Volume 3, Number 5                November 2008

Welcome <$firstname$>,

A Thanksgiving Message

Thanksgiving is our traditional day to say Thank You for all of the blessings we have received over the past year.

Today, my wife and I are in Santa Barbara, California. We just celebrated Thanksgiving with a wonderful early dinner at Stella Mare, a restaurant near the ocean, hidden from view, a traditional French restaurant with country decor.

As we dined, the waiters served us with a refreshing touch of joy and gratitude for what they had. Yet just a week earlier, the owner of that restaurant had lost her house in Montecito to a wildfire that destroyed many beautiful mansions.

As I write this, many residents of that small town are anxiously waiting to see if mudslides from yesterday's rains cause as much damage as the fires did.

Aside from the fires, many people have lost jobs over the month or so, company's have closed, the economy looks to be in difficult shape for a while.

In the midst of such turmoil, we give thanks for everything we have. This day is a powerful reminder that should remember that which we still have, our families, our friends, our communities.

We have much to be thankful for in this country. No matter the transient difficulties there is a sense of optimism about the future here that is unstoppable. We as a country, we as members of our communities and we as members of our families have the power to create our own futures as long as we do not fall victim to fear.

Remember those who have already suffered the worst losses possible and have survived. Remember the restaurant owner who joyfully serves Thanksgiving dinner even though her house is in ashes. Remember the family that gathers together, even though the breadwinner may be out of work, and gives thanks for all their blessings. Any problems you may have will seem trivial in comparison.

Enjoy the rest of today and give thanks every moment for all that is right in your world. The future is ours to make, no matter where we start today.

Here in Santa Barbara, yesterday was cloudy, wet, cold and windy. Today it is clear, with blue skies and crystal clear air, warm but not hot, a perfect day. Last night we shivered on the beach, watching a sunset that never came. Today we will walk in the sun, enjoying a quiet, peaceful and lovely day.

Life changes that quickly. May yours change to embrace fully the bright new days ahead. The coming year will be filled with much to be thankful for. I look forward to experiencing every one of them. I would love to hear about your successes of the past year and the ones to come in the next year.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and wonderful holiday season. 

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