Thanksgiving and 2:00 A.M. Pit Stops

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We find Thanksgiving blessings in the oddest places. As a grandpa pushing sixty, I quietly confess that it’s a rare night where I don’t make a 2:00 a.m. trip down the hall. Which is a blamed nuisance. Why can’t I be one of those fortunate people who sleep straight through the night?

But then I read the high-altitude story, Into Thin Air, where Jon Krakauer describes the ill-fated ascent of Everest in 1996 – and eight people perished at the top of the world. Up in the perilous slopes of Camp Four, a hiker would feel the call of nature in the middle of the night. You would have to struggle to extricate yourself from your sleeping bag, disturbing your fellow summiteers out of a decidedly fitful sleep. Then unzip the tent, stagger out into the sloping deepfreeze of one-hundred-below-zero Himalayan jet-stream winds, undo your five layers of snow apparel, do your thing, and then clump back inside and awaken everyone again. One Taiwanese climber, Chen Yu-Nan, went out for a potty break, and slid 70 feet, plummeted headfirst into a crevasse, and died.

When Krakauer got safely home, he wrote about the unappreciated bliss of returning to ordinary life: “Eating breakfast with my wife, watching the sun go down over Puget Sound, being able to get up in the middle of the night and walk barefoot to a warm bathroom – generated flashes of joy that bordered on rapture.” So becoming spiritually aware of our many blessings on Thanksgiving day really just depends on what Hollywood called our POV – point of view. So thank you, Lord, for the 58 wonderful Thanksgiving holidays thus far, for the carpeting that leads to the bathroom, and the thick comforter when I get back to bed.

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About David B. Smith

I'm a math professor at San Bernardino Valley College - awesome place! - and author of adult Christian fiction. Lisa and I have two grown daughters and four grandkids.
This entry was posted in Everest, Gratitude, Thanksgiving and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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