By Simon Ambit
Before mashed potatoes and gravy or the tradition of the plump and juicy turkey, before the arrival of stuffing or afternoon football games, the idea of gathering for a meal has been a favorite even before the settlement at Plymouth.
Stemming back to its roots in 1621, Thanksgiving has long since been a time of gathering, feasting, goodly neighbors and thankfulness. That first thanksgiving dinner among the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Tribe likely consisted of waterfowl, corn, onions, venison and squash. Though it lasted for the course of several days, the tradition has carried down through the ages and kitchens of time and is still recognized and enjoyed by so very many today.
In the fall of 1621, after surviving the winter and erecting a handful of homes and small out buildings, the Pilgrims of Plymouth had much to be thankful for. Today, as tables are lined with ham or turkey, potatoes and gravy, salad, jello, corn, stuffing, fresh rolls and other tasty delights, it is one of my favorite times of the year. Though the food items may have changed a bit over the centuries, the ideal of gathering together, feasting and giving thanks has stayed strong.
Like our forbearers of 1621, we too have much to be thankful for here in the Castle Country area. We have communities filled with good people who help their neighbors. We have schools full of great youth being taught by great teachers. We have an array of quality medical facilities and devoted emergency services. We have long been a melting pot of religion, culture, ethnicity, race, heritage and viewpoints, and yet we have lived and worked, prospered and struggled, flooded and dried together as one great body despite our many differences.
Despite the downturn in oil, gas, mining and the barrage of attacks on coal-fired energy, we are still producing. Amidst the droughts and floods, we are still harvesting. Against the odds of a rural economic downturn, we still see new businesses rising from the desert floor. We are an area with deep roots in hard work, positive determination and we know how to have a good time.
We have a university in our area, which provides secure employment and higher education. We have sports teams in our high schools that tout state titles and athletes with state records. The list goes on and on and on.
This week as we gather with friends and family, let us take a moment to reflect on that which we have and the good fortunes, gifts and blessings we experience. Let us take time to contemplate what we are thankful for and be found giving thanks this Thanksgiving. Life is good, Happy Thanksgiving!