Thanksgiving Weekend

I was enthusiastic about Thanksgiving.  I looked forward to my daughters coming home from college, enjoying quality family time with everybody, and cooking some of my kids’ favorite dishes.  Even though I am not the best cook, they make me feel like I am and show appreciation for my efforts.

Prepping for Thanksgiving dinner was somewhat stressful because I deliberately waited to the last minute to go food shopping. I observed the long lines at the store days before the holiday and loathed the idea of standing in line with the disgruntled people already there.  It was as if I, magically, thought the lines would diminish as we approached Thanksgiving.  Delaying my shopping resulted in me spending over 4 ½ hours at three different stores.

The creation of Thanksgiving is traced back to a harvest festival celebrated by the pilgrims in 1621 at the Plymouth Plantation after a successful growing season.

President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” [1] Thus, an abundance of food, company, and the acknowledgement of blessings are historical traditions for Thanksgiving.

While I enjoyed the celebration with my family, I thought about all of the families who had lost love ones over the last year. How hurtful it must be to celebrate the first Thanksgiving without them.  I also remembered some of the residents at the senior living center where my ex mother-in-law resided.  Some had no visitors and some had only infrequent visitors.  I often wondered why they were alone and could not think of any scenarios in my head that would lead to elderly abandonment, particularly for someone with children.  I gave thanks for the unconditional love I have for my children and their love for me.

During this Thanksgiving weekend, I took a moment to remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving; giving thanks and praise to the Almighty for his many blessings. When the Proclamation for Thanksgiving was issued by President Lincoln on October 3,1863, it was during the American Civil War one of the bloodiest wars in U.S. history.  The northern and southern states were in disagreement with slavery being one of the root causes.  The country was divided.

Our country is divided on a number of issues again and American families are caught in the middle with their livelihoods at risk.  As we give thanks for our blessings, remember the less fortunate.

Sadly the words from President Lincoln’s proclamation in 1863 are as poignant today as they were during the American Civil War.  An excerpt follows:

“And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.”

 

[1] http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm

 

Female Forum

On Friday evening, I attended a Women’s Networking Wine and Cheese; a bring your favorite bottle of wine and enjoy cheese and chocolates while networking.  This event provided an opportunity to meet a group of culturally diverse, successful women. It was invigorating to be amongst this crowd. Since women connect on emotional levels, the evening would not have been complete without its “Kumbaya moments.” In light of recent events, this was a great forum to express your thoughts and feelings.

So often, we are in competition or critiquing each other. This occasion highlighted the advantages of sharing and recognizing that we have more in common than not.  Besides meeting some “kick ass” people, it proved to be an evening full of learning and laughs.

Peace and Blessings,

Lee

Wine, Cheese & Conversation

 

 

 

 

My Vote Matters

On Election Day, I was excited to accompany my parents to the voting booth in hopes of celebrating a victory and shattering that unbreachable barrier known as the glass ceiling. In spite of health issues, their enthusiasm to exercise their right to vote was infectious.  I gleamed with pride as I watched my elderly parents walk into the voting hall to cast their vote.

My parents survived the era in which casting your vote for an election could and did in many cases result in death. It was only in December, 2015 that women were allowed to vote in Saudi Arabia.  Therefore, they would never take this freedom for granted.  (You can catch them walking optimistically into the voting hall below.)  Casting your vote is a civic duty.  It is your chance to provide input because in the U.S. we the people produce the outcome.  No one should take that lightly.

Although considered to be one of the scruffiest presidential elections in history, I felt disheartened with the course of actions that led up to the election. Politics are messy, but I believe in our democratic system.  I believed that the candidate with over 30 years of dedicated public service along with her knowledge, expertise, and familiarity with the government would be a shoe in to win.  Some say she had so much baggage that it was an impossible feat.  So instead the candidate chosen as the better was someone who has publicly disgraced minorities and women, and whose campaign bolstered racial division and fear to non-white, law-abiding American citizens.

Although the outcome of this election seemed shocking to many, it was decided based on our democratic system. We have to accept the outcome and support the new President-Elect.  This is the person who is going to lead our country and as President Obama said, “he is doing what he can in hopes of the success for the President-Elect.”

I trust our democracy and pray that as our “Pledge of Allegiance” states that we really are “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Peace and Blessings,

Lee

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