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Five grains of corn tell story of ThanksgivingPosted Monday, November 19, 2012, at 2:15 PM
Thanksgiving is a common word this time of the year that is offered among friends, relatives and even strangers.
Look around to other parts of the world and we, who inhabit the United States of America, have much to be thankful for again as this year's Thanksgiving holiday approaches on Thursday.
Problems or challenges, as I prefer to call them, are still abound for many of us, but we do truly have much to be thankful for.
Each day of life and good health is a blessing to be cherished and enjoyed.
Most have family and friends.
For some their pocketbooks may not be as full of cash as they would desire, but few go hungry, are homeless or don't have enough clothes to place on their backs.
Apparently, many folks have some extra cash because the nation's retailers are still more than eager to offer all kinds of "Black Friday" bargains for holiday shoppers albeit earlier and earlier each year.
Most in our country have a job that helps on most days to buy groceries, pay our bills and buy some "liquid gold" fuel to pump into our energy-dependent vehicles.
We had a fill-in minister, Brother Mike, at our small church in Newberry on Sunday morning that brought alive the meaning of the simple word thanksgiving to me.
He explained that it was very cold for the Pilgrims that first winter in 1622.
Food was in very short supply.
To make matters worse, late in 1622 a ship bound for England held the various provisions that the Pilgrims desperately needed. But the captain of the ship cheated them.
This ship did provide the early settlers with the items they would need to trade with the Indians for food.
Even with the additional food secured from the Indians, their food supplies were still low and rations continued to be decreased.
At one point in 1623, rations were just five grains of corn each day.
Somehow, these brave Pilgrims were surviving on just five kernels of corn a day. As spring came and the planting time for the corn crop there was hope for a bountiful harvest.
Sadly, a severe drought struck the area and soon withered the corn crop.
This sounds very familiar to the predicament that many Greene County farmers faced this past growing season with record drought conditions gripping the growing season.
The Pilgrims turned to God for help with what they had no control over. They conducted a prayer service to ask God for rain.
The prayers were answered the next day as gentle soaking showers were received off and on for two weeks.
The corn soon revived and the crop was spared.
Later that same month another ship of colonists arrived with people and provisions. The harvest of 1623 was the best yet in Plymouth and gave hope that they would never face starvation again.
As a reminder of their blessed harvest, every Thanksgiving thereafter, the Pilgrims placed five kernels of corn beside each plate as a remind to each of them of their blessings.
The first kernel reminded them of the autumn beauty.
The second kernel stood for their love for each other.
The third kernel represented to them their family's love.
The fourth kernel was for their friends, especially their Indian brothers.
The fifth kernel was a reminder for them of their freedom.
This Thanksgiving, let us all remember the blessings of our own lives.
Be thankful for the things that really matter.
As you prepare for your Thanksgiving meal, take a few moments to separate five kernels of corn for each person at your table.
Count the kernels, count your real blessings.
So look around and while things aren't perfect ---- and far from perfect in some areas of our lives, community, state and nation ---- we do have plenty to pause, bow our heads on Thursday and thank the Good Lord for our many blessings.
Have a blessed and thankful Thanksgiving Day before slumbering for that traditional nap in front of the football game that you are supposed to be watching on the television.
Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Nick on Twitter @GCDWSchneider .
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