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A time to be thankful
We have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving

Thursday is Thanksgiving and sadly, it sometimes gets lost in the shuffle. This is that uniquely American holiday that falls between Memorial Day and Christmas. It is a celebration of the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1642 and, with the help of the Native Americans, survived a perilous and deadly winter. 

These folks felt it necessary to give thanks for their survival, thus giving birth to an national tradition. Now, this is the grade school history version of the story and it was really much more complicated than that. It is certain that if those poor Native Americans could have seen down the road about 250 years, they may have been less willing to share the secret of planting dead fish with the crops and the recipe for succotash.

Anyway, regardless of the details, Thanksgiving evolved into a time for the smells of spices to fill the house. It is a time for families to get together and be, well, thankful for such things as parades, turkey, stuffing, gelatinous cranberries, pumpkin pie and professional football. It is a time for tryptophan-induced comas and naps in the recliner.

At its core, it is the holiday of fall and a celebration of blessings received and blessings to come.

Sadly, however, it gets lost in the mad rush to Christmas. Worse yet, it gets overlooked in the frenzy leading up to Black Friday, an annual celebration of all things commercial.

And, despite the divisive political nastiness, there were no tanks in the street, the markets didn’t collapse and we are still free to protest or praise the outcome. We must also be thankful that we live in a nation that can withstand this turmoil with our country and our freedoms intact.

And, if you are going over the river and through the woods to visit folks this weekend, buckle your seat belts.

The Kansas Drive To Zero Traffic Deaths Coalition reminds motorists that heavy traffic over the extended Thanksgiving weekend makes this one of the busiest travel times of the year. Nine people died and 19 more sustained serious injuries on Kansas roads during the 2022 Thanksgiving holiday period, according to Kansas Department of Transportation stats.

Make sure everyone is properly belted and/or securely restrained in a child safety seat. And ditch all distractions while driving.

Please, this year, take a step back, relax, be safe and enjoy Thanksgiving. It will be a welcome respite before the rest of the holiday season begins its assault.

—Dale Hogg