When giving thanks, don’t forget the duct tape RAMifications 11-21-12

Posted November 20, 2012 at 4:25 pm

When giving thanks, don’t forget the duct tape

Please understand I’m not being blasé or irreverent. But I think we humans have rather limited ourselves about what we thank God for, on Thanksgiving as well as other days.


Ruth A. Moller

At a recent funeral visitation, the minister read the “Unto the hills…” Psalm. My cousin sitting by me breathed, “Oh, yes.” And I seconded that. I love hills and streams and mountains. It is a favorite Psalm, perhaps because I was raised in “little” hills, and have lived in “big” hills, and I’ve always found them a powerful source of solace.

Sometimes, though, we forget some “great” things that we’re blessed with here in the USA, but take for granted. Like refrigerators, microwaves, washing machines and vacuums. I’ve just read “A Farm Story: A South Dakota Memoir,” by Evelyn Ackley Christensen and it points out the huge changes that have come over the last 100 years or so, which so eased certain chores…and that is something to (mostly) be thankful for.

I vaguely remember REA coming. I know that made a huge difference in the comfort zone of living. I was nine when we got indoor plumbing…an even greater comfort zone!

I think we should thank the good Lord for plumbing and TV and (even) computers. He didn’t necessarily plop down a computer in someone’s midst, and it was good. Still I believe He guides changes…from horse & buggy to cars, or telephones to all the super cell phones today. It’s up to us to decide how to use them…for better or worse.

I’ve overlooked being grateful for duct tape. It’s saved me hassles many times. I’ve been keeping the Plexiglas in my back door in place with duct tape for several years. Thank you, God, for duct tape. You may not have “placed” it in front of us, but you inspired someone to invent it. I think it was divinely inspired.

Same with W-D40. It’s eased up squeaky doors, uncooperative locks…you name it.

And how about filament fishing line? It’s a left-over from an ex-husband, and probably the best leftover. I’ve used it for years, for numerous things…from holding up a plant, to securing a Christmas tree. My most recent use was putting mesh wire over my little gazing ball, because the first one blew away in our Great Wind of October.

I may be too simplistic. But I think we can find all sorts of things to be grateful for, in addition to great mountain ranges and fantastic oceans.

Of course I’m always beyond thankful for children, grandchildren, loved ones. That goes without saying. And I’ll include rocks and rills and templed hills.

However, I’ve taken much that has eased my comfort level for granted. The book I read made it clear how things were back in the early half of the 1900s, and the unbelievable changes that have come about since then, that we tend to just accept. Life today is absolutely changed…sometimes wonderful, sometimes frightening, sometimes not so good.

The author wrote a poem about crossing the plains by automobile:

“Broad horizon, broad as the eye can see,

And beyond, the vast blue bowl of the sky

Turned upside down on the vast brown dish of the prairie.

The emptiness accented by works of man–

Poles, trees, grain elevators. Oil wells bows and scraping–

Like prehistoric birds pulling endless worms from the depths.

All of these–but most of all–the vast blue bowl arching over the vast brown plate.

Our South Dakota plains today are melded together by TV, Internet, Facebook…by Interstates and fast vehicles, airplanes and instant everything. But I really hope her outlook on life back then, when life was slower, won’t become just a memory. We can perhaps still appreciate a simpler, but harder life…before REA and bathrooms.

As for me? I continue to thank God for the hills, endless as time, as well as the duct tape. Let’s keep it simple.