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November 22, 1995

Another Thanksgiving is at hand, and, as usual, we are richly blessed in more ways that we can measure. There is no accounting for the profusion of good things that just seem to keep on happening. Our family has experienced this and we sincerely trust that yours has, too.

At the same time, we recognize that many others here and abroad live with suffering daily, and our prayers must include a petition on their behalf. We look for ways to share our personal bounty with them, but sometimes it seems our efforts are futile and lead only to frustration. Don't stop trying. At the very least, let us keep them in our minds and hearts as we partake of the great benevolence we have come to take for granted.

We each have our own personal and special reflections at Thanksgiving. Look around the table tomorrow and gaze at those loving, lovely faces you see there. Think also of those who could not be there. They are family, though not necessarily blood relatives, and thank God for each one. Hope in your heart that some lonely friend, one we do not even know, finds a measure of companionship on this day. Perhaps one of us can fill such a void. Keep trying.

Tables groaning with food. The smiles and warm handclasps we exchange without speaking a word. Homes that are snug and safe. Neighbors who care for us. A community of good people. All these and more are ours, the elements of a life filled with contentment and joy.

We owe so much to so many. The pioneers who settled this country, including those who found their way to the Cherokee Outlet. Churches whose members and pastors have a firm grip on their mission. A school system and teachers earnestly seeking to shape our young people in the right mold. Such things have been with us in Perry for so long that we scarcely realize they are there.

My own personal larder is filled to overflowing. I give thanks for family and loved ones everywhere, including so many of you who have been kind enough to offer encouragement with this column. The revived version of the Northwest Corner is one year old this month, and I am having more fun with it than the law should allow.

Enjoy the turkey and dressing, the cranberry sauce and all the other trimmings. Savor the feast and bask in what this day has to offer. Count your blessings, name them one by one. As the old hymn continues: "It will surprise you what the Lord has done."

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!