Not so this summer. Five months of packing, pre-loading and preparation for an August move into a house we’re renovating became a torturous exercise for the entire family. Someday, I hope my kids forgive me after all the therapy is paid for.

Cooper david
Managing Editor / Progressive Cattle

But looking back, I see the valuable lessons learned in taking supply of everything we moved, including what we ended up losing in the process.

We moved so many items, it felt like moving earth. Cribs, strollers, pianos, desks, TVs, beds, wardrobes, skis, kennels, workbenches, grills and a yard-long frying pan fit to feed the Milwaukee Bucks. Most of it collected over two decades of raising kids. There was so much, it was a relief to give it away.

Upon deeper reflection, I realized many of those items were given to us when we struggled, had less money or couldn’t imagine owning something so valuable. The generosity of others was apparent each time I gave it to charity or a neighbor. Would someone find as much value in what I had once received? I hoped so. But either way, I knew the generosity of friends and strangers had sustained us in hard times.

Upon reaching our home, I realized some things were lost. Old photos, books and tools were most common. The cable guy got sloppy and allowed construction material to crush the TV. And like that, much of the college football season was lost. Soon after, I was reminded how possessions are less valuable than memories. That leads me to our biggest loss of Gracie.


Twelve years is probably a good life for a golden retriever. But when the last year is the hardest physically, it’s wise and humane to prepare for the end. Gracie’s mobility and dysplasia worsened during the move, unable to keep up as we shuttled in and out. Once we settled, it was obvious she wouldn’t stay much longer. She enjoyed our care until it was time, and we shed tears, holding her tightly in the end, whispering goodbye. Her remains found a nice spot behind the new home.

Possessions, memories, pets, even our own lives can pass quickly. But between sweat, frustration and tears, you ponder over time that all of it happens for our good.

A new home requires much work, time and expense, and on my part, a lexicon of barbaric vocabulary that would embarrass the most seasoned Marine. But even with the exhaustion, frustration and empty wallet, it’s still home; a place where more is shared than what is kept, whether it’s a meal or a joke, a cry or a prayer.

This Thanksgiving, my gratitude extends far beyond what I have. Everything given, taken, lost and found reflects an abundant life. I know I always have plenty.  end mark

David Cooper