This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
November 21st, 2005


Thanksgiving always seems to bring memories of a crowded table, lots of lovingly prepared food, and the joy of family and friends.

These days, many families are strung out across the country - and in fact I can't help but think of a recent television commercial where the family shows up with the Thanksgiving turkey in August due to black-out days on frequent flier miles. They celebrated all of the years holidays on one weekend. Our family is all far away. We hope they celebrate their Thanksgiving with at least some of the traditions, and take a moment to be truly grateful for their blessings.

Blessings are not politically correct in today's society. Too bad. In fact any tie to God in any form is under attack. I don't pretend to understand it. We were raised in a time where I believe we were very tolerant of anyone's religious beliefs - and in fact, I considered it an honor to be invited by one of my friends to attend their church services - or temple. I didn't know any Muslims, but had I been invited to attend their mosque I would have gone. Yes, I now understand I would not have been invited, but the accepting attitude was alive and well when I was in high-school and college. Jim's background is the same since we are from the same city.

There are those in our society today who feel it is their right to dictate what others may or may not see. Nativity scenes at town or village greens are forbidden, no Christmas carols in schools, Christmas Holidays in schools are now "Winter Break." What are these people thinking? Would there be a winter break except for Christmas? Talk about self-centered, bigoted, zealots, they take the cake. Some of the big retailers have opted for "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" so as not to insult someone. Excuse me? Isn't the Christmas season their biggest retail time? Seems like a little reality and thanksgiving might be in order.

As your fearless publisher and editor of FAOL, JC and I have personally had a rough year. That said, we are both immensely grateful for our blessings. We have survived some bad odds with our health and are recovering nicely, thank you. We are grateful for excellent medical care, our doctors who (in my case) managed to make a silk purse out of a sows ear. We live in a very nice community, we eat well, and even get to fish once in a while. Life is good.

And every day, we have the privilege of working. Meaningful work is not a given. Work of any kind is indeed a blessing since it allows us to earn a living - there are those who do not have any work, much less anything 'meaningful' to them. It is just survival. Regardless of what you do for a living, you might take another look at it and be truly grateful for the things it allows you to do.

Our work brings us in contact with a world of people, most of whom share a common frame of reference and love for fishing, the outdoors, the natural world and sharing it with each other. Talk about being blessed. We are.

Our sincere thanks to all of you who bless our life, who share your thoughts and ideas with us and who encourage us to be the best we can be.

We hope you treasure Thanksgiving as a time to give thanks too.

Oh, and wouldn't you know it? Castwell wants to be the very first to wish all of you a very "MERRY CHRISTMAS!" ~ DLB

If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!

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