Thanks, Too, for the Hard Times That Make Us Better

El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico (Monte Dutton photo)

El Malpais National Monument, New Mexico (Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, November 26, 2015, 8:42 a.m.

Monte Dutton

Monte Dutton

It’s Thanksgiving. Cool. It’s my favorite holiday. It’s all good. The Christmas season has a bitter edge because sometimes the pettiness in people comes out. Everyone seems to dwell on the positive on Thanksgiving, or at least that’s the way it is in my family. It wouldn’t surprise me if we were atypical. It’s par for the course.

Thanksgiving is most likely pleasant because we’re thankful. No need to overthink this matter.

It seems logical to consider giving thanks as Job One on Thanksgiving. That’s why God made Black Friday tomorrow. In His wisdom, He also allowed football games for all the conscientious objectors who think it’s wrong to declare war on Walmart.

It's a desert. A painted desert. In Arizona. (Monte Dutton photo)

It’s a desert. A painted desert. In Arizona. (Monte Dutton photo)

Football games and leftovers that include oyster stew relieved of all oysters, outlandish sandwiches made with lots of mayo, dark meat from the turkey, and, oh, maybe, a layer of dressing. And some cranberry sauce. On the side? Got any potato chips? No? All right. Green bean casserole.

The sweets will be long gone.

Thank you, God, for food and that it didn’t kill me. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. Or fatter. I can’t remember which and whether it’s either, or and. Or and either. Neither and nor. Pondering grammar takes one’s attention off gastric distress.

But, seriously …

South Mountain State Park, overlooking Phoenix. (Monte Dutton photo)

South Mountain State Park, overlooking Phoenix. (Monte Dutton photo)

I’m thankful for those who paid me to write, from the distant Amazon towers on the banks of the Internet River to the principalities hard by the great river’s tributaries. I still show up occasionally on rags delivered by trucks and kids riding bicycles.

Are there still paperboys? Probably not, huh.

Those who paid me to write would not have done so had it not been for those who read. As I used to say when I left press boxes, thanks for putting up with me.

I’m thankful for those who care about me and what I do, and those about whom I care and what they do.

Friday night. (Monte Dutton photo)

Friday night. (Monte Dutton photo)

I’m thankful for this town because everyone should have something he completely understands.

I’m thankful for my many mentors and apologetic to those whom I have influenced.

I’m thankful for life’s greatest defense, the sense of humor.

I’m thankful for other writers, but what I really need are more readers.

I’m thankful for hope, for self-confidence, and for the belief that, after years of struggle, one morning I’m going to awaken as an overnight sensation.

Ormond Beach, Fla. (Monte Dutton photo)

Ormond Beach, Fla. (Monte Dutton photo)

This … still … lies … ahead. I have it in me. But what if I don’t? Big deal. The one sure path to failure is giving up. The change that occurs at this point in life is a willingness to accept failure if one’s efforts fall shy. It’s not the same as giving up. It’s a matter of saying, I’m not there yet. I will continue to get better.

According to a Shelby Foote book, The Civil War, a Confederate soldier at Gettysburg yelled, “We’ll fight them, sir, till hell freezes over, and then, sir, we will fight them on the ice.”

His odds might be the same as mine.

(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard)

(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard)

(Joe Font cover design)

(Joe Font cover design)

Not only do I have a novel for you to read … by gosh, I’ve got three. They’re all available here. The Audacity of Dope is about a pot-smoking songwriter who becomes an unlikely hero. The Intangibles, set in 1968, is about change in a small Southern town.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

The latest, Crazy of Natural Causes, is about a Kentucky football coach who loses everything and reinvents himself. http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1

If you’ve read my books, I’d appreciate the favor of a short review on amazon.com, or goodreads.com, or your blog, or your emails, or your chitchat in the line at the grocery store. Every little bit helps.

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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