Loving thoughts of Gratitude

It’s Thanksgiving week in the year 2020.

I am truly empathetic to those who have found this year to be a constant struggle. I am especially solemn in my thoughts for the nearly 300,000 Americans lost to this vile virus from China.

It seems like ancient history, though it was only 10 months ago that our nation was cruising along at break neck speed, with a growing, vibrant economy. We were making peace in the Middle East. Illegal immigration was dropping to remarkably low levels given the booming economy. The Wall was being built. And a President more efficient and effective in achieving his stated goals for our country than any in decades (perhaps ever) seemed well on his way to re-election in spite of the unprecedented opposition loaded up against him. Things were good and we had every expectation that they would get better.

But the problems that would mark this year as terrible in the eyes of many were all well on their way to combustion.

The year started with Democrats inartfully trying to impeach President Trump for essentially nothing. Sadly, all Democrats in Congress found zero need for Patriotism and national well-being in forcing through impeachment against a unanimous GOP opposing this embarrassing episode.

Corona Virus was already exploding in China. And the Chinese and the World Health Organization lied about its severity and subsequently enabled its escape into the world and our country.

Democrats fomented racial division by convincing the ignorant in our country that their President was a racist. And with the seed of hatred firmly planted racial battles infected nearly every major city on the U.S. after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Though called a murder by nearly everyone who commented on the incident, evidence that came to the public knowledge much too late indicated that Floyd had himself ingested a fatal amount of fentanyl along with 3 other illegal drugs. But this information came way too late and was not widely reported by an American news industry hell bent on pushing their own agenda.

Job losses from Corona virus lockdowns blew up the unemployment rate from record lows in February to over 22% in April. Cities and states around the country instituted policies prohibiting evictions and foreclosures. As a result 10s of thousands have not paid their rent or their mortgage in months. The catastrophe that looms when these eviction and foreclosure prohibitions comes to an end has not yet registered with the media or, it seems, politicians. It’s hard to imagine what’s going to happen.

And in a country that for decades has held life-long politicians at the same esteem level as that of a murderous pedophile has seemed to elect a life long politician who also seems to have a disturbing history of inappropriately touching and sniffing young girls to the office of President. The wisdom of putting a 78 year old DC statue into office during this difficult time will only be proven or disproven in time. Suffice to say, not even his supporters are enthusiastic about what Joe Biden might be or accomplish.

These dark and sad occurrences in our country belie the fact that this author individually, and in my immediate family has had a pretty awesome year.

First and foremost after nearly 7 months of negotiating and maneuvering we were able to achieve a life-long dream of mine in purchasing and moving into our house on a lake. While I’d never given up on this dream, I had come to the point in my life where I believed if such a home existed for me it would be somewhere in the boondocks far away from the higher priced homes and the big city. But as it turns out we’re only 20-25 minutes from Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue and Snoqualmie Pass; otherwise known as the center of the universe…or at least…my universe.

We then proceeded to make the year all about improving our home; making it beautiful. Making it our own. We enjoyed the most spectacular 4th of July in my lifetime right on our own lake. And we enjoyed nearly daily walks on our 1+ acre property down to our lakeside. Needless to say, fishing and canoe rides occurred, frequently.

My wife and I were treated by her generous, loving adult kids to a trip to Disneyland to celebrate her milestone birthday at the start of this year. And we ended this year with a long, deserved, private get-away to the sun in historic St. Augustine, Florida. Two wonderful trips indeed. Both provided life long memories.

And in spite of all this, at this writing, we have more money in the bank than either my wife or I have ever had. No, we’re not rich. But we are very fortunate and very grateful.

We have been blessed by God.

I can’t believe we’re the only ones to enjoy a terrific year in spite of all that has transpired. My joy and enthusiasm has been significantly quelled by the knowledge that so many have struggled in our country and around the world. But my prayer for you is that you, like me, can find the gems that allow you to offer gratitude this Thanksgiving to God and all those for which you have received blessings.

It’s not as hard as you may think to be grateful during a year when so many tears have been shed. After all, the first official national day of Thanksgiving was declared by President Abraham Lincoln for November 26, 1863 while our nation had been at war with itself for over three years. Six-hundred thousand Americans would die by the time this conflict finally ended in April 1864. Yet, in spite of such horror and turmoil Lincoln found the ability to say To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and my you and your family be blessed, as have we.

If You Shop on Thanksgiving, You Are Part of the Problem | Matt Walsh

I couldn’t agree more with this well written piece by Matt Walsh. Shame on all of us for forgetting what Thanksgiving is intended to be about, thanksgiving.

If we can’t pause for 24 hours to give thanks to God, or feel thankful at least, while enjoying family or quiet time, then we’ve really lost our values in this country.

Click on this link below to enjoy and awakened to the folly of consumerism.

If You Shop on Thanksgiving, You Are Part of the Problem | Matt Walsh.

 

The Madness that is Black Friday.

Black Friday shoppers in the morning at Wal-Ma...

Image via Wikipedia

Black Friday has developed into a truly American institution, and shame on all of us for it. If ever there was a particularly unattractive aspect of Capitalism and materialism its Black Friday. When millions of people leave the comforts of their beds to be the first to save a few bucks for the privilege of buying the latest gadget or fashion we have completely lost track of our priorities.

While not one who ever liked big crowds, the idea of being in a big crowd while doing something I don’t particularly enjoy, shopping, is made that much worse. Included in this wonderful cavalcade of misery is another thing I hate, waiting in lines. I always have something better to do than to wait in a line.

Last year Americans spent $45-billion on Black Friday. For the uninitiated Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving.

A Turkey.

Image via Wikipedia

It is the biggest retail shopping day of the year. It is called “Black” Friday because for many retailers it is the day of the year in which their Profit and Loss statements are pushed out of the red and into the black, or profitability, for the year. The frenzy that is Black Friday has driven some of the largest retailers into a moronic game of one-ups-man-ship. Target and Wal-Mart have competed for who can open their stores first. It used to be 6am; then it was Midnight; now one of them (I won’t bother looking to see who) is opening at 10pm Thanksgiving and staying open all night for those early shoppers who absolutely must get there first. I shutter at the thought of pulling myself out of my turkey, ham and pumpkin pie induced coma and going to a department store on Thanksgiving night. No thank you.

Pumpkin pie, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki...

Image via Wikipedia

I have a serious question: how many items have ever sold out on Black Friday never to be available again before Christmas? Any retailer or manufacturer worth two-bits wouldn’t short stock any item so that it would be gone in one single day not to be seen again within the month.

But when Stan Freberg released “Green Christmas” in 1958 he couldn’t have possibly envisioned just how bad things have gotten. I would ask how we can be truly thankful on Thanksgiving if we are so deliriously ravenous for that which the retailers are offering the very next day?

And Occupy Wall Street doesn’t have the banks and financial institutions to blame for this gluttony. The fat finger of blame can be pointed directly into the mirror. We have raised Christmas shopping up to such a level that to not do it makes you a pariah, selfish and uncaring for those for whom you should be running up your credit card debt to please; even if only for the few hours of Christmas morning.

I’ll be sleeping in on Friday and then reading my morning paper in my hot tub. And when Christmas finally arrives exactly one month later my children  and the rest of my family will be as joyful and truly thankful as they’ve always been on the day in which we celebrate Christ‘s birth.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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