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Remember today that we are truly blessed

November 23, 2018

There is so much to be thankful for at this special time when families come together to celebrate both their shared heritage and a promising future.

The harvest nears its competition. Most estimates are that although corn and soybean yields may not match the records of recent years, the crops delivered ample returns. Most growing years are challenged by nature’s fickle ways.

Excess rainfall caused drowned out spots in fields; strong winds and tornadoes ripped through the region and destroyed grain bins, barns, houses, trees and turned some corn fields into twisted messes.

Farmers relish their independence and know full well that their success is dependent on their management skills and the choices they make. However, farmers and their families also understand that they are dependent on the community in which they live.

It is most evident when because of sickness, injuries and even death that people come together. Farmers bring their combines to harvest a fallen farmer’s crop; the local cooperative donates its trucks to deliver grain to the elevator; and churches prepare meals to feed the volunteer workers. In times of need, neighbors and friends come together. The quilt that bonds us together is iron-clad strong in times of need. The colonists who left the security of native lands faced starvation and likely would have succumbed to it had the continent’s native peoples not shown generosity to the strangers. Farm families also appreciate and give thanks for the sacrifices made by previous generations.

Those who felled trees and broke the sod, fought tooth and nail to save their livelihoods during the Great Depression may not be physically present around the Thanksgiving table, but they live on in our memories. They sought better lives for their children, grandchildren and the other future generations. Their love of the land and livestock is engrained in our DNA.

Wise Abraham Lincoln established the first Thanksgiving during the tragedy of the Civil War as a reminder that all that we have is a blessing. President Franklin Roosevelt made it an official holiday for much the same reason.

We are rightly thankful that harvest finished with few accidents. Our good fortunate is evident as we gather around the Thanksgiving table and see that each chair is filled with smiling faces.

Yes, we will fill our bellies with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and pie on this day. Our spirits will also be full and uplifted. All that we are as individuals and families, and all that we will become, are precious gifts.

There will be trials and tribulations, but those gathered with us today are proof enough that we are blessed.

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