For this week’s Sunday Stills Challenge, Ed wanted us to think about the “Things We Take For Granted“. I’d like to think that we don’t take anything for granted – that we appreciate and find the value in everything and everyone that touches our lives. But, sadly, I know that is just not true. I know that family and friends can be easily taken for granted, if we don’t think about it. But, I think for the most part, we do find ways to ensure they know how much they are appreciated and valued – maybe not often enough, but that’s another story for another post. Some other things we take for granted are fresh water when we are thirsty, abundant food when we are hungry, the ability to breathe in fresh air, the ability to get out of bed each morning relatively healthy and ready to take on a new day — all things that many people around the world struggle with or have to fight for every day of their lives. But, I didn’t want to go there with this post…..it is enough to acknowledge that there are many blessings in our lives that others would give anything to be able to take them for granted and to remind everyone to do what we can for those less fortunate than we are.
What I wanted to focus on for this challenge are services we rarely, if ever, show regular appreciation for……but should!!! Some of them are things that this brutal winter has reminded me I should be more consciously thankful for!!! This is my way of saying “thank you” for just a small sampling of the services we take for granted, yet without them, our lives would be very different, indeed!!!
First up — we have become a society totally dependent on power! We flip a switch and just assume and expect that the lights will come on or the microwave will heat our dinner or the thermostat will tell the furnace to provide heat, etc. This is never more evident as when the power should go out and we go from room to room on autopilot flipping switches out of shear habit even though we know full well that nothing is going to happen! Thankfully, I have not lost power (knock on wood) during all of this bad weather, but my Mom and many others have. So, the first “thank you” is to the utility companies (power, gas, etc.) that provide the energy we consume without any thought and to the men and women who brave all kinds of harsh conditions and all hours of the day and night to repair it as quickly as possible when it goes out!
Next on my list are mail carriers. We’re all familiar with the historic motto – “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Although there really is no official US Postal Service motto, this statement has stood the test of time and fuels an expectation that our mail will arrive no matter what! Well, I’m here to say “thank you” to the mail carriers who are out driving and walking in horrible weather conditions to deliver our mail each and every day! As I write this, I am thinking of the mail that I received in the past month during this brutal winter’s hazardous conditions with negative 40 degree wind chills and low visibilities due to blizzards. Yes, I have received some very important mailings – my tax documents, bills, etc. and some personal things that brought me great joy. But, a vast majority of it was junk mail that ended up in the recycle bin. How sad that these dedicated mail carriers are out braving the elements to bring me a stack of catalogs that I rarely even look at! My hats off and sincere thanks to you all…..
Another service that typically goes unappreciated – trash pick up! In the past several weeks, I have sat in my den looking out on my street and watched the trash and recycle trucks come like clock work in the worst of conditions! I watch the guys hanging on to the backs of the trucks or walking along the street from house to house emptying trash cans and recycle bins. They are outside in the harshest of weather all day long so that we don’t have to find a way to dispose of our own garbage! Talk about a thankless, yet extremely important, job!!! “Thank you” to the guys who keep our trash under control – without you, our cups (read “cans”) would definitely runneth over!!!
Next up – no matter how much snow Mother Nature dumps on us, we just assume that “someone” will come along with the right equipment to plow our streets and bulldoze the parking lot at the grocery store so that we can get out to go to work or school and fill our cupboards and go about our regular day to day activities. “Thank you” to all the village, town, county, and state workers and to all the private guys (or gals) with plows on the front of their pick up trucks or other equipment that venture out around the clock to clear the way for us to get to where we need to go – without you we’d really be “stuck”!
My street (at the entrance to my driveway) and Tops parking lot – taken this morning…..
And finally, but most certainly not least……when we are in trouble, hurt, or in immanent danger, we take for granted that when we call “911” someone will answer and send help appropriate to the situation and that the help will rescue us and save the day! A huge “thank you” to all our fire, police, and first responder professionals for being there when we need you and for keeping us safe and giving us a sense of security in our lives…..any time we need it, but especially during times when the weather creates another layer of danger – for us and you – as you respond to our calls!!!
The Village of Albion Police and Fire Stations on the corner of Bank and Platt Streets
Let’s all take time to appreciate these and other services that we typically take for granted — they are there for us when we need them — let’s give them a round of applause and our sincere thanks for all that they do for us!!!