JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS...AND SOMETHINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR ON THANKSGIVING

These are not original pieces that I wrote, but they are wonderful thoughts to share with all my friends on this special weekend.  I’ll be sidelined for a bit (an outpatient procedure, which was successful) and that gives me something else to be thankful for!

This first piece was found and shared by a friend.. It really struck me with how right it was. The other one was written by Alan Miller, Editor of the Columbus Dispatch, who always writes thoughtful columns..” 

FIRST A SPECIAL MESSAGE FOR ALL MY FRIENDS WHO (LIKE ME) ARE "OLDER THAN AVERAGE"

JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS...

A newlywed young man was sitting on the porch on a humid day, sipping ice tea with his Father.

As he talked about adult life, marriage, responsibilities, and obligations, the Father thoughtfully stirred the ice cubes in his glass and cast a clear, sober look on his Son.

"Never forget your friends," he advised, "they will become more important as you get older." "Regardless of how much you love your family and the children you happen to have, you will always need friends.  Remember to go out with them occasionally (if possible), but keep in contact with them somehow."

"What strange advice!" thought the young man. "I just entered the married world, I am an adult and surely my wife and the family that we will start will be everything I need to make sense of my life."

Yet, he obeyed his Father; kept in touch with his friends and annually increased their number.

Over the years, he became aware that his Father knew what he was talking about. In as much as time and nature carry out their designs and mysteries on a person, friends are the bulwarks of our life.

After more than 70 years of life, here is what he, I and you will have learned:

Time passes. Life goes on. Children grow up, cease to be children and become independent. And to the parents, it breaks their heart but the children are separated from the parents because they begin their own families.

Jobs / careers come and go.Illusions, desires, attraction, sex....weakens. People can't do what they did physically when they were young.

Parents die but you move on. Colleagues forget the favors you did. The race to achieve slows.

But, true friends are always there, no matter how long or how many miles away they are.  

A friend is never more distant than the reach of a need, intervening in your favor, waiting for you with open arms or in some way blessing your life.

When we started this adventure called LIFE, we did not know of the incredible joys or sorrows that were ahead.

We did not know how much we would need from each other.

Love your parents, take care of your children, but keep a group of good friends.

Stay in touch with them but do not impose your criteria.

Send this to your friends (even those you seldom see) who help make sense of your life.... I just did.

By the way, thank you for being my friend.

Happy Thanksgiving,

JOHN

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Amid a second year of pandemic, we still have much for which to be thankful

Alan D. Miller

The Columbus Dispatch

Last year at this time, I wrote in this space that, "in this year like no other in modern history," it was easy to focus on the significant challenges we all faced and overlook the blessings.

Sadly, 2021 has been very much like the year before it as we struggled through a second year of the coronavirus pandemic.

And yet, as we head into the week of Thanksgiving, it's worth repeating what I said last year: We can still give thanks for so many things.

We can be thankful for the doctors and nurses, EMTs and other first-responders, and the researchers who are all working to keep us safe and make us well.

We give thanks for the grocery workers who have kept shelves stocked throughout the pandemic. For the truck drivers, mail carriers, package delivery teams and others who bring things to us so that we can remain safely in our homes. And for so many others who work tirelessly to bring some sense of normalcy and comfort to us amid a most unsettling time.

I give a personal note of thanks for being blessed with a loving and supportive family. I'm also blessed to spend each day with colleagues in newsrooms across Ohio who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to bring you the news and information you need to navigate life in uncharted waters.

And we all can give thanks for the beauty and bounty of nature. After more than six decades on this Earth, I remain in awe of the natural beauty of Ohio, especially at this time of year.

I have said it before in this column, and it is worth repeating, that a drive through the countryside in fall gives a clear image of more of the many things for which we can be thankful: Fertile land, hardworking farmers and the abundant food produced on the 14 million acres of agricultural land between Ohio's many cities.

The patchwork of gray-brown soybean fields, golden cornstalk stubble and the still-green pastures stretch out for miles. Cows loaf near their barns, deer graze on the corn kernels dropped by pickers, an occasional hawk scans the naked fields for vermin, and we can count among our blessings that we live in a place as beautiful as this.

We also can give thanks for what those fields and farms represent – the land from which we receive our food for Thanksgiving, Christmas and every other day.

Turkey, chicken, beef, pork, milk, eggs, wheat for flour, fruit and vegetables produced here, combined with the food processing and packaging businesses around all of that farming, make up Ohio's largest industry.

So in this challenging year of 2021, take a moment to thank a farmer, remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving and consider a little of the history of what has become a national holiday.

President George Washington issued a proclamation in 1789 declaring the first national day of thanksgiving, asking people for gratitude to God "for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country" and "the favorable interpositions of his Providence."

In following years, states set their own dates for the day of thanksgiving until President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November for all to give thanks on the same day – "reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People."

He issued that proclamation on Oct. 3, 1863 – a year in which America was more divided than ever, one in which tens of thousands of American troops died in Civil War battles.

"In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggressions of foreign states, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union," Lincoln's proclamation said.

Amid that time of unparalleled division, President Lincoln took time to remind people of the many reasons to be thankful, and he easily could have been talking about Ohio today:

"The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. 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."

Alan D. Miller is editor of The Dispatch. [email protected] @dispatcheditor


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