Saturday, October 30, 2010
As the last of the brilliant October days come and go, our minds turn to November. November, that month of deepening chill and heart-warming activities.
During this month we could possibly see the first few snowflakes of the season. The weather's chill begins to set in permanently as the fall harvest, if not already completed, will soon be history. Sunny skies give way more frequently to cloudy, chilled afternoons with the wind whistling through the newly-barren trees. Trees that only a few days and weeks ago now stand as skeletons against the sky fully prepared for the frigid temperatures that may lie ahead.
Our minds also turn to the holidays, that time of year that everybody says they dread yet look forward to with great anticipation. Thanksgiving marks the end of the month but this is not the only holiday of significance in this month.
There's Veterans Day, November 11, a day set aside to honor all those who have served their country in the armed forces. It was on this day in 1918, on the 11th of the 11th hour that the Armistice between the allies and Germany ending WWI was signed. It is a day of solemn remembrances and ceremonies to help us never forget the sacrifices of previous and present generations who have served the United States with honor.
With Thanksgiving we usher in the time of the year that seems particularly devoted to gatherings of friends and family. We come together in a ritualistic sort of way to celebrate the bounty that we all enjoy. We celebrate our personal blessings and also remember the blessing that have been bestowed upon us by Almighty God as a nation and pray that He may continue to shower us with such favors. For some families, this holiday will be touched with sadness because of the departure of a loved one. Perhaps an empty chair will be placed at the table to remind all of the loss but even more importantly of what that person meant to everyone who have come together.
This year, our family will remember its patriarch, Lloyd Smith. Although he's been gone for a little over half a year, he is still thought of daily. Each of us, as we come together as a family once more, will privately remember back to last year's observance of Thanksgiving and the time we spent with him that day. Yes, there will be a slight feeling of melancholy this year, but more than that, I believe there will be joy in understanding what happiness he brought to us over the years and for that we shall all be thankful.
November. Another transitional month as we bid so long to the routinely warmer days and head inside to brace ourselves against the chill of the approaching winter. Let us all take some time daily to remember those things for which we feel most thankful. May we remember to thank one another for the things that they have done for us and for what they mean to us. And may we always be thankful to God for His blessings and presence in our lives. This is truly a season for giving thanks.