The Summer That Would Not End finally ended in the Charlotte area last night. Throughout September and the first 11 days of October, the temp pretty much stopped going into the 90s, but the humidity was so high that the dew point was still 68-72. A dew point of 60-65 is uncomfortable, 65-70 is sticky and disgusting, and 70 and above is suited to marine life and not human beings. After Hurricane Michael rolled through the Carolinas on October 11, the sky cleared and overnight the temp dropped to 53, with a dew point in the 40s. My inner polar bear rejoices. For the next 2 weeks, we’ll have highs between 65-75 and lows between 47-57 – with the exception of October 15, which has a high of 80 and a low of 68. Other than that, autumn is finally here and I can finally wear sweat pants instead of shorts.


So what was the point of all that? My next Toastmasters speech project is called “Focus on the Positive,” where I will explore my relationship-building and how my outlook and attitude affect those around me. This is part of the “Dynamic Leadership” learning path in the new Toastmasters education program. One of the requirements of this speech project is to keep a journal for 2 weeks, making note of my moods and how they change, and to include 3 things that I am grateful for. Which brings us to the main text of today’s post, the 3 things I am grateful for today.


A supportive wife – I’m fortunate enough to have a wife that doesn’t fit most of the current wife stereotypes. She’s not materialistic (she shops at Walmart and never asks for diamonds), she loves God first, and is very supportive of me as I try to grow my business. She’s not prone to nagging most of the time, and always talks me up with others. She’s also hilarious. That’s very important – there’s so much seriousness in life that you need to laugh regularly. I’m very grateful to have her in my life.


American freedom – It’s sort of cliché, but something we don’t think about as often as we should. I observe the terrible political climate we have, with everyone seemingly screaming “if you disagree with me, you are evil and must be silenced” at the top of their lungs, and it’s easy to get discouraged. I see the football players taking a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustice and listen to people screech that these players hate the flag, hate the military, hate the USA, and I think, “that’s not what this started out to be.” Then I remember that here in the USA, while people may disagree with you and call you names for having different opinions, you are still free to have those opinions. We can say what we hate about the government, and the government cannot lock you up for it. There are many places where that can and does happen. Yes, we have a flawed system in place here that needs some major adjustments. But it’s a place where we can express our opinions and get involved in the process to make changes. We can practice whatever religion we want. We can not have a religion if we want. We can live where we choose. We can start and build our own businesses. With all its faults, America is still the best place in the world to live.


Cooler weather – we’ve obviously covered this one. I always call myself a polar bear because of my snow-white hair and love of cold weather. (Well, I have blubber too, but at least that is reducing in volume.) I used to hate cold weather, but 30 of these Carolina summers have cured me of that. Now I look forward to this time of year and the cooler temps, and pray fervently for snow every winter. We get a decent one every 3 years or so – one that lasts a few days. Most snows here fall in one day, and the next day the high is in the 50s and by the end of that day, there is no evidence it ever snowed. But as long as it snows, I’m happy.


What are you grateful for today? Write some things down.