Thanksgiving Week

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it's tough not to blog about Thanksgiving, especially this year.? So many people have had a rough time making ends meet, with decisions about what to keep and what to cut out of their lives. And everyone still worries about job security.

My husband and I were discussing the many things we pay for that our parents did not.? That, of course, was somewhat because the technology wasn?t there, but, still, it's an impact on your buying power, if you're into staying on top of things.

We talked about the number of phone lines we handle between us (5).? The newspaper is delivered, as it was before, but we pay for that delivery service. Back then delivery cost the same (or less than) the cost of a newspaper at a newsstand. It was an effort to get you to subscribe, so the publisher could count you and boast to potential advertisers.

We pay a higher percentage of our salaries for gas and utilities. No one paid for cable TV back then (it wasn?t there), so television shows were free (and often special; I remember canceling 4-H meetings because?The Wizard of Oz?was going to be on TV that same night). And there was no Internet, which admittedly has?become virtually a necessity for most of us.

And it gets worse if you're really into?electronics. Many people even pay for alarm systems and have higher homeowner?s insurance bills, because they have so many electronics?to protect. Because of the horses, we have minimal devices, but I know friends who have a couple of TV sets, myriad players (CDs, MP3s, DVDs, Blu-Rays, possibly still a VHS), a computer or two, cell phones, wireless phones, printer, scanner, digital book readers . . . the list goes on. All that costs money!

New acquaintances are sometimes surprised to learn we have horses, as we're clearly not wealthy. ?they're expensive, aren?t they'? they sometimes ask. Well, it depends upon how you look at things, I'd like to say but don't (I was raised to be polite and kind).

I'd like to tell them that one of our horses cost about the price of a large-screen tube TV when we bought her?a few years ago.? That TV would now be outdated.?But my mare?s not, and she never will be.

Over most of the spring, summer and fall, our feed bills are minimal, as grass keeps them in good weight. And, anyway,?a bale of?hay costs a lot less than that DVD you simply had to have and only watched once.

A great Blu-Ray movie might cheer you up for the 2 hours you watch it, but the feeling?won?t last as long as spending 2 hours grooming your horse and going for a ride. Plus, I get more enjoyment?every time?I glance out the kitchen window and see that same horse grazing in the field. Looking toward the book case and seeing?an iPod and speaker that need to be re-charged and dusted just isn?t the same.

But I don't say these things to non-horse people. They just won?t get it.?For me, life isn?t about collecting gadgets and gizmos. it's about interacting with other real, live beings ? the ones you love and the ones that love you back.

So, as always, I'm thankful for a barn full of hay and our wonderful horses, my family, my friends and, of course, those who read Horse Journal. I wish all of you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Oh, and if you do venture out into the Black Friday chaos of high-priced electronic gifts but come home still stumped on what to give your horsey friend, vet, farrier or trainer for the holidays, Horse Journal is still offering the two subscriptions for one price deal (2 for $36). You can renew your own and give a gift.? Call in at 800-829-9145 and use code 71X2F1 or you can simply click?here?and go online.

Enjoy the feast! But more importantly, enjoy your loved ones.