We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Re-posted from last year. I add in 2012: No matter what the circumstances, whatever you have is to be given thanks for, and someone else always has less, and they may surprise you that they give thanks for that.
Wednesday night, my son Jason and I were greeters at our synagogue for the annual Interfaith Council Thanksgiving Service, which brings together ministers and congregants from many varying religions. A real eye-opener for Jason as he met people, US born and from all corners of the earth, all sharing thanks for our bounty and generosity. The service ended with all standing to sing "America the Beautiful." (I wish they'd also added Emma Lazarus' poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty.) I hadn't read all the words to "America the Beautiful" in many years. So, like me, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, you may want to refresh your memory.
America the Beautiful
Words by Katharine Lee Bates, Melody by Samuel Ward
O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet Whose stern impassioned stress A thoroughfare of freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God mend thine every flaw, Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife. Who more than self their country loved And mercy more than life! America! America! May God thy gold refine Till all success be nobleness And every gain divine!
O beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed his grace on thee And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for halcyon skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties Above the enameled plain! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till souls wax fair as earth and air And music-hearted sea!
O beautiful for pilgrims feet, Whose stem impassioned stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till paths be wrought through wilds of thought By pilgrim foot and knee!
O beautiful for glory-tale Of liberating strife When once and twice, for man's avail Men lavished precious life! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till selfish gain no longer stain The banner of the free!
O beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years Thine alabaster cities gleam Undimmed by human tears! America! America! God shed his grace on thee Till nobler men keep once again Thy whiter jubilee!
Tom ... I fervently agree with you about America the Beautiful. When my husband and I went on a lengthy business trip for his company back in 1980, we were away for a month, flying back from Japan's Narita airport which seems like it's in the middle of nowhere. When we finally landed on American soil in California, to transfer to our plane to Houston, we sat there, kind of stunned by the long trip behind us and the one in front of us, and I started to sing [quietly] America the Beautiful which has always been so filled with emotion for us both. It was a magic moment, with several other passengers around us joining in.
How blessed we are to live in this country, to share with so many others who love freedom as we all do.
Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. We'll save our country yet.