Give thanks for this very special Thursday

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By The Staff

George Washington was known as the “Father of our Country,” and fittingly so, he proclaimed our nation’s first Thanksgiving in 1789.

Now, the fourth Thursday in November is celebrated as Thanksgiving. Washington’s wisdom as a “nation’s father” is ironic because this late fall holiday is all about family. As we know he was wise beyond his years, which is a major reason he became our first commander-in-chief.

Often families gather in one central home to share food – usually turkey or ham as the main courses and some just-as-important fellowship and fun.

When families gather, sometimes it’s the first time since the previous year. Even so, it’s important that they gather and enjoy each other’s company and reflect on the past year. Sometimes at gatherings, it’s without a loved one or special family friend who has departed over the last year. Be sure and take time to give thanks for their life and the blessing they were to you and your family.

As we head to the dinner table Thursday, we have plenty to be thankful.

Others might not feel the same since foreclosure is a distinct possibility, or with the possible loss of jobs with a slumping economy.

If you have your health and family, you should feel blessed. How about freedom, which we often take for granted, but sometimes have to be reminded that our liberty comes at a price. Thank goodness for our dedicated men and women in the military who protect us each day.

Thanksgiving is often associated with the harvest festivals of our nation’s first settlers.

The Indians – Native Americans – feasted with the settlers in a day devoted to giving thanks for their friendship and helping with the harvests in preparation for the coming winter.

Today, there’s much more food, say a fare of turkey and dressing, a host of vegetables, macaroni and cheese and cranberry sauce. Then how about a slice of pumpkin or pecan pie, or even grandmother’s world famous pound cake.

The day’s visual diet includes some parades and an endless run of football games on TV.

It’s the American way. Times have been tough in the last few months, but we should take time out to count our blessings.

Possibly, you might know a person who has been hit hard.

Extend a helping hand and ask them to join you in the giving spirit of those who were part of the first Thanksgiving.

No matter how you spend it, be sure to take some time to be with family and friends.

Enjoy it, but pause and reflect for a moment about the day’s meaning.

Be safe and have a happy Thanksgiving.