I think that the Thanksgiving holiday, which is celebrated this week in the U.S., is a time for gathering with friends and family and offering thanks not just for the bountiful harvest that our year of labor and toil have wrought from the earth, but also for the love and friendship of our family, friends and all of the other people who have crossed our path and helped to lighten our load. Any person can help to shape the course of our journey through life, sometimes even people we will never meet.

I read a short article today about a weather disaster that recently struck two poultry farms which touched me in a way I didn’t expect. The farms in Crenshaw County, Alabama, each suffered significant wind damage to their broiler houses, I expected to feel very sad after reading about the loss of the poultry houses, chickens and other farm damage, but instead I wound up feeling proud of the resilience displayed by the growers.

Patsy and Troy Husband have seven broiler houses, all of which were damaged in the storm. In the Penton Business Media article, Patsy Husband said, “One of the larger, newer houses has almost the entire roof gone. We’re catching the chickens out of the house and relocating them to another farm. The other houses, I think we can patch up for now and permanently repair them once this batch of chickens is finished.”

After a long day doing work to help with the movement of the birds from the house without a roof and making sure the other birds were properly cared for, Patsy Husband wasn’t complaining or feeling sorry for herself, but she was reflective. Commenting on the sound of the storm that woke her up at 4:15 a.m., she said, “The tin (from the roofs) is everywhere – in the yard, in pastures, in the trees. It’s strewn for miles. I thought, oh my God, what are we going to do now.” But that feeling of uncertainty didn’t last for long. “You have got to take the good with the bad,” she said. “I could sit down and cry, but what good is that going to do?”

The ability to keep things in the proper perspective and not let the inevitable losses and tragedies that occur in all of our lives to negate the impact of all the goodwill and caring we see around us is truly a gift. I am thankful that I can see the sunny side of life, at least most of the time. May Thanksgiving provide each of you time to share with the people who are most important to you and also some time to reflect on the good things in your life.  

Everything goes better with a positive attitude, even natural disasters.