a “barrel of monkeys.” They were not happy-happy-fun-times of laughter and family togetherness – but they did teach me something.

They taught me there is ALWAYS a reason to be thankful. Always.

It’s always there. You just have to look for it.

You can be thankful you have enough coins to put in the machine.

You can be thankful your crappy old car made it to the laundromat.

You can be thankful you have clothes to wash.

You can be thankful you are alive to even be doing laundry.

So, thank you Mr. Laundry Mat for reminding me of that again yesterday.

My worst days are filled with ingratitude.

My best days are filled with gratitude.

What I have is so much greater than what I don’t have.

Rockin’ Eco Hero Steve Trash tours the planet teaching kids about their connection to nature through magic, music and comedy. He has his own PBS Kids science show called STEVE TRASH SCIENCE. He lives with his wife and dogs in beautiful downtown Frog Pond. For more info visit www.stevetrash.com.

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