On Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24) Americans pause to give thanks to Almighty God for the many blessings that we have received throughout this year and our lives. A tradition that the Native Americans and the pilgrims shared food and knowledge of how to make it in this part of the world, as opposed to living in England, has been around since those difficult days.
What is important to the tradition of Thanksgiving Day is that we stop what we are doing and gather with friends and family to break bread together and to rejoice about our abundance of blessings. To be sure most of the people we know, if not all, have many problems with which to deal. Financial problems, unemployment, personal relationships, health concerns, and death hit all of us and those we care about the most.
However, we need to remember the many blessings we do enjoy. My wife has battled health issues since 1993 and yet she has survived cancer and fallout from the treatments. We rejoice each day that her health allows her to enjoy life. She has watched her niece and nephew grow into adulthood. She has watched as a great nephew has come into our lives. We have been on cruises and vacations and we have enjoyed countless hours with friends and family. We count those events as blessings and we track those activities - we don’t count nights spent in hospitals. The blessings outweigh the problems. My father taught my brother and I this poem:
“Whatever your lot in life,
Whatever be your goal,
Keep your eye upon the doughnut,
And not upon the hole.”
It is a reminder that if you live in a free country as we do, and you have indoor plumbing and get to eat one meal per day, then you are better off than two thirds of the people who have ever lived. Rejoice in the great blessings that are evident in your life.
Support the Scouts
On the first Saturday in December the annual Boy Scout Christmas Tree sale kicks off. They set up shop right behind the library in North Fork and they sell about 400 trees to families in search of a freshly cut tree. The trees are the only locally cut trees sold in this area and the price is under $3 per foot with the first foot free.
Long time Scoutmaster David Smith and his troop will be there to assist you as you look for the perfect tree for your home or business. After you have studied the trees and made your selection a fine young Scout will help you get it to your car or truck and will even give you string with which to tie it down to your vehicle.
You then write the check or hand over the cash and head back home to decorate that fresh smelling tree. Carol and I put a humidifier in the room with the tree whilst we sleep. This helps keep the trees fresher against the heat of our woodstove.
When you are handing over the payment to that young Scout you are dealing with a future leader of our area, state or nation. Scouting helps boys become men and girls become ladies. The lessons learned in Scouting will help develop character in those kids.
When you are paying please remember that a Scout cannot accept a tip for the ‘good turn’ of helping you with getting the tree to the car. You however are not violating that no tip rule if you decide to donate a few extra dollars to the troop. The money earned by the troop during the Christmas Tree Sale pays for equipment and Scout Camp in the summer.
So we have some good things to do during the next couple of weeks. Get the calendar marked for the first weekend in December and get a tree. On Thursday we remember to give sincere and grateful thanks for our many, many blessings. Please remember to give thanks for the veterans and the people working to keep us safe today who must be away from their families.