TAKING TIME TO reflect on life is a worthy process that should be exercised regularly. 

We are busy raising families, discovering or enhancing our career paths, caring for our personal health and that of our junior, as well as our senior family members. Life goes by faster and faster as we age. 

Once a year at our national Thanksgiving holiday, we pause to give thanks for life’s favors. We try once a year to gather everyone at the table and have each individual tell what they are thankful for. 

I remember a time in our Sunday school gathering when the late Jon Barber, a former Mounds View High School physics teacher, was asked this question. His quick answer was “gravity.” He was very popular with his high school students. 

Our family recognizes that our Heavenly Father is the one who favors us. He supplies all our needs and blesses us with more than we acknowledge or even are aware of. 

Looking back at growing up on Otter Lake Road in White Bear Township, I remember a small framed quote that hung on the wall in the living room. It read, “Pray without ceasing.” As a young person, I didn’t understand how one could pray continuously.  

Now at age 83, I find myself giving thanks many times throughout the day. I’m thankful for my wife, children, their spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

The gratitude continues for friendships, our community, church and organizations that help so many people. 

I’m thankful for the community weekly newspaper career with a wonderful staff that cares about honest information and defense of the First Amendment, the heart of our democracy. The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” — W. T. Purkiser

Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621 by the Pilgrims, who came from Europe to establish themselves in the New World. Our Native Americans were there to help them. 

It was President Lincoln in 1863 who declared Thanksgiving as an official holiday.

How will you celebrate Nov. 28 this year? Will you celebrate this great country with all of our freedoms? 

Will you take time to reflect on all the favors you have received? Sharing them with others around the Thanksgiving table is a good way to acknowledge them. 

Offer thanks for all those currently serving and those who have served in our military.

“Appreciation can change a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” Margaret Cousins

 Think carefully and deeply about your life, the joys and sorrows, and from the reflections of those experiences, discover what you have learned and how you have benefitted. 

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“The more we express thanks, the more gratitude we feel. The more gratitude we feel, the more we express thanks. It’s circular, and it leads to a happier life.” — Steve Goodier

Have a meaningful Thanksgiving!

WHEN SCHOOL BOND issues pass, to me it means the following: 

1. Education is very important. 

2. There is trust in the administration and its fiscal policy. 

3. The school board has done its homework and understands the public need. 

4. The public feels quality education is being delivered. 

5. Home values hold and families are attracted to the school districts. 


Gene Johnson is publisher emeritus of Press Publications.

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