Thursday, November 22, 2007

Warmest Holiday Greetings

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

There's some interesting history associated with this holiday. Apparently most are taught that the day of thanksgiving originated with the pilgrims in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts. I was, and recall the story of the friendly Native American, Squanto, who helped the settlers through the difficult first year. In 1621, following an abundant harvest, a celebratory feast was organized. The Governor of Plymouth invited the nearby tribe to participate in the festivities.

In truth, it appears that this landmark date and occasion are predated by another, very similar event. On December 4, 1619, a group of 38 English settlers arrived at Berkley Hundred, Virginia Colony, about 20 miles upstream from the original Jamestown settlement. Apparently wishing to get off on the right foot with the Almighty, the already-written charter of Berkley Colony specified, "Wee ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacon in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually keept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God."

The Berkley Thanksgiving celebration continues as a major event, at least locally. President Bush made his annual Thanksgiving address there this year. Apparently they held the celebration a bit early.

In subsequent years, the national Day of Thanksgiving (in the USA) was a matter of proclamation by the president or the congress, and it was done each year. Finally, in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the fourth Thursday in November each year as Thanksgiving Day. However, this action was not approved by congress until 1941.

Historical considerations aside, though - - -
I think it is a wonderful thing, that we are all at least influenced to pause and take stock of our good fortune each year. It is so easy to become too busy to recall how good we really have it, compared to so many unfortunates throughout the world. Yes, we all have problems, and worries, and even downright hard times. But few among us in America will go hungry on any given day. There are far too many charities, churches, and benevolent organizations providing meals free to the needy, even the homeless are provided food.

On a personal note, I am fortunate - - In our household, we have our family. Beloved Bride and I have each other, and we have each other's families, including my two sons and Holly's daughter and son. All are healthy and gainfully employed. None have any legal problems. We don't get to see the kids as often as we'd like, but, hey, that's modern life. Elder Son Matt is on duty so he won't be able to attend. That being the case, his Sweet Wife and their two beautiful daughters are away visiting her Mom. Younger Son David is likewise working, but he'll come by for a visit and an early meal. BB's mother will attend. Her Tall Son is off on Thursday only and lives too distant to do the travel and celebration all in one day, so he'll not be present. Happily, her Angel Baby Girl will be with us, and a stepbrother and his wife, both just excellent people.

We're most thankful for our family of course, but also for our circumstances. Our health is generally good. There is adequate money for our real needs. We have transportation, insurance, shelter, and well more than sufficient food. While a bit more disposable income would be nice, we have enough that we can each indulge our hobbies to some extent.

All this personal stuff is very significant in our lives, and it becomes easy to overlook some other, tremendously important facts. We are blessed to live in a place and time where we have freedom and individual rights far better than the vast majority of the rest of the world. We may complain about taxes and governmental restrictions. We are certainly unhappy with our political situation and the office holders and office seekers, but these are changeable, and we give thanks that we have the opportunity to effect such changes. We are thankful for those in America's military services are on duty to provide their efforts and spirit and even blood in support of freedom loving people everywhere. Our gratitude extends to those in domestic public service as well. There are those on duty today who would rather be with their families or friends, but who have voluntarily serve our society. They have taken the responsibility of providing medical care, fire protection, keeping the public peace, and maintaining necessary public utilities.

I hope you all are having a good day, or did have, if you don't read this until later.

Best regards,
JPG



6 comments:

Ambulance Driver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ambulance Driver said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you and Holly from me and Babs, JPG!

lainy said...

It's a little late, but Happy Thanksgiving to you and BB as well.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

That was a great post. I always figured it was just a typical harvest ceremony, bit Indians and Pilgrims being farmers, why not get together and chow down? I hope you guys had a great holiday. Stay warm.

outside_of_apex said...

I was born & raised in Va and even went to the College of William & Mary (just up the road from Jamestown). I've always associated the Pilgrims in Massachusetts with Thanksgiving.

Now for something completely different.

You have mentioned those `Name that ..... ' quizzes. Here's one that's at least as good:

Traveler IQ

phlegmfatale said...

Your eloquent statement on the importance of taking stock and celebrating the bounty of our lives beautifully sums up my own views. Well done!