Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

November 28, 2013

VALLEY: Thankfully, I know what I'm talking about

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Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — I received a text message today from my pal, Bob, in northern New York. He and his wife, Sandy, have been very good friends of the Valleys for years. Bob and I are close because our outlooks on life are similar. Neither of us takes anything that is out of our control too seriously. Why should we? 

Bob’s text stated: “There are only 3 types of people in this world. Those who can count. And those who can’t.” That’s it. That’s all he wrote.

You see? That’s what I’m talking about.

Because we are separated by several hundred miles, we don’t see each other as often as we’d like. But once in awhile I’ll get a text message from him out of the blue, similar to the one I just cited.

I texted him back that I’d talked to Toronto mayor Rob Ford. And he (Ford) had said, “It’s not true – things don’t go better with coke.”

Maybe you find it frivolous, but it’s not. The mere fact that there was a communication tells the other one that all is good at his end. It’s the “no (important) news is good news” truism at work.

I’m sure you know a friend or relative with whom you can communicate with by using minimal effort or just by eye contact. Hitting a few keys, which you both understand, is all you need to convey a much meatier message. That’s what I’m talking about.

Actually, Bob and I can discuss any topic by merely using lines and/or references from the old TV show “The Honeymooners.” Quoting Ralph Kramden or Ed Norton is a language on its own when Bob and I get together. Incidentally, my brother, Tim, can also speak Honeymoonese.

Something easy is “a mere bag of shells.” Something inexpensive or unimportant is “peanuts, Alice.” A bad idea is “wallpaper that glows in the dark.” And so on.

So why do I bring this up? Stay with me on this: Because it’s Thanksgiving. Plain and simple.

We all encounter hardships in life. And some of us bemoan those hardships every chance we get. We tend to vent our problems to people under the illusion that any pity dispensed our way will lessen their unwanted impact. Such is life.

And even though, personally, my blessings far outweigh my tribulations, I seldom – if ever — express my gratitude as much as I complain. 

But thank God, literally, there is one day set aside to give thanks. That’s Thanksgiving.

It’s sad that we have to be reminded to acknowledge our good fortune and even sadder that’s it’s for only one day.

Nonetheless, my point is: I’m thankful for Bob.

I’m thankful for all of my friends. I’m thankful for my relatives. I’m thankful for my dog, my neighbors (here and at the river). I’m thankful for my doctor, my dog’s doctor, for fishing, golf and the fact that the Buffalo Bills are headed in the right direction under Coach Marrone and Russ Brandon.

I’m thankful for my readers. In fact, I’m thankful you’re reading this now.

I’m thankful for my parents. I’m thankful for my brothers. And almost last, but not least, I’m thankful for my wonderful wife, my terrific children and their spouses and, of course, I’m thankful for my amazing grandchildren.

And above all, I thank God for all that I’m thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends!

THAT’S what I’m talking about.

That’s the way it looks from the Valley.

Tom Valley is thankfully living in the good ol’ USA in Medina, N.Y. Contactable at: Tvalley@rochester.rr.com.