What is Drastic + Dramatic

Friday, July 25, 2014

Positive Pioneer Post

This evening I missed the southbound train by one minute. It really pissed me off at first. For the first 30 minutes I grumbled inwardly and mourned all the things I wouldn’t get to do because of the wasted hour. Then I allowed a touch of humility to reach within and I gave up the struggle to be mad.

See, here in Utah it’s Pioneer Day. A day for a little humility. A day we celebrate our state’s “founding fathers” as it were. Those trusty Mormon pioneers gave this sorry desert a chance and made it something incredibly beautiful. A day like today reminds you how far this land has advanced and how swiftly now our world can chase its visions and dreams.
A day like today we eat a lot of food. Waiting for the train, I thought perhaps I could go walk somewhere not too far from the station to get some dinner, but there’s really no point as I wasn’t hungry. My work provided some delicious R&R BBQ catering for lunch. That thought made me remember a train of thought I had at lunch as I conquered the heap of food on my paper plate:
This chicken isn’t my favorite. / So what . . . you’re going to throw it away? / Of course not, I won’t waste anything. / Good. / It’s just not my favorite. / You know, some people are so starving they would consider that chicken wing a delicacy straight from heaven. / Yeah, I know. / Some pioneers starved to death and then surviving pioneers ate the dead pioneers so they wouldn’t starve to death too. / I’m eating here. / Some people alive right now would gladly, nay, desperately eat the skin, fat, AND bones you’re throwing away. / I know, okay! I’m a spoiled first-world woman who had so much to eat she won’t even be hungry for dinner. / Well I didn’t say that, but you should be more grateful.
And I am grateful. But it’s good to really get a minute to sit and sit and sit to reflect about just how many things you have to be grateful for.

So in honor of the 24th of July, here’s a list of 24 things I am grateful I got to do just today, 24 things in only 24 hours not every pioneer got to enjoy in...almost ever.

1. I woke up
2. in a bed in an apartment in a safe neighborhood in good health.
3. I got a hot shower and the drain is no longer clogged so I don’t have to wade in sudsy shower-body juice as I wash.
4. I dressed in clean clothes. And didn’t have to wear a hundred pounds of quilted skirt. Plus I wore some really cute earrings that are probably fancy pirate ship steering wheels but alternatively work as fancy wagon wheels.
5. I ate breakfast.
6. I put on sunglasses to protect my eyes from sunrays.
7. I drove a functioning, comfortable car to an efficient, comfortable train, then switched to a Trax ride direct to downtown, and walked a short jaunt along a cheerful manmade creek meandering through an air-conditioned mall to my work building.
8. I took an elevator 13 floors up. (I know . . . I didn’t take the stairs today since I was running a bit behind. For shame.)
9. I enjoyed a busy day of work at my full-time job in a comfortable chair surrounded by climate-controlled air.
10. I helped myself to a free buffet of barbecue goodness, followed by some delicious pioneer-theme desserts. Peach cobbler. I’m forever grateful for peach cobbler.
11. I communicated instantaneously with distant friends through a handheld slab of incredible technology.
12. I found out a new human I get to call cousin has joined Earth today! Welcome, Juliann. There’s a lot of good things going on, doll; grow your hair long, your feet steady, your soul wide, your heart deep.
13. I drank stays-cold-for-hours water from my insulated water bottle whenever I wanted.
14. I listened to music I enjoy and skipped the songs I didn’t feel like listening to.
15. I sent documents to a printing device that spits out paper materials that exactly match digital materials I produce in an astonishing desktop somehow connected to all the knowable things on the planet.
16. I got to productively earn my daily bread.
17. I played a little Sudoku on my phone.
18. I wrote a blog post on a lap top computer.
19. Writing words letter by letter in a word processor that lets me erase my errors and change my document at will, effortlessly.
20. The train came before my lap top computer battery died and I got to plug in to onboard electricity and keep writing.
21. That one girl stopped me from leaving my wallet behind at the train station platform. (Oh, the special hell that would’ve been. I’m so grateful for so many things that don’t happen in a day.)
22. I sit comfortably as I chug-a-chug smoothly across miles of land at high speeds, beautiful Wasatch mountains by my side the whole way.
23. I didn’t have to eat a family member, friend, pet, or anything usually considered inedible to make it through the day.
24. I took a picture of the sunset.
Well, I’m officially degrumpified. What an amazing world we live in. It seems unlikely that the pioneers could have pictured just how far they would take humanity with every step they walked and walked and walked those many years ago. But a deserved and reverenced thanks to you, faithful pioneers. When the next generation looks back on the trail my generation trod, may they marvel at our steps and find in ours a same hope and inspiration prepared through yours.

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