Giving Thanks Up North

The mass migration has begun in the North Country. I don’t mean the geese, ducks or lemmings. I mean the hunters.  I am not a hunter, but every year my brothers, cousins and nephews descend on the 1868 homestead for the annual deer hunting season, as do many other families throughout Wisconsin.

Everyone goes north. If you are already north, you go farther north. This time of year, nearly everyone dons hunter orange.  It is not unusual or out of place to see women shopping in the local grocery store completely clad in orange from head to toe.

A frenzy of activity builds to Friday night, the day before the official hunt begins—digging out the long johns, getting the playing cards ready and most importantly, preparing massive quantities of stew, chili, bean soup or some other ritualistic sustenance of choice. When I was still in primary school, we had the whole week of Thanksgiving off for the hunting season.  Needless to say, it is a big deal in this part of the country.

I was at a party to celebrate the Friday before the Friday before deer season last weekend—now doesn’t that sound like an episode of “Northern Exposure.” I sat down at the table to eat my venison stew and nearly everyone around me was talking about how to make ends meet.  The common theme was that this year, it was more important to fill the freezer with meat rather than wait for that Boone and Crocket trophy buck.

I know these people; they are the sons, daughters, wives and husbands of family and friends of friends accumulated over several generations of shared experiences. You would be shocked at how many of these people work two and three jobs to aggregate a living, yet none of those jobs offer health insurance.

One woman talked about how excited she was to get some overtime hours in so that she could fill her gas tank to “Full” and not have to stress each day about getting to and from work.  When was the last time you felt gratitude that you could fill your gas tank?

It’s easy to become complacent with the success bestowed upon us every day. This is the season when we all take stock of our many blessings: good friends, a job, a full gas tank, stew.

What we do every day, matching candidates with meaningful employment, is one of the most important jobs in America today. As you sit down with your family to enjoy this Thanksgiving dinner, take a moment to reflect on the fact that YOU are responsible for scores of people sitting down with their significant others, in financial security, enjoying their dinners all across this country.

For those of us who help others get jobs, always be mindful of the impact you can have on someone’s life, and don’t treat it lightly—it has far ranging affects.

For those that have jobs but are less than satisfied, be grateful. Even if you don’t love it, don’t complain, work to make it better for those around you.  Laugh, improve a process, mentor others.

I am thankful I get to share this blog with you and how blessed I am every day for the interaction I have with people of your caliber. I’m a lucky one, and I have you to thank for that.  So THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart!

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