IN 1789, CONGRESS requested of George Washington that the young nation's first president, as he put it, "recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer." The grand traditions of the holiday that we all look forward to today -- grotesque overeating, traffic jams and airport delays, endless sports on television, and family squabbles -- had not yet developed. And the country then, having only just established the government we still enjoy, had a great deal to be thankful for, President Washington noted: "the favorable interpositions of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war," the "great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed -- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted -- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us."
It's early yet and the house is mostly asleep. We will be cooking in a bit, those dishes we will be taking to my mother's house. Eldest daughter and youngest son are giving thanks elsewhere this year. The newest splinter from our family tree has discovered what all young families discover about holidays...I hope they like to eat Thanksgiving Dinner thrice. We will end up with a combination Feast as both of our moms will be at the gathering.
I just wanted to drop this note out here to say I hope each and every one of you have something or someone to be thankful for on this day. Try to take the time somewhere in the course of the day to reflect on all the good you have seen this year...don't dwell on the might have beens, don't look into the sadnesses... Give Thanks.
Have a blessed day.