Thank you! The cross on the hill is back.

Someone has cleaned away the grass and weeds that had grown up and covered it completely. When I came around the curve at Yocemento and spotted the cross again, shining on the hill, my heart filled with joy. Thanks so much.

You'll never guess what happened to me last month.

I had attended the Glenn Miller concert on a hot Sunday afternoon. I was driving home, humming the great tunes I had heard that afternoon, when "Boom!"

"What in the world was that?" I said. I must have hit a board on the road with the bottom of my car, but I didn't remember seeing anything on the road. I had just left the blacktop and was driving onto the rock road. I kept driving. It is always noisy on rock road; the large country-tread tires make a lot of noise.

I turned off the radio, thinking the noise was getting louder. I wondered "What the heck is going on, could I maybe have a flat tire?"

Well, when I finally stopped to check, I couldn't believe what I saw. The rear driver's side tire was shredded, destroyed. I had driven 2 miles since the initial boom. Must have been a blow out.

I began thanking God for all the good things. I was so glad I wasn't on the busy highway, glad it still was daylight, glad I wasn't on my way to a time-scheduled appointment or meeting. I also was glad I had a cellphone and that it was charged, glad I had my AAA card with me, glad they answered when I called and I knew where I was so I could give them directions.

I was glad the clouds building up in the southwest had covered the sun, making it cooler. Later, I was thankful it didn't rain until after Augie's came and put my spare on.

While I waited, a neighbor stopped to see if I needed help, then kept me company until help came. Thanks, Paul.

My tires still are in good shape, I'm glad I had road hazard coverage. The tread is measured and the cost of replacement tire was adjusted according to wear. That helped a lot -- a new tire would have cost nearly $200.

Years ago when I was a teenager, I could have changed a tire myself and I had helped Jim change many a tire through the years. But things are different now. The spare tire is attached under the vehicle and figuring out how to get down is one thing; getting the jack out and getting it under the car is another thing. Nowadays, getting the the nuts off (the nuts that were put on by a power tool) is impossible.

Now, I have a new tire on, and the spare is back under the auto. I hope I don't need it again anytime soon.

This was a learning experience and when I told others about it and listed what I was thankful for, one fellow said, "I wouldn't have been thankful for anything, I'd have been super mad."

I guess I always try to see things in a positive light. That got me to thinking about life in general. There are so many good things around us to be thankful for.

The following Sunday at church we sang "For The Young Of The Earth." Each verse of the hymn touched on God's many gifts. I'm afraid we take for granted the simple things we couldn't and wouldn't want to live without. Let's remember to give thanks for all God has given us.

The cross again is visible on the hill to remind us our days are protected by his love.

Opal Flinn is a member of the Generations advisory committee.