Keeping the Attitude of Gratitude
by Cate Murway
dum vivimus, vivamus:
“Let us live while we live; i.e. Let us enjoy life”
Times may be a tad tough, but this won't be the first time Americans have endured a bleak Thanksgiving.
The pilgrims, the passengers of the Mayflower that arrived on December 20, 1620, had high hopes upon landing in the new world. Half the pilgrims died from an epidemic during that first winter in Plymouth, MA and they buried their dead in unmarked graves.
After a successful harvest in the fall of 1621, Plymouth Plantation Gov. William Bradford proclaimed a day of thanksgiving, and the 53 remaining pilgrims [twenty-two men, thirteen young children, fourteen teenagers, and four married women] invited 91 Indians [chief of this particular Indian tribe was Massasoit] to join them for the first harvest feast.
Only a few of the original pilgrims' descendants carried on the tradition and celebrated on December 21, calling it 'Forefathers Day'.
The expression of gratitude during difficult times is especially valuable, a measure of a person’s character and belief. When the ride is bumpy, it can be a chore at best to be thankful for whatever abundance we have, but being appreciative should not only be reserved for good times in our lives.
Sometimes just plain, uncomplicated language is all that’s needed, being thankful for the ordinary stuff like watching falling leaves, sipping apple cider, spending time with loved ones, and cooking great meals for a day of football, fowl, and family.
Some of the most nostalgic Thanksgiving dinner 'musts' were not always present.
Surprisingly, there is no real evidence of turkey being served at the first Thanksgiving feasts in the early 17th century. Apparently, "turkey" was the generic name to describe all fowl. There were no potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams (they were not yet introduced to New England) or cranberry sauce!
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." – late President John Fitzgerald Kennedy
When times are leaner, we remember the things in our lives that truly matter.
“For what are you most thankful?”
“I guess I'm most thankful that I am still in good health at 88 and able to travel to visit my children and grandchildren in Albuquerque, NM and wherever my other daughter, Ann, and her husband are posted overseas with the State Dept.”
Charlotte Swift Landreth-Melville, most "vintage" Marine
“I am most thankful to have such a wonderful family and friends. I am also thankful to live in such a great town and have the opportunity to serve the residents of Bristol Borough as their Mayor.” Honorable Robert A. Lebo, Mayor
“Along with the many "blessings of our nation and the food we have that is available”, I am most thankful that I can have a "choice" in my life, whether it is religion, employment, place of residence, education, and many more.”
Author/historian Harold Dodson Mitchener, BHS ‘56
“Good health, a loving family, and good friends.”
Alan J. Vogenberg RPh, FASCP/ Margaret R. Grundy Museum docent.
Tell a friend or loved one a story about something for which you are grateful.
“My family and friends, and living in the best country and town in the world !”
John Ruszin, BHS ‘67
“Health and family”
Pharmacist David Byron Cunningham, Mill Street Pharmacy
“Life. Came close to losing it. It’s a gift.” Leonard A. Wilson, Jeweler on Mill Street
We are wealthy when we are happy with what we possess. It’s all “relative”.
“My good wife [Irene] that takes care of me, in spite of her pains. I’m thankful for everything we have.”
Corporal Fred Bennett Hems, Sr., BHS Class of ‘48
“I am thankful for all our feelings, the way our mind works, how we can create the dreams we have if we so desire, our free will, forgiveness and that we are able to be alive and experience all that life offers us.”
Creator of Bristol United facebook
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday that leaves many with vivid and happy childhood memories of time spent with family and friends.
“My family and all my friends. Many are gone now but I have the memories.”
Doris Elizabeth [Wright] Foster, BHS ‘32
Mardelle [Foster] DeLancey, proprietor of Pianocottage on the Delaware
Consider the difference between wealth and value.
“Good health and family and the blessing of living in the best town in the USA.”
BCCC Board of Trustees Carol [Mignoni] Ferguson, former teacher, Ann [Mignoni] Mundy and Bensalem teacher, Rosemarie [Mignoni] Szczucki, proprietors of Mignoni Jewelry and Gifts on Mill Street
“Health and the soldiers coming home.”
Barbara, owner of TAB [Tom & Barb] Socks in the Bristol Amish Market LLC
“Support from the community and another successful year.”
Israel S. Stoltzfus, Jr., runs the craft furniture in the Bristol Amish Market LLC
“Health and life and friends.”
BBBA President Rich Vallejo, proprietor of Another Time Antiques on Mill Street
“For my son, and for my wife and the little girl who grows inside her.”
Borough resident Patrick Balcer
“For the dedicated volunteers & workers who strive to make our community a safer and better place for our children and the less fortunate adults.”
LLABC caseworker Yecenia “Jeannie” Vazquez
“Mercy and Grace! I wouldn't be here left to my own devices.”
David De Long, BHS ‘72
“For our new grandson and we are very blessed by our family.”
"Still no name. I'm leaning towards "The Prince of Langhorne."
DJ Steven Joseph Trunk-Corleto, owner of “Barking Spyder Board Shop” and “Steve's Tees Awards and DeSigns” and his wife, Susan Marie [Zanino] Corleto, owner of the soon-to-be open, “Sweet Mustard Seed” on Mill Street
“It’s my son’s birthday and I have no work and he’s cooking!”
Judith Ann Betker, Calvary Baptist float in Borough Holiday parade
“Generically, my family. Specifically, my fantastic, loving, very supportive family.”
Sharon Elizabeth Rio, proprietor of Never-Ending Styles, clothing store on Mill Street
“Family. Everyone getting together.”
Ravinder “Kumar” Sharda, proprietor of the Bristol MiniMart on Mill Street and Harpal “Paul” Singh, clerk
No matter how difficult our circumstances may be, we can all offer support to those around us. Whether it’s a penny, a dollar, or our precious time, the act of giving always makes us feel as if we have more than we thought we had.
“I am most thankful for my mom. She has taken such good care of me. I’m thankful for my friends and my sisters.” Taylor Morris, BHS student
“I’m thankful for having a family.” “I’m thankful that the army people are fighting for our freedom.”
twins Trinity and Kennedy Morris
“Given the economy, we’re doing well and I’m thankful for that.”
Mechanical engineer/ Beaver Street resident James D. Barlow & his children,
School Lane Charter School students Ciaran [2nd grader] & Chayla [5th grader] agreed,“We’re thankful for our family!”
“Business is getting better all the time. We’re selling online again.”
David “Dave” Savolcik, proprietor of Game Zombie on Mill Street
“Love the historic area, it’s just beautiful and there are always events going on. I’m most thankful for my daughter, Hannah and my family.”
Borough resident Heather Dwornitski
President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a Federal holiday as a "prayerful day of Thanksgiving" on the last Thursday in November. Since then every U.S. President has always made an official Thanksgiving Proclamation on behalf of the nation.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt set the date for Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941).
Serve up an extra helping of happy this year.
P.S. Say “Thank You” all year long!
“Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck…we should just be thankful for being together.”
–Marcie from Charlie Brown
Recommend a “Spotlight”. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org