To The Hands that Prepared Our Thanksgiving Feasts

Thanksgiving Dinner

On Thanksgiving Day, many of us sit around the table and take turns sharing one thing we are thankful for from the past year. So many of the responses express gratitude for new births, marriages, new jobs or other exciting changes in our lives. We appreciate the raise we just got at work, or the new home we just bought. Often, we also take the time to appreciate the food on our table and those who made it. The truth is, there are a lot of hands that contribute to the making of our Thanksgiving meal.

We give thanks to the farmers who spent months planning their crop, carefully selecting which seeds and fertilizers to use, then compared insurance plans to make sure their family would have money to live, regardless of Mother Nature's plans. They spent long hours away from their family during planting season and then long nights watching the weather radar to see if storms might bring their production to a halt. When it was time to harvest, they logged more hours in a tractor, reaping the product of their toil and hoping they could get their harvest done before weather changes and while prices were still decent. All the while thinking forward and planning for the next year’s crop.

Thank you to the truck drivers who picked up grain from farms across the United States and sometimes had a long haul to the processing facility with their new load. Sometimes driving for miles to only the hum of the road and the sound of the radio, they spend days, hours, weeks away from their families to ensure harvest moves in a timely manner and there is never a combine sitting in the field ready to unload. 

When grain destined for consumers reaches a food processor, there are workers who unload the bounty. More employees operate equipment and other heavy machinery to move grain to its destined use. Someone operates equipment that mills it into flour for product creation. Yet another group oversees the quality of the products, ensuring only the best available is sent out to the American consumer. Thank you, food processors. 

We cannot forget the employees at our local grocery stores. Store employees are responsible for a variety of tasks. Stockers may ensure favorite products are always easily accessible on a shelf or pile up our produce nicely for your selection. Checkers carefully scan or key in the item number of each product each of us would like to purchase, handle price questions, scan coupons or run to put back an item you’ve decided you no longer need. The baggers greet all with a smiling face, while they make sure not to put your turkey on top of your eggs or bread. They make the trek out of the heating and air conditioning to help load each item into your car and then return your basket inside. Thank you, grocery store employees.

Last but not least, someone in your home takes the lead to prepare your Thanksgiving feast. They meticulously create a plan or menu for all the guests, then call all the relatives to maybe assign green beans or a pecan pie. They order a turkey weeks or months ahead of the holiday to make sure the table has only the best for their loved ones. On Thanksgiving morning, they wake up before everyone else to preheat the oven, infuse the turkey and place it in the oven to begin roasting. They then direct any available helpers in the final recipes - mashing potatoes, seasoning side dishes, kneading rolls. This day of thanksgiving simply wouldn’t happen without their hard work and love. Thank you, family member or friend.

So, as we sit at our Thanksgiving tables this year, we remember the gifts we have been given, but we also take a few moments to appreciate the sweat, toil and love that has gone into making this Thanksgiving feast a comforting, memorable event for all of us and our loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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