Thanksgiving is allegedly a celebration created to highlight the survival of early colonists in what would later become Massachusetts. Those early colonists were rightly happy they had survived in a foreign and difficult environment.
Now, we Americans celebrate the holiday for a variety of reasons. There are many among us who still contend with a difficult and somewhat foreign environment, but most of us, despite our complaints, observe the holiday from a position of relative plenty. Despite the fact the economy has gone south and many among us have found ourselves stressed, jobless and lacking funds, our privations still fail to match those suffered by others in this world, now and at other times.
We have much to be thankful for.
A trip around The SUN offices gives us some idea of the things for which our colleagues are thankful.
For Shari, Thanksgiving is a chance to be, “ … thankful I get to spend this wonderful day with my family.”
Jim will be thankful for his “… new house, and my wonderful children. I’m blessed with good kids.”
For Robert, the day allows him to give thanks for, “family and friends.”
Sandy is thankful ”… to be employed. To have a roof over my head and to have healthy children.”
For Missy, Thanksgiving gives her a chance to focus on, “A beautiful place to live — Pagosa. A job, and the forest.”
William is thankful for his family.
On Thanksgiving, Terri will be thankful “… for my wonderful family and friends, my silly puppies and for being able to live in Pagosa Springs. And for having just found out we won nineteen Press Association awards.”
Randi will be thankful for, “Health, happiness and family. And for the day when Scott Boras (a sports agent) retires. I hold him responsible for the demise of Major League Baseball.”
Family. A home. Food. Friends. Happiness.
Thanksgiving is a time to gather with others, enjoy their company, eat, drink and ponder our good fortune in all its forms. Despite our chronic whining on the political front, despite the everyday bickering that occurs when we deal with oh-so-many trivial aspects of life, the majority of us do very well.
We should be thankful for these blessings. And, as we reflect on them, we should take time to consider those among us who are not as fortunate as we are.
In the midst of plenty, people live without our comforts. Some among us, here in Pagosa Country, are not merely strapped, short of cash and in need of cutting back. There are fellow Pagosans who are in more dire situations.
We are thankful we live in a community that responds to needs when they are genuine. We have always been a remarkable generous community, ready and able to lend support of a variety of kinds. This Thanksgiving, a combined effort by Community United Methodist Church and John Paul II Catholic church produced more than 300 food boxes, to be distributed to Pagosans in need, allowing them, too, to enjoy a festive dinner this holiday.
The effort does not end there, though. With the winter holiday season approaching, efforts are underway to collect food for Christmas food boxes, as well as to collect other items for distribution before the holiday. The Salvation Army is working hard on a local program as are numerous church, professional and civic groups.
It is time for those of us who can to pony up, make donations of food and cash to charitable organizations and drives.
Beyond the holidays, winter remains, joblessness remains, need persists. We are a community and that word denotes more than a place of residence. We are thankful we are members of this community in Pagosa Country and are thankful for all that is done to make it a safer, stronger, and more embracing place.
Have a warm and meaningful Thanksgiving. Karl Isberg