Thanksgiving is a favorite time of year.

History says we started the tradition before we became a nation. In the 1600s, folks would stop to thank God for the blessing of the fall harvest.

As you might imagine, Pilgrim life was a hard one. Illness, harsh elements, and uncertainty prevailed. Everything depended on the harvest. Winter would follow soon. How well you ate and survived depended on the harvest. Then spring would come, and you would do it all over again.

The Pilgrims learned and built upon the idea that people with grateful hearts and attitudes would help our community sustain and survive. All these many years later, we have found that truth to be evident.

There is research that shows gratitude expressed daily has a way of making each of us stronger. Despite the pain and uncertainty we face, we always have blessings for which we can be grateful. Choosing to count your blessings and being grateful makes you stronger in the face of the challenges sure to come.

Happy Thanksgiving. Express gratitude. I’m grateful for the friends and teammates that I have here. You’ve made a great difference for me.