The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t

Thankful in Texas

Each year, my wife and I celebrate Thanksgiving, and depending on where our daughter is, and where her soldier may be, the two generally join us for a modest but plentiful meal of turkey and other typical dishes.  This year will be like most, as my daughter joined us while her husband serves a tour in Afghanistan.  We talk about him, wishing he’d been here, and gave thanks for all we have, but this year is a little different than most.  Life on a farm can be hard, but when you deal with livestock, there are certain hazards you accept, and while you seek to mitigate and minimize them through thinking about safety first, on some occasions, due to bad luck, absent-mindedness, or simple miscalculation, when things go wrong, they can go wrong all at once, leaving a disaster in the wake.  This week has been such a time on our farm, when the mundane and simple task of feeding our horses turned into a nightmare.  As it has happened, we wound up quite lucky, but it could have gone differently for this will go down in the family book of lore as the Thanksgiving that almost wasn’t.

Working the hours we do, plus tending to all the chores of the farm, one of the seasonal adjustments that happens each year is that due to shortening days as we near the Winter solstice, the evening feeding time moves up a bit to permit all chores to be completed before the sun goes down.  No group of people is more tuned to the changing of the seasons than those who labor in agricultural endeavors, because that floating orb of superheated plasma that lights our days and warms our Earth is really the dominant force governing life on this planet.  When I depart work this time of year, the sun is already low on the horizon, and the daylight is nearly gone.  For this reason, my better half sets out to feed the herd and to dispense with the evening chores because by the time I arrive home, the last embers of burning daylight are slipping from the sky.

So it was this week that as my wife came to the last pasture that as she began to dispense the feed, the band of mares was typically unruly as any zoo at feeding time.  Determined to be done with the days chores, as she began to distribute the feed, there arose a bit of euphoria among the mares: “Hurrah, it’s supper time.”  One of the mares, in uncharacteristic exuberance, launched into a flurry of bucking and kicking, as a young colt might do under the watchful gaze of his dam.  Unfortunately for my wife, she didn’t see it coming, looking up just in time to catch a flying hoof about her brow.  An inch closer to the mare, and she’d have never placed the phone-call, but as the blood streamed from the crater, she called me at work. “I just got kicked in the head by one of the mares.”

I rushed home and kept her on the line, knowing head trauma victims are best kept calm and conscious.  She refused to let me call an ambulance, insisting I would be faster anyway, without the cost.  There is some reason to think she’s right, but as I told her, the EMTs in the ambulance can do things I can’t.  She insisted.  I continued to roll, with all apologies to any relevant authorities.  I pulled into the yard, and she was standing there waiting for me, so I pulled alongside her and threw open the door.  As she climbed in, I looked at the wound, and I had to look away because I didn’t wish to upset her more than necessary, as I sped down the road to the hospital ER just ten minutes away, as the Mustang flies.  Arriving at the Emergency Room as she walked through the door, the nurses at the front desk couldn’t conceal their shock and they ushered her immediately back.

After a CT scan mercifully revealed no brain hemorrhaging, but also no fractures, the team in the trauma center began the process of flushing the wound and then stitching her brow and forehead back together.  Multiple layers of stitches later, her face swelling as her left eye became a slit, our daughter present, we talked about happier times while we all contemplated how close this ugly accident had come to outright disaster.  Life is so fragile, and our time here so short, in the hustle and bustle of the everyday grind, it is well that Americans have a day set aside to count their many blessings and remember to say thanks to the Almighty.

This evening, as we clean up the kitchen, and put up the left-overs, we’ll be thankful to remember this as the Thanksgiving that almost wasn’t.  I will keep it as a reminder of how temporary life is, and how suddenly it can be lost, and how dear to me are all whom I love.  For all of the ugliness of the last few days, I am still surrounded by the people I love, so that through all the travails and tribulations our nation may yet endure, we can still count ourselves among the very lucky.  I hope on this day of turkey, and shared celebration, each of you find yourselves in similar company, knowing full and well the blessings of the day. Say “Thanks.” Say them often. Hug those around you a little tighter, since we never know the day or the manner in which it can all end.

Note: I wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!  May you have so many reasons to be thankful as I.

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18 Responses to The Thanksgiving That Almost Wasn’t

  1. the unit says:

    Yes, lots to be thankful for. Glad Mrs. Mark is well from dangerous situation. May God keep son in law safe.
    Muh tummys full, of turkey and good ole oyster cornbread dressing, family together and safe for this another year (4 immediate members and one lost job in summer and still without work), but all so glad to be here. Begin tomorrow to make it better next year. If I should WAKE before I die, I pray the Lord give me strength to persevere, stay fit and strong and keep my wits, be morally straight according to Biblical standards til His kingdom comes. Which in everyday terms…hold true to conservative and family values. Almost time for that good ole turkey sandwich.

