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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :
Thanksgiving
by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
I donít know about you, but the concept of Thanksgiving to me has always been about giving thanks for what we have. I know, I know the whole idea of the pilgrims sitting down with the Indians is probably a lot of legend and hype dreamed up over the years by the kind folks at Pilgrims Pride to entice us to eat more turkeys. No matter, I still like it.

Iím very thankful I live in this country. Iím thankful for my health. Iíve certainly thankful for my family and my very patient wife of 34 years. I wouldnít be married to me and I wonder why she is, but thatís another story.

This time of the year, I think we should all stop for a moment and just take time to count our blessings and be thankful for what we have and where we are. I trust you will do the right thing on Thursday.

Having said that, Iíll remind you that I said we should be thankful for what we have, not what we want.

Recently I have been reading articles bout the refugees from Louisiana, which have been transported to various parts around the country. We have some of them in our town and I suspect you do as well.

Now, donít get me wrong, Iím not saying that these people donít have a right to complain. Most of them have lost everything, their houses, jobs, and businesses and in some cases family members as well. Iím sure most of them are very appreciative of what we have given or supplied to them in their time of need.

But as always, some bad apples spoil the barrel. In this case there were a number of interviews last week with several of the refugees who were complaining about everything. Their apartments werenít big enough. They had to walk too far to the store to get beer and cigarettes. Their family wasnít close. They didnít know anyone in their apartment or subdivision.

They felt trapped. Or as one of those interviewed said...ĒWeíre stuck like chuck.Ē

They complain about being isolated, restless, bored and homesick.

ďWeíre used to walking to the store to buy nachos and pickles,Ē stated one of the displaced folks.

Well, folks Iíve got news for youÖ.this ainít Kansas and you may never go home again.

Last weekend, Sixty Minutes did a story on New Orleans and predicted that even if we were to pay for a 60-foot levee around the entire city, that in 30 years, the erosion would be so great that the city would become a Ďfishbowlí and be completely surrounded by water. A disaster in the making if ever I saw one. They are currently estimating that over 100,000 homes may have to be torn down in New Orleans alone, not to mention the rest of the Gulf Coast. The jury is still out on whether or not that is going to be feasible.

My point is this, Iím sure none of us blame anyone from the flooded areas for their predicament, they didnít do this, it was done to them by the storms. Having said that, the reality of the situation is simply this, a lot of those folks might never get to go home. There may never be a home to go back to in the future.

So, why not just buckle down, accept what is given to you, and say thanks and look forward, not backward. Get involved and talk to people, weíre all humans too. Weíd like to know you. We want to help. But we donít want to hear you whine for years to come. Come on, we can and will get through this, togetherÖ.if we all try.

Itís just difficult to want to do more or give more when someone is always looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Have a good holiday.
© Peary Perry
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com
Letters From North America
- November 23 , 2005 column
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This page last modified: November 23, 2005