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Count your blessings

November 25, 2010 - Michael Palmer
Have you ever considered the word Thanksgiving. Split it down the middle and you have thanks and giving. Put them together and we have what we celebrate today - Thanksgiving.

Most of us will have turkey or ham or even both, and side dishes and desserts galore. We will pause a moment to be thankful for such abundance.

But are we really thankful for what we have? We too often concentrate on what we do not have.

I currently do not have my furnace working, however we are fortunate enough to be getting an oil well that has been dormant on our farm back into working order and will get free gas from that once the work is completed next month and our furnace is converted back from propane to natural gas.

The drought conditions have caused our well to run dry on several occasions this fall, however we are fortunate to have the resources to have water delivered.

I could compalin that this year my son will not be able to make the trip back home to join us, and neither will my nephew in Washington state. However, my son has a good job and my nephew returned from his fourth tour of duty in the Gulf a few weeks ago and he is safe and spending Thanksgiving with his family there.

I could dwell on my problems, however that is selfish thinking on my part when there are people in our own community who have very little this day.

There are people on the other side of the world who have almost nothing, but that is a difficult concept for people in the United States of America to understand. Even when we seem to be poor and broke, by the third world’s standards we are still quite rich.

My wife has a relative who works for a local power company. He was making his rounds through the valley this holiday eve disconnecting delinquent accounts. I am thankful that I do not have such a job.

While I have the great fortune to be typing this on a computer in a home that is warm and has electricity, there are some who tonight sit in the dark, cold and depressed. Their feast of food is thawing in their refrigerator and there will be no warm oven to heat their turkey and ham when the dawn comes.

Perhaps some will have the money to purchase a propane cooker and some peanut oil to deep fry their birds and maybe have a wood burner to heat some of their side dishes. Many will not. In fact many have even lost their homes in what our government calls ‘a slight economic down turn.’

I can say that I am truly thankful this day. I have many blessings and if you are reading this blog, it is logical that you too are blessed.

Giving is the second part of the word.

While in college I spent one holiday working to feed those less fortunate at our church. Many of the families who came to the meal would not make eye contact, they were ashamed, but their hunger had driven them to share in the meal. This year I am not one of the many unselfish members of the local community who will be Giving, but I take a moment here to also thank those who do.

As you enjoy your holiday and make plans for the busy shopping day that follows, do not forget to pause a moment and be thankful for such abundance and if you have the chance to drop an item into a share a Christmas box or even some change into a Salvation Army pot, don‘t forget to give to those less fortunate this holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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