The other morning, I was sitting in a tree stand, overlooking a field with persimmon trees and black cherry trees, and too many mock olive bushes. The sun was still just a reddish orange glow in the East. As I often do when I am a bit overwhelmed by the beauty of the place the Lord has placed me, I tried to count my blessings and remember what mortals I could who did their best to make this place called Rappahannock what it is, and, more importantly, did their level best to keep it the way it was.
This list if far from inclusive, so please do not be offended if your name is not here. This is just what I remember. Maybe you will recognize some of these family names, and be grateful for what they did for all of us.
I am grateful for Alther, Anderson, Atkins, Bennett, Brady, Barksdale, Bowling, Bradford, Brown, Browning, Butler, Burke, Campbell and Clatterbuck, for Clark, Davis, Dodson, Eastham, Fincham, Fletcher, Frazier, Grimsley and Grigsby, for Hawkins, Huff, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones and Keyser. I am thankful for Lee, Lillard, Massie, Miller, Moore and Nicholson, and for Payne and Pullen, Quaintance and Russell. I am thankful for Settle and Stringfellow, and for Smoot and Snead, and for Updike, Vest, Williams, Wines, Wharton and Welch and Wayland and Woodward.
Some of these folks were neighbors, some were kids I went to school with. Some were from families with large farms, and some didn’t have a chamber pot or a window to throw it out of. Some were doctors, some were mechanics and one was a judge and one was a banker. Some taught school, some cut wood, some made hay and some picked apples. Some worked on the roads and some helped bring us to God.
At this time of Thanksgiving, let us all remember who we were, who we are, how we got here, and those responsible for making this beautiful piece of earth we call home. And whether you have been here for generations untold, or whether you got here yesterday, God bless us each and everyone, and may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by those in your own circle of love.