Thanksgiving 2016


We have too much.


I went to buy cereal the other day and found two aisles, 76 feet long, 5 rows high with breakfast cereals.

Stopped counting at 600 brands, flavors, sizes, prices.

All I wanted was a box of Wheat Chex.

Like apples?

Something like twelve varieties: McIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Jonathan Gold, Granny Smith, Paula Red, Red Delicious, Honeycrisp, Fuji, …

Likewise, canned tomatoes for chili. Several types, sizes and flavors to choose from. I always have to read the fine print, otherwise I end up with something like “Petite-Diced-Fire roasted-Italian” something, in my chili.

Bread, chips, frozen food-four aisles wide.

Eggs: cage free, organic, a box of six, a dozen, 1 1/2 dozen, to choose from. Brown, white, medium, large, extra-large.

Milk: 2%, 1%, Skim, plus dozens of varieties of cheese.

Meat, produce, canned goods and a deli.

All are for sale at my local grocery store, one of fifty or so located within ten miles of home. A twenty minute drive, tops.

“Natural, organic, gluten-free, non-GMO.”

Asked how many food items were available, the store manager could only say, “thousands.”

Thousands of items to choose from, everyday, everywhere in our country.

My wife and I budget $20 a day for food.

More than half the world’s population lives on $2.50 or less-Americans spend more on their pets.

Choices are much easier for those living in extreme poverty.

Either find food  or starve.

Children under the age of five have a mortality rate of 6.10 (per thousand of live births) in the U.S. while those in Haiti die at a rate of 72.8. (Newsweek, Save the Children Report, 2015)

Our family of five adults now has, as you might guess, five cell phones, one land line, five laptops, one I-Pad and something called a Kindle.

Collectively, we own three cars, a pickup truck and a boat.

No one lives in the basement.

This Christmas season Amazon has offered just a little over 12 million consumer products, while EBAY claims to have a billion items listed for sale.

In the United States alone consumer retail sales are projected to reach $5 trillion this year.

I can’t decide whether to buy a Segway “miniPro” to cruise the neighborhood or a Samsung 55 inch, 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV, and stay on the couch.

Our three adult children have each graduated from college while over a billion people worldwide remain illiterate.

Two-thirds of them are women.

We live in a country that allows us the freedom to move about as we please, associate with whomever we choose and pursue our dreams as far as hard work and sacrifice will take us.

We have the freedom to worship our God as we see fit, or not at all.

Millions of people worldwide are persecuted and even killed for their beliefs.

We can read thousands of books, magazines and newspapers or watch,  hundreds of television  programs and movies.

Virtually everyone in America has access to the internet with all the information known to man,  at their fingertips.



It’s mind-boggling, the choices we have.

I have the freedom to grouse about having too many choices.

I’ll take it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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