We learned the story of the first Thanksgiving at Plymouth colony in Massachusetts in grade school. We played at being Native Americans and pilgrims, sharing pumpkin shaped cookies and coloring turkeys. We were too young to remember the moral of the story: The pilgrims, having been unprepared for the hardships of their new world, having lost almost half their loved ones, gave thanks to God for the harvest, but more importantly, for their lives. They were the survivors of a harsh winter who then had to adjust to farming in a strange land. The bounty of the harvest and the woods that they shared with the Native Americans at that first feast symbolized God’s grace after harrowing trials.
Today we commemorate their harvest with food, parades and football games. We surfeit ourselves with all the abundance we can buy and then we go shopping. We take our good lives for granted. Do not forget the “Thanks” in Thanksgiving. Whether you believe that what you have is from a higher power (God) or your own inner strength, be grateful for what you do have. Count your blessings.
And may your life be filled with many blessings.
My husband. We were just kids when we met so I am grateful that we grew up together and became closer. I am thankful for his love. I am grateful for his support of me as a mother, a writer, a teacher and a volunteer. He lets me put our relationship on the back burner for other people because he knows that I love him best. (And he lets me hoard dogs.)
My three intelligent and lovely daughters. You have grown into wonderful, productive adults. I could not be prouder of you.
My grandson who brings me joy daily
My daughter’s partners in life: Good choices, girls!
My parents who always believed in me.
My four sisters– four headstrong opinionated women that I can always count on.
My two brothers– reliable and reassuring but jokesters
My siblings’ spouses– you have to have a sense of humor to be married to one of us.
My mother in law who is also my friend
My sis in law—an artistic and creative force
My aunts—my role models in life
My college friends: we survived our youth to be old together
My graduate school friends: we became adults together
My ‘mommy friends’—we went through preschool, grade school, junior high, BAND, high school—our children are adults and we are still friends.
Pandy Friends—you know who you are—I miss you
My fellow teachers—you made work fun
My former students—I learned from them
All my friends—because I need you
My blog readers—you keep me writing
My dogs—they make me exercise
That I live in a country where I can practice free speech, accumulate possessions, shop freely (even though I hate shopping) and make personal choices.
The men and women who respond in times of disaster. May I never need you but thank you for helping those who have.
The men and women who serve in our armed forces. Thank you for believing in our country and protecting our freedoms.
I am a fortunate person. My life has been touched by many people from teachers who encouraged me to students who inspired me. So many people have been an influence on who I am today, I cannot begin to count them all. Like stars in the sky, people shine in my life.
Count your blessings and give thanks.