So what happens when you have nothing really to say and you decide just to sit down and start typing something for Thanksgiving?
Although school is closed and for the next two days (TWO DAYS!) the offices are closed, the rectory is a hopping place. The place is teaming with priests and seminarians today - mostly for food, cards, and prayer. Tomorrow it will be teaming with family. And then Friday, blessed peace (and catching up on all the stuff I didn't get done today and tomorrow.)
Thanksgiving Day Mass is always one of my favorites. Nobody has to be there and those that do show up are extra eager to participate. There is so much to do at home - cook - prepare - sleep in - a million things, but this stalwart gathering of Catholics take the meaning of this day to its height and begin with this most privileged form of giving thanks to God from Whom all of our blessing come.
If you have a couple of extra minutes to spare over these next two days, try to become creative in coming up with what you are grateful for really, everything is so closely knit together that the most mundane things are essential for our life and joy.
Do you realize how many people it takes to make your Thanksgiving Day possible? Consider the humble pumpkin pie that one can so mindlessly shovel into his mouth even after saying, "I couldn't possibly eat another bite." Forget that, it's too much to think about. Just think about the plate in which it was baked. Even that is too much!!! You will be amazed at how interconnected we all are.
Let's say its an aluminum pie tin. Forget about all the people it took to discover aluminum (based on thousands of discoveries by thousands of others) and those who discovered, improved, manipulated, tested, experimented, and formed it into the shape that it has today. That would take too much. Forget about the people who had to mine the materials for it because that would lead us to a discussion about the people who had to make the machinery for it to be mined, refined the fuel on which the machines would operate, transported it, regulated it, sold it, bought it, stored it . . .
Okay, so take for granted that it was mined. Now that I think of it - let's skip the part that it was made. Then we have to get in to the people who own the company that thought of making the pie tin, those who were sent out to buy the materials, the banks involved in the transaction, the designers of the tin, those who make the machinery to make the tin, the people in the country that work in the factories where it was made including the janitors who keep the place clean and safe . . .
SKIP ALL THAT! That alone would take a month. So, it's made and makes it's way from, say, China to your store. Of course there are all the people involved with figuring out where it needs to go so that you can get it. Stores are contracted to sell them. Accountants figure out how much it can be sold for. Marketing people design packages, a ship is enlisted for the trip from China, along with truck drivers, warehouses, and space on trains possibly. Lawyers are involved at every step of the way to make sure things and contracts are on the up and up. The government is there to make sure that the tins are safe for food consumption, that taxes are paid (to help pay for the roads on which the travel and pay the people who inspect them to make sure that they are safe and that when the package says that there are three of the them that there actually is three of them. . .
Arg! TOO MUCH AGAIN and we only scratched the surface.
Then in the store - the stock boy, the cashier, the janitors, the security guy that stands by the door, the bagger, the manager, and the owner, his accountants and staff . . . those who design the layout of the store, the government who regulates the safety of the place, the police, fire, and first responders who are on call should anything go wrong, all the people responsible for the electricity making it safely and reliably into the store so you can read the price tag - Oh man! Do you realized how many people are involved in just making that stupid price tag . . .
Maybe just be thankful for Mom for making the pie.