Giving Thanks

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the United States – the day of huge gut-busting meals and finalizing strategies for the big Black Friday shopping events…

But, it’s so much more than that.  It’s a time to pause and think about what we are thankful for. And, if there has ever been a year I’ve been thankful for things, it’s 2011. It’s been a year of challenges, but it has also been a year of great success. Without further ado, here the 2011 version of what I’m thankful for…

I am thankful for my health.  Seems like a small and odd thing to start off with, but I’m beginning to appreciate just how important that truly is.

I am thankful for my wife – the silent partner at Tom’s Workbench who helps make all of this possible through her encouragement, advice and patience.

I am thankful for my two sons, who are growing so fast, impressing me with their academic prowess and are starting to take an interest in what dad is doing in the shop.

I am thankful that I was able to change the grooming habits of so many people in the woodworking community.

I am thankful for my supporters, Bell Forest Products, Tormek tools and Infinity Cutting Tools. Your  guys’ faith in me helps keep the doors open and the lights on here at Tom’s Workbench.

I am thankful to be part of a lively and vibrant online woodworking community helping to keep the craft alive. Check out the links in my blogroll to the right of this article and see for yourself.

I am thankful that Marc and Nicole Spagnuolo’s son Mateo was born this year and is doing well- despite some of the challenges he has faced. I’m also thankful Aaron Marshall and his wife were able to adopt a baby girl this year. Heck, I’m just thankful for healthy little ones and the new parents out there.

I am thankful that there are people like David Wert who are selflessly serving our country overseas. I know they would give anything to be home with their families and back in their shops.  I will be praying for their safety and for a quick return and reunion with their loved ones.

I am thankful that I am still creative enough to find new ways to foul things up in my shop, and even more thankful I can find ways to fix those mess ups.

I am thankful that I met so many fellow woodworkers at the Woodworking Show in Tampa this past March and at the Woodworking in America conference in October. Even though I say this every year, I am STILL amazed by how funny, creative and talented each of you is.

I am thankful that Wood Magazine continues to believe in the Shop Monkey and wants my hairy counterpart to continue writing articles for their magazine. Sometimes, I really do have to pinch myself…

I am thankful that I was able to repair my grandfather’s desk chair and put it to use in my office. It helps me  remember my relatives and their guidance while I was growing up.  I only hope that I am able to positively influence my sons and their offspring in the same way.

I am thankful that woodworker Kyle Barton shared the difficult story of the loss of his shop to help teach an important lesson about how to prepare for disasters and how to recover from them.

And, I’m thankful that my shop wasn’t destroyed – or my family hurt – by the tornadoes that ripped through my neighborhood on March 31. Looking at the destruction in places like Tuscaloosa and Joplin, I am counting my blessings.

I am thankful that my band saw can forgive me for the years of bad treatment I have given it.

Most importantly, I am thankful for each of you who come to my site to read my sometimes nonsensical ramblings. Without your comments, your support, your encouragement AND your humor, I don’t think I would be able to keep up the pace of my postings.

Tomorrow, when I raise a glass of wine to toast what I am thankful for, understand that I will be toasting each of you. My friends, I wish you nothing but peace and happiness this holiday season.


5 thoughts on “Giving Thanks”

  1. And we’re all thankful for you, Tom, for sharing your knowledge & time with us.
    Happy Turkey Day.

    – John

  2. Mike – I didn’t even mention how thankful I am that you ran the Hand Tool Olympics at WIA. You and your team do such a great job with that, it’s one of the highlights of my year.

  3. I’m thankful to you for keeping us in formed, for all the great tips, and for doing things like those teaching programs at the schools so we can get another woodworking generation underway.
    And, I am thankful for Ziggy, naturally!
    Thanks Tom.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

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