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November 23, 2004

Giving thanks...

This weekend marks the American holiday of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving commemorates the holiday that was declared by Governor Bradford of the Plymouth colony to celebrate the success of the fall harvest. More importantly it paid deference to the Native Americans whose assistance clinched their survival. If Samoset and his friend Squanto hadnít helped it's doubtful the colony would have survived.

How bad had things been? Try this on for size: after the first horrid winter only 50 of the original 110 settlers survived to see the spring. Try looking around and imagining a little over half your neighbors dying in the space of 6 months. Ugh.

Over 90 American Indians attended the first celebration. (There were displays of archery and musketry between the two groups.) Two years later the Governor marked a similar occasion with what is now regarded as the first Thanksgiving.

For many this has become a holiday of traditions far removed from the original intent: Things like the Macyís parade and football games are the memories many associate with the holiday now. (Fabulous Babe parks in front of the television and cannot be moved once the parade starts.) These arenít bad things, just different from the original intention.

What remains true is the sentiment behind the holidayís name: giving thanks. Having that sentiment about the blessings, gifts, rewards, etc., that your life over the previous year has brought to you.

Letís be clear: You donít have to be religious to be thankful for the good fortune in your life. The sentiment that only the adherents of a religious belief can be thankful for the positive things in their life is silly.

In no particular order hereís my list for this year:

Iím thankful for a decision made last May that has brought into this world by healthy, happy, incredibly large son. Every day he gives me hope and courage. Every day with my son is a gift that I never thought I would receive.

Iím thankful for my wife who bore that enormously large child. Her love and patience, sincerity and faith, inspire me. Sometimes she aggravates the bejeezus out of me but never once do I hesitate to wander around Best Buy dealing with slack jawed morons in an attempt to find the new Sarah MacLachlan live DVD and CD combo. (Hey. That reminds me. Didnít she make some sort of deal with me a couple of months ago?) There are so many fabulous things about her I often lose track.

Iím thankful for all of our families that Jack unites. Their histories are long, rich and colorful. (How colorful can sometimes boggle the imagination.) Best of all theyíre loving and caring people who only want the best for both of us.

Iím thankful for my friends. No group has ever been as widespread or as close to my heart. Through their highs and lows this year, their joy and pain, I have been fortunate to call this wide and varied group my dearest companions. In the event of my leaving this mortal coil the wake these people are going to throw is going to be a lively one.

Lastly I am thankful for you dear readers. While most of you fit into one of the paragraphs above this one some of you fall into the category that I call ďfriends I just havenít gotten to know yetĒ which is my way of saying the door is always open and Iím glad you choose to stop by and follow this effort of mine.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Jim at November 23, 2004 11:03 PM