When we hear ourselves saying, "We have it made it," we might find ourselves actually questioning the statement before the words even properly have passed our vocal cords. So, we then ask -- is that truly a fair question to ask of me, of myself, of others?

Nary a day goes by we all have to admit, if we are being honest with ourselves, "Yes, we do have it made." Give some serious thoughts to those words for a moment. It is right before our eyes. All we have to do is take but one moment to realize regardless of all of our woes, our worries, our sorrows, those we make ourselves and those made by others, for us, "We do have it made."

Walk to the refrigerator, open the door. Plenty of food for today, tomorrow and maybe even next week or next month. We are a blessed people. Do we appreciate the fact?

Crawl into the front seat of your car, put your key into the ignition, turn it on -- what do you hear? The gentle hum of a motor ready to fulfill your next wish, and this is just a skimming of what we have available at our fingertips, day in and day out.

But, you know, as in all things, occasionally we have to be reminded to appreciate what we really do have, for we are exposed to some truly negative surroundings, which lead us to appreciate even more the positive attitudes of others that can lead to an overshadowing of questionable actions penetrating the fields of the lives of many. Trust turns into deceit.

Truth is overbalanced by lies. Future is dimmed by current actions and policies, and we begin to wonder if we truly do care about ourselves, our families and those around us, just what course of action is needed to maintain the status our forefathers exemplified by their past actions? Did they have the same thoughts that, "Yes, we have it made"? Did they appreciate their current status? Were they willing to just sit down and let the world go by? Am I testing your intelligence by even asking these questions, or am I urging you to think about how past actions successfully have brought all of us to here, and now, where we are today?

Well, my first two examples, the fridge and the car, can be appreciated as a general rule by all genders. But the bitter inclement weather of late recently led me to the realization of how fortunate, I, as a woman, truly am in today's hectic world. Taking a step back into time, there was actually a time in my life when it came time to do the laundry that I had a wringer washer, two rinse tubs and a clothesline in the backyard, with temps below the zero mark, which made up my washday -- and babies in diapers, with no thought of disposable diapers being used on a daily basis either. But, "I had it made," for I had the love of a fabulous family. That, in itself, surpassed any negative thoughts that possibly could have prevailed at the time.

Possibly, this nostalgia comes about as a result of the new year. New Year's Eve was the only night of the year I was allowed to stay awake until midnight. Our family would celebrate the holiday by having guests or we might have been invited to other friends' homes to "bring in the New Year." As the hands of the clock edged toward the magic moment, someone would turn on the radio to the NBC Blue Network in New York City where Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians were entertaining in some glittering ballroom. As we sat there, amid our family and friends, we would try to imagine all the beautiful ladies in their evening gowns and the tall, trim men in their tuxedos while waiting for the minute the band could be heard, swinging all their concerted efforts into "Auld Lang Syne." The crowd would start the countdown, "Four, three, two, one, Happy New Year!" This mood carried over, right into everyone in the room. Everyone hugged; Mom and Dad kissed. The wonder, the waiting only was overshadowed by the anticipation of what tomorrow would bring. It was a beautiful moment in time to share then, and it remains such today.

So, do we miss the days of snowball fights and building snowmen and building snow caves with arched entrances, or is it more fun playing games on the computer by yourself in your room? Is it more interesting to see the little ones texting their friends on the phone versus possibly a game of paper dolls, jacks or a diversion of Monopoly, rummy or even Kings on the Corner with the family around the dining room table seeing who could beat Dad tonight? Do we miss the days of lying snug and warm under layers of blankets until we mustered up the nerve to spring from the bed and dress near the warmth of a cast-iron cookstove, or is it more handy to hit the buttons on the thermostat to warm up the house in just a jiffy? Was it more fun to get out the big cooking skillet from the oven, put in grease, add the popcorn kernels and hold onto the lid for dear life so it was tight until the corn was popped fully, or is it easier to put the brown bag into the microwave and in three minutes have a nice bag of kettle corn, cooked to perfection?

Of all of these things, there are pros and cons, but there is one thing, without exception, I never have found anything to replace. That is waking up early in the morning to the kalediscope of patterns of ice on the windows. Today's modern double-paned windows have sent poor Jack Frost packing. His houseful of windowpanes magically etched by Jack Frost's hand is definitely something that cannot be replaced. Gone are the days of being able to examine each pane intricately displaying a unique work of art that surpassed even the most famous of artist's creation. No, we "do not have it made" when it comes to that beautiful memory of winters past.

But, time marches on -- and we go with it. For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer. Familiar words in unfamiliar times. Familiar trends in unfriendly territories.

Government rules, with undeniably treacherous paths and plots. Family, as well as worldly plans, leading to unforseen paths. The opening of doors happens. And with it comes the unexpected end results occuring only when we truly recognize the significiance of developing an attitude of thanksgiving in its revelatory nature. We might "have it made" in certain areas, but the fact remains we need to lead by example while never failing to express ample gratitude to those who have gone before us and gave us examples to follow even in the realms of today's questionable atmosphere.

Reacting to our ever-changing surroundings, it truly behooves us to continue to follow the paths of our ancestors by sharing our lives in thankful, spiritual modes. Maybe, just maybe, we should listen more, argue less. Give more, demand less. Cuddle more, manipulate less. Encourage more, nag less. Laugh more, worry less. Pray more, doubt less. And above all, love more, never less. Truly, if we enacted these suggestions on a daily basis, without a doubt, we easily could say, "We do have it made."

Nadene Albrecht resides in Russell and is a retired real estate broker.