I know that this post was probably originally written in jest, but it got me thinking- sometimes its good to just take a step back from everything that's going on in the world, take a deep breath, and really take a good hard look at the GOOD things in your life. This is the perfect time of year to reflect on the things you are truly thankful for, to really embrace the things that make you feel good, and maybe even go above and beyond the status quo by doing things to help spread the good feeling to others who may, for whatever reason, have a more difficult time of finding their own happy thoughts. For me its pretty easy this year- I'm not almost-dead this time (sweet!), and I have a beautiful, amazing wife and son to share my life with. The awesomeness of The Wife was driven even further home recently with a story I'd like to share: Back story first- About a year or so ago, we had a family of illegal immigrant Mexicans (queue all of the Mexican and The Wife jokes NOW!) move in across the street from us. I live right outside of the downtown area, so even though my house is newer and a little nicer (not bragging by any means- its small as hell- it just is what it is), there are a lot of older, more rundown pieces-of-shit that local landlords rent out to the lowest bidders. This house that the Mexicans rented was one of these. There's the dad, the mom, a boy around 10, and twin 6 year old boys. So we all go though our lives everyday, seeing each other outside but not interacting (I mean, how often do you interact with your neighbors that even KNOW, much less the ones that are strangers who don't speak English), until one day, as The Wife and I were pulling into our driveway and going inside of our house, we notice that the Mexicans are cooking on their front porch. The Wife, being Mexican and pregnant at the time, immediately swooned at the awesome smells of good homemade Mexican food, and so she waved and yelled in Spanish that everything smelled amazing. They waved back and we went into the house, not thinking anything else of it. 20 minutes later, there is a knock on the door- it is the Mexican's wife and one of their kids, both holding plates of food for us. It wasn't much at all (in fact, it was a couple pieces of carne asada, a few homemade tortillas, and sliced hot dogs), but the fact that they were willing to share what little they had was awesome to me. We thanked them profusely, and from then on The Wife would always make a point to say hi when we passed. Later, when we needed some work done on The Wife's house that she owns where her little sister lives (another long story), we hired the dad to work for us. He did an awesome job and refused payment until he was finished so that we could make sure that everything was done to our liking. We even put him in touch with The Wife's older brother (our Parish Tax Assessor- who in fact is not even Mexican. The Wife's family is set up pretty weird), who has him do work for him all over the place (and before yall ask- yes, we do pay the guy well). I can't really speak to the family because my Spanish is awful, but I'll be damned if they are not some of the nicest, most hardworking people I know. Which brings us to last week- The Wife was cleaning out some of her old clothes, and thought to bring a few pairs of jeans over to the Mexican woman to try on. When she walked in the house, she tells me that the inside of the house is friggin' FREEZING. The landlord apparently refuses to supply the house with ac or heating. The only heat source that they were all huddled around was an old gas space heater that is not even supposed to be used inside. So after The Wife comes home and tells me this, we talk about it for a while an decide to help. We went and bought some small electric space heaters for their living and bedrooms that wouldn't choke everyone to death with carbon monoxide. I can't even tell you how cool it was after we dropped them off to hear The Wife translate the part of the conversation where the man told the two youngest boys that they "would be warm in their room tonight". Its kind of embarrassing to write this now, but their gratitude and the feelings that their reactions instilled in us kinda-sorta resulting in a giving-spree from us for them. We went after that and bought Christmas presents for all of the kids. We told my mom, who cleaned out her attic and gave us about 6 storage bins FULL of nice clothes for the mom to pick through, plus some nice jackets for the dad. I wish yall could have seen their faces when I started carrying all of that into their house. The mom was in tears as she was going through the clothes, telling The Wife that even the stuff that doesn't fit her, she knows other people who would really benefit as much or more than she would that she would pass the stuff on to. I really don't know where I'm going with this, but I guess just to sum up, it was an awesome experience and an amazing feeling, and I'm thankful that we were in a position to be able to help someone that you KNOW genuinely appreciates the act. It would have been better if The Wife would have let me yell "Vamos Mantequilla!!!" after we gave them everything, but she wouldn't and she punched me when I suggested it. What a bunch of bullcrap. So I don't know, I just thought that some of yall would like that story, and that some of you might have similar stories to share. Focus: This is the feel-good thread. Post happy thoughts. Forget about all things negative for just one thread and focus instead on the things in your life that you are thankful for. It can be Christmas related or not, it doesn't matter- just post something that makes you feel good inside.