Giving Thanks Again

We soon come to the annual tradition of giving thanks again in the form of Thanksgiving Day. Sadly, the original intent of the holiday has been buried in the Black Friday promo ads and non-stop athletic competitions, with some gorging themselves into poor health while others struggle to find enough to eat at all.

The 2022 Midterms are now behind us. Some of my candidates won by very thin margins. Some lost by equally thin margins. Assuming you voted – you did vote – didn’t you? I sure hope so. Assuming you did, I figure it must be the same for you. This Thanksgiving, some political families are exuberant about keeping or starting their terms in office. Other political families are licking wounds and wondering, what now?

It is always a good time for giving thanks, but especially so now. Though there was neither a blue nor red wave, there was the opportunity to go forth from our homes to express our preferences at the ballot box. We, the people, still have the right – and the responsibility – to state our beliefs, hopes, dreams, fears, preferences, and choices.

I’ve been thinking about the concept of fallow lately. This Thanksgiving, I’m in a fallow place personally. I’m no longer in my former home in Houston. I’m not yet moved into my next home in Columbus. I am in a fallow place. Resting. Settling. Waiting. Remembering so many wonderful moments. Anticipating what the future may hold but having no way of actually knowing. It is a fallow time, and I’m exceedingly grateful for it.

My built-in computer dictionary, which I consider one of the modern miracles right up  there with ice makers, microwaves, and e-mail, defines fallow thusly: “plowed and harrowed but left unsown for a period in order to restore its fertility as part of a crop rotation. . .long fallow periods when nothing seems to happen.”

If oak trees could speak, they would tell us that they got their strength and start from a tiny acorn buried deep in the earth. For all appearances, it seemed as though nothing was happening or ever would. But then, a tiny root goes down deeper into the earth while a splinter of a shoot reaches up for the sun. Over time, the result is the magnificent, mighty oak tree.

Thanksgiving is a good time to pause from all the frenzy that has come to define the USA political scene. Whether your candidates won or lost, the elections are over, with the exception of a few run-offs. It’s time to pause. It is a time for giving thanks and pondering all for which we can be grateful. It is a time to enjoy the people around us, the beauty of the changing seasons, the completed harvests, and opportunities to maintain and forge friendships.

There is much that needs addressing in this country. We have allowed loud, angry voices to carve us up into subgroups, like the traditional Thanksgiving turkey into white and dark meat. We are more than red or blue, urban or rural, north or south, East Coast or West Coast. Yet there remains much for which to be grateful in this red, white, and blue country. Giving thanks again is good for our mental health, our relationships with one another, and the health of our shared homeland. Giving thanks again is good for what ails us.

Less frenzy. More fallow as we wrap up the balance of this year and prepare for whatever shall come our way in the next.

Wherever, however, you observe Thanksgiving Day, I hope it includes a bit of fallow time for giving thanks again. As for me and my household, I also hope it includes turkey, mashed sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin something.

I’m grateful for each of you who take the time to read this. Blessings on your time of giving thanks again.

Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures is about the events leading up to our traditional Thanksgiving. There’s much more to the story than you learned in school. I’d love to speak to your book club or organization about this fascinating history. Contact me at HowWiseThen to make arrangements. Sign up to receive free weekly blogs and/or a monthly newsletter there as well. If you enjoyed this article, share it with a friend.

Mayflower Chronicles: The Tale of Two Cultures covers the Pilgrim’s escape from England and their interactions with the Pokanoket people. Available wherever books are sold in paperback, eBook, and audio. (Supporting local Indie Bookshops)
Autographed copies are available from my website or


  1. Kathy – No matter how thankful we are around our Thanksgiving table, we still remain – an angry country! Who or what can pull the string and make it stop?

    The politicians are tragic, comedic performers, with their endless accusations. Listen to the news on either side and you’ll hear the other side being blamed for things that you often know for a fact are exactly what the blaming party does. They just call it something different.

    There is no more truth. There is no right to contrast with wrong, as we could do so clearly when we were growing up.

    So we too will give thanks, recognize our privilege, and watch the football game.

    In return, may I share this with you, Kathy, so you know i’ve not turned entirely skeptical –


    Thanksgiving is a very special event for us this year. The entire extended family is getting together at a big farmhouse we rented for the weekend on the river in Front Royal. Folks will come in from all over. Some of us have not been together for 2 years or more. You can feel the excitement across the wires as we all communicate in preparation

    My heart swells with joy each time I picture the love that will be shared with my nearest and dearest. I’m sure you know the feeling. With all the blessings we receive each day, few are more precious than this.

    I pray for everyone’s unscathed arrival. May everyone feel welcome and safe. May each heart be open to the affection expressed in hugs. May the young folks have patience with the diminished energy of us old folks. May the elders refrain from liberally remembered comparison of modern trends with ‘the good old days.” May everyone listen attentively when the family joke is told for the tenth time.

    May we all share the work to be done while we are there. Let there be compassion for anyone who cannot or does not join in. May we each listen with our soul as each person expresses their personal gratitude on this special day together.

    Something wondrous will happen when we hold hands and bow our heads to thank the dear Lord. May we include in those thanks, the privilege of residing in this beautiful country where we have the freedom to worship and to love.

    And when you bless your Thanksgiving meal, whether alone or surrounded, may you feel the glow of our savior Jesus Christ in your heart and be glad. May you treasure the love and warmth of our church family as much as I do right now. God bless you.

    Annette Petrick

  2. While there is much that sparks anger these days, there is also much that goes right and brings a smile. I think we each have a hold of the string that can make things go better or worse. Kindness and generosity are contagious. I do what I can to be a carrier and also do my best to ignore or not react to those who spew ugliness and blatant falsehoods. I think Dickens got it right in his opening sentence in “Tale of Two Cities.” To paraphrase, “It is the best of times. It is the worse of times, it is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness, it is the epoch of belief, it is the epoch of incredulity, it is the season of Light, it is the season of Darkness. It is the spring of hope and the winter of despair.” Or, as my grandmother often said, “This too shall pass.” I hope your family gathering proves to be all you anticipate and more. Pass the gravy, please.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *