Appreciation time

It could be argued that the Thanksgivings holiday is the nation's premier family celebration. It's a time when family and friends get together to enjoy each other's company and take part in a substantial feast.   It's also an occasion to pause and give thanks for what we have in life and to count our blessings.   Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Sadly, though, we tend to remember the bad things more than the good things.   At Thanksgiving, along with all the visiting, cheer and eating, I always set aside some "quite time" to reflect on the many people I am thankful for that have made a difference in my life. Often, I telephone them and thank them for their having helped me - knowingly, and especially unknowingly - become who I am.   I also always give thanks to our military, especially those in harms way. Several years ago I came across the poem "A Soldier's Thanksgiving" written by Mariane Holbrook. I read at this time of year.   A Soldier's Thanksgiving   Over there a soldier's thinking Of a time not long ago, When his loved ones got together; 'Twas Thanksgiving Day, you know.   Over there a soldier's dreaming Of a turkey baked just right, Mashed potatoes, golden gravy, Chestnut dressing, pure delight!   Over there a soldier's hungry For whipped cream on pumpkin pie. Squares of cornbread, crusts so tender, Homemade biscuits stacked up high.   Over there a soldier's wishing He could have one buttered roll. But he feasts on GI rations While his unit's on patrol.   Over there a soldier's lying In a ditch, his makeshift bed. Mud and dirt are his companions; Been awhile since he's been fed.   Over there a soldier's praying That his open sores will heal. He is sure that he'll feel better Once he has a good hot meal.   Over there a soldier's hearing Loud explosions, muffled cries. Shrapnel killed his foxhole buddy Right before his very eyes.   Over there a soldier's quoting Scriptures learned at Mother's knee, Proud that he's a mighty warrior, Keeping all his loved ones free.   This Thanksgiving as you're eating That sweet corn that grandpa grew, Say a prayer for that dear soldier Who would love to be with you.   I hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.