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We are still facing monumental challenges as Thanksgiving approaches next week. Special attention might focus on our own Rappahannock Food Pantry. There’s still time to mail a donation to them at PO Box 55, Sperryville, Virginia 22740.

Not to make light of the seriousness, though, let’s redirect the thinking a bit. Consider the fact that many of today’s households have an abundance of modern conveniences to help prepare for our wondrous feast, Thanksgiving. The ease of this makes one wonder what our first Thanksgiving was like and what activities preceded the actual day. With the Pilgrims living through unbelievable hardships, I used to wonder how Thanksgiving ever came to be.

Sometimes creative humor can lighten a subject, which leads to a possible answer, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, 1621 Style?”

It’s a bone chilling winter day in a drafty log cabin in a clearing near the Atlantic coast, pilgrim wife Charity is dutifully weaving a blanket when husband John bursts in with exciting news.

Charity replies, “You’ve invited WHO to dinner? And we’ll have Turkey? Whenever I ask for it, you say it’s the hardest thing in the world to shoot!”

“I realize the harvest was a lifesaver this year,” Charity continues, “but don’t you think a whole day of feasting is overdoing it? And, they’re bringing corn? What color is it? I’ll need a green vegetable to balance the menu. It’s BYOT, too. I hope they’re better shots than our hunters. Butter would be delicious on the squash. Too bad someone mistook our only cow for a deer last month.

“I tell you, John, if that Mayflower weren’t such a leaky ship, I’d go home to Mother right now! Oh, well, she always advocated positive thinking, so I guess I’ll go pick some of those red berries growing along the creek bogs. They’ll add a festive touch if I can figure out a way to cook them and not poison us in the process. Heavens, all the best gourmet books advise never to try out a new dish on company,” Charity worriedly sighs before adding. “And whatever shall I wear? This gray dress just won’t do. Thank goodness I still have some of that lovely walnut dyed material I used to make curtains in here. But, how will we ever serve so many in this cramped space? And only six chairs.”

“Wait,” she exclaims. “I have an idea. We’ll put all the food on the table and everyone will serve himself. We’ll start a new fad in the settlement. I’ll call it the buffet”.

Meeting resistance from her husband, Charity replies, “Oh, alright, John, we’ll have a formal meal. But you’ll have to hurry out to the woods and whip up a few more chairs and another leaf for the table”

After much exuberant preparation, the settlement is ready for the feast and welcomes its Indian neighbors to the banquet, with John praying, “God, we thank you for our new friends, another year of life, and this bountiful meal. Amen”

May we all make the best of these difficult times with a Thanksgiving pause of prayer for all.

The writer lives in Washington


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