15 November 2015 - A Time to Give Thanks

Every day is a time to give thanks, but this time of the year there are some special reasons. We are between two national observances that every year remind us how fortunate we are to live in this time and place…Veterans Day last week and Thanksgiving Day next week.

I remember when November 11th was known as Armistice Day to mark the end of World War One, but with the additional wars to preserve our nation and the sacrifices made by so many U.S. men and women, the name was changed to Veterans Day. It is a day to thank and honor our veterans and to remember those who gave their all so that we may continue to live in freedom.

I am very pleased at what I perceive to be an increase in the numbers and the ways we find to thank our veterans. Communities, large and small, along with schools, churches, corporations and local merchants, all in their own way, finding new ways to thank our veterans. I especially salute our schools who bring veterans into the classroom to share a living history with elementary and high school students.

Then, there is the national day of thanks, Thanksgiving Day, with a history dating back to the time of Pilgrims when they gathered to offer thanks for a safe journey to a new land that, in addition to freedom, blessed them with a bountiful harvest.

Those of us who grew up on a farm or ranch are especially grateful this time of year for a bountiful and safe harvest after a growing season when some were faced with challenges of flooding, drought, bugs, weeds and low market prices. And thanks to nearly perfect harvest weather across much of the country this fall, most producers will enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at the table with family and friends this year rather than in a combine cab. One more thing, if you do the table prayer, please, in addition to blessing the hands that prepared the food, bless the hands and technology that produced it.

We all have personal reasons to give thanks and I share one of mine with you. On September 14th, I had what the surgeon called “major, major surgery”, the replacement of two failing valves in my heart. I’m thankful to be living in a time and place where we have the medical technology that allowed me to walk out of the hospital in five days and resume my broadcast work in three weeks. FYI, my one valve was replaced with a cow valve, the other with a pig valve, so I can now literally say I have agriculture in my blood.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.