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Wallowing in gratitude

When we lived in Michigan, our older kids raised pigs for 4-H.  For five or six years, every spring meant an excursion to a local pig farm to buy one piglet per child, plus one for the freezer.  By “piglet,” I do not mean a baby-sized infant pig, all pinkness and innocence. I mean a muddy, muscular, opinionated beast, weighing some 40 or 50 pounds and bent on outsmarting every human in its life.

One year, we procrastinated too long about buying piglets.  Along with another family, we were down to the deadline for the 4-H weigh-in.  (The kids had to prove that their piggies weren’t over piglet-size at the beginning of the season so they’d be eligible to be shown as grown hogs at the fair.  Hence an official weigh-in.)

It was the last possible day to buy pigs.  Both hubbies were at work, so my friend and I gathered up our kids (eight between us) and went pig-shopping.  I drove our truck, and my friend drove her Suburban, and we made our way to a farm where we bought however many pigs we needed for both families.  My memory is foggy on this point, but I’m guessing we bought somewhere around half a dozen.  They were on the heavy side because it was so late in the season.

My memory is very clear on this point:  Once we’d brought the beasties home, there were still no husbands around, and the kids weren’t strong enough.  I was drafted to reach into the bed of the truck, seize a cantankerous pig of backbreaking size, and heave it out of the truck and into the pigpen.  And then another, and then another.

Pigs have a way of screaming their opinions to the world when they think they’re being mistreated, but there was something satisfying about plunking those porkers into their new home.  They stopped screaming, fast, and settled right in.

Pigs don’t have sweat glands.  That’s why they love mud; it cools them off.  Once our piggies had checked out their new water supply and feed, they started wallowing in the mud that we’d provided for them.

“Wallowing” is one of those words that sounds like its definition, if you know what I mean.  It implies a certain abandon, a lack of self-consciousness.  A complete enjoyment of the mud.

That’s how I feel today.  With abandon, in complete enjoyment, I’m wallowing in gratitude for so many things, and pigs were the best analogy I could come up with.  Sorry, but  I guess I’m still a country girl at heart.

I’m thankful that God lets me be a writer.  I’m thankful that my family lets me, too.  I’m thankful for the people who have opened doors for me in the publishing world, and for those who are helping me spread the news about my upcoming novel.

Wallow, wallow, wallow.  I’m happy as a pig in the mud.

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