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Offering thanks for a little peace in the valley

Thanksgiving Day is over and gone. Or is it? Or should it be?

This year seemed very materialistic with all the hoopla of Black (this or that)-day. I read an interesting comment of an individual standing in line for many hours to reap the windfall of "bargains." She said, "We had eaten so there was nothing else to do." Sad.

Remembering back to the days when we were kids, our morning was spent raking the leaves. We arranged them in the empty garden space in the backyard into a walled fort, and then we played in our wonderful fortress. Then when we went into the house, the wonderful smell that greeted us only awakened our hopes that Thanksgiving dinner was soon to be served. Of course, my sister and I had chores -- set the table and arrange it in the seldom-used dining room rather than in the cozy kitchen.

Well, dinner was over, we were comfortably full, and it was time to sit around talking or playing games. Way back then (and I'm not telling how long ago), we had no TV, the radio sat silent, and we depended upon each other for a good time.

Ah, the good old days. And we never ran out of finding something else to do later.

But Thanksgiving time should never just up and go away. Now as I sit writing, I think of all the wonderful blessings I receive each and every day. I am part of a loving family and live in the United States of America, the most wonderful country in the world, even though it might have its bumps and bruises. I am free to worship as I please in the church of my faith, and I can speak of this without fear of reprisal. I am neither hungry nor cold -- and if I am, I can turn on the heat or get something to eat. And, occasionally, I see the cardinal coming to our bird feeder and the little downy woodpecker taking his turn on the suet cake. The antics of the squirrel climbing to the squirrel-proof feeder is a sight to behold, and I do wonder why it called "squirrel-proof."

In three more days, we will look back 72 years when Pearl Harbor was attacked -- the day that lives in infamy. We can thank God for those who stepped forward to fight for our country, both then and even now. And we can pray for those who bear not only physical scars but those scars in the heart that last forever.

Yes, life goes on, and we hopefully always will remember all the blessings we have and pray that life gets better for those who suffer want, storms and deprivation.

Let us work, pray and hope for peace, for justice, for mercy, and for righteousness in our world. Thomas Dorsey, who wrote nearly 1,000 gospel songs in his lifetime, in 1937 wrote the following song "Peace in the Valley," which resonates in many hearts today.

Well, I'm tired and so weary, but I must go along

Till the Lord comes and calls me away

Where the morning's so bright, and the Lamb is the light

And the night, night is as fair as the day.

There will be peace in the valley for me some day

There will be peace in the valley for me, Oh Lord I pray

There'll be no sadness no sorrow, no trouble I see

There will be peace in the valley for me.

Well, the flowers will be blooming and the grass will be green

And the skies will be clear and serene

Where the sun ever beams in this valley of dreams

And no cloud will be seen.

There will be peace in the valley for me some day

There will be peace in the valley for me, Oh Lord. I pray

There'll be no sadness, no sorrow, no trouble I see

There will be peace in the valley for me.

Well, the bear will be gentle and the wolf will be tame

And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh

And the beasts from the wild shall be led by a child

And I'll be changed, changed from this creature that I am.

There will be peace in the valley for me some day

There will be peace in the valley for me, Oh Lord I pray

There'll be no sadness, no sorrow, no trouble I see

There will be peace in the valley for me..."

I pray that one day we may all sing out there is peace not only in our valley but in the whole world.

God bless America.

Ruth Moriarity is a member of The Hays Daily News Generations advisory group.