Forever on Thanksgiving Day the heart will find the pathway home. -Wilbur D. Nesbit
I suppose it is almost obligatory to write something about Thanksgiving around this time. Like many of you, I traveled over the holiday. I drove up to Kings Mountain, NC Tuesday to spend the holiday with my mother and sisters. We returned to Tampa Friday in an effort to miss traffic.
This is a time of reflecting and “giving thanks” for our blessings and one of the things I’m most thankful for is that my immediate family remains intact, and that I still have a home and hometown to which I can return. The parents’ of an old high school friend of mine died some years ago. He now lives in Asheville, NC and his sister in Charlotte. He made a comment a few years ago about how sad he was that for the first time, he really had no reason to go to Kings Mountain for the holidays. Because of the tight relationship I have with my family, and the love for the small town in which I grew up, I thought that was very poignant, and that is not a feeling I want to experience any time soon. So I’m thankful for home and family.
Thursday night, Lay and I went out riding around, and I pointed out so many of the local landmarks that were part of my growing up years. Being that it’s a small town, I could tell him who (at least) used to live in nearly every house in town. Not coming from a small town, he doesn’t have the same frame of reference to understand that, for all the drawbacks of growing up in small town, there are many benefits to knowing nearly everyone in town.
With a twelve-hour drive home, I had ample time to reflect on Thanksgiving and what this time of year means. I personally have had an OK year. There are things in my life that I wish were different, but on the whole, I am very blessed. So it seems almost curmudgeonly to think about what a bad year it’s been from a societal perspective.
The first thing that leaps to mind is the storms of the Gulf Coast and destruction they wrought. Then there is my disagreement with the federal government position on so many social issues from Gay rights to funding for social programs…and there is the on-going conflict in Iraq.
But for all of that, most of us in America have much for which to be thankful, especially if you consider our situations as compared to so many around the world and here too.
So I think the “thanks” part of Thanksgiving is the easy part. It’s the “giving” part that is often a little more difficult.