    • Mark America says:

      Thanks Unit! Glad you had a good day and a good meal too. “Mrs. Mark” (I tease her and refer to her as “Mrs. America”…LOL) Is doing better this evening, with her feet up and a cold cloth over her swollen face/eye/brow. She’s got a black eye that would make any boxer say “ouch.” Plenty to be thankful for indeed, and stick around a few more, eh pal?

      • the unit says:

        You say ” and stick around a few more, eh pal?”

        Yer durn tootin’ Mark! (Old Gabby Hayes comment from years ago…of course, Roy not Mark. But same meaning today!)

        Pay particular attention to first Gabby Hayes “bit.”

        • Reb in Texas says:

          Loved seeing, hearing Gabby again. Thanks unit.


          • the unit says:

            Yer durn tootin’ Rebin Texas. What we are seeing in our country is “a dadburn outrage!” Guess we just got to keep tote’n the conservative, family banner, and I’m sure old song i grew up with…Onward Christian Soldiers, is…well…you know what. Anyway…we marching on to war.

  2. Reb in Texas says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Mark – to you and ALL your family. I am glad your wife’s injury was not as bad as it easily could have been. Your soldier has my thanks and is in my prayers. I, too, have had some crazy times recently – yet have some very special reasons to give thanks this year….more than expected just a few weeks ago.
    You are a true patriot and I consider you a friend….hope someday soon we can meet.

    • Mark America says:

      Thanks Reb, it’s good to know you’re out there. And we’ll make that meet-up happen one of these days soon. Thanks, and hang in there, I think we’re in for a wild few years, and by “wild,” I don’t mean to imply anything good.

  3. ATyger says:

    WOW–give her a hug for me, too, OK?

  4. TheresaAK says:

    Mark, your writing always inspires me, as I view you as my modern day Patrick Henry…so I visit your site to see if you have written current articles, I know you are very busy.

    What a shock to read this, yet, despite the circumstances, you, once again, blessed and inspired.

    I am thankful your wife is alright, and I am thankful you never give up.

    May God bless your farm with prosperity and your family with good health and divine protection.

    Keep on writing please, out of all the musings, people write, yours stirs my Patriotic soul; the others, not so much. They are just political, yours is truth that they don’t want to acknowledge.

    Thank you Sir, and God Bless you and yours…

    • NY4P says:

      Ditto! Theresa, thank you for your heartfelt eloquence that speaks for many of us.

      Mark, continued blessings in your wife’s recovery. I shudder to think how the experience would have gone under a fully realized Obamacare. The unionized ambulance service will control how your wife got to the emergency room. Then, being your wife, she will be on an unofficial black list in regard to her care. Someone will contact you and “persuade” you to write a “favorable” blogpost “for the good of the country.” “We all have to make sacrifices, you know.”

      A request for a future blogpost: “The morality or immorality of following laws of a lawless country.” For example: Do we purchase guns, ammunition, and high capacity clips lawfully only to subject them to confiscation? The regime will use our respect for law against us.

      • Mark America says:

        NY4P, We got a preview, and it included the sticker shock since our health insurance copays and deductibles have risen substantially as we head toward Obamacare.

    • Mark America says:

      Thank you Theresa! She’s doing better now, but the first few days were rough. Having the website outage didn’t help.

  5. the unit says:

    I know we still on R&R and much needed after political and personal physical events. Hope all is still going well with Mrs. America. Trust it is. Soon enough we back in battle for liberty and freedom. Other side that only observes thanksgiving after subjugation and rule, and is even now still making plans. Been that way awhile…this from American Thinker today:

    “Shortly after World War II, Churchill and Truman were riding a train to Fulton Missouri to give speeches. Churchill gave his, now famous, “Iron Curtain” speech; and no one can remember what Truman said. During the train ride Truman was eager to show Winston Churchill the new National emblem that Truman had modified. The eagle no longer looked toward the arrows in the left talon of the eagle but had shifted its gaze toward the olive branch in its right talon. Churchill was quoted as saying that perhaps the head should be on a swivel so that it could look either the right or the left as was needed at the time. Truman was not amused.”

    Read more:

    Well, I’m still doing R&R. Getting ready to watch FL St beat FL. National championship game later, don’t matter, just another football game. :) Ole Winston meant swivel from stance of power as need be, politicians… Truman and the bunch since mean swivel and “lean”(heard that for years and years) as the political winds blow. It was about NWO even then.

  6. JennyNoles says:

    Sorry to hear about your wife, Mark. Glad that everything is okay. I have livestock also and little critters can get rambunctious at feeding time. My black cow, Daisy stepped on my right foot twice a month ago trying to get out of my jenny’s way and sucker still hurts. But at my age, everything hurts worse and longer than it used to (*__*).

    • Mark America says:

      Jenny, I quite literally feel your pain. Getting stepped-on by livestock is a hazard that is multiplied by getting older. Though mine are horses, I know too well the exquisite pain of a hoof stomp to the foot.

  7. Kathie says:

    Gratitude is a grace of spirit, and not everyone is blessed with it. I’m glad that your wife is recovering well.