With the onset of the first winter storm, you’re probably envious of robins’ and other birds’ southern migration to warmer climates.
And you may wonder how American robins arrive back in our gardens so quickly in March.
The first Thanksgiving was surrounded by life’s hardships. The early settlers were bombarded with extreme weather, hunger, sickness and death. Those who had survived believed the best they could do was to stop and give thanks.
I will be the first to acknowledge that there is much to be thankful for about life in America, especially when compared to those beyond our borders whose daily lives are marked by war, hunger and disease. Despite our kvetching, grumbling and complaining, most Americans have it pretty good compared to less fortunates the world over.
In their recent article, “Gratitude as a Psychotherapeutic Intervention,” which appeared in the August 2013 edition of the Journal of Clinical Psychology, psychologists Robert Emmons and Robin Stern reviewed the research on the benefits of gratitude. They conclude that there are dramatic and lasting benefits in both the physical and psychological realms.
The Second Amendment explicitly bans the Federal government from restricting the people’s rights to keep and bear arms. The Framers of the Constitution believed that government was created to guarantee people’s rights, not to restrict them. The historical precedents show no restrictions until recent times.
In November of 2008, Operation College Promise (OCP) was founded by the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities (NJASCU) to answer a call – the needs of returning servicemembers poised to transition from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. The nine-member institutions vowed to prepare their campuses to support these students as they moved toward completion of their college degrees.
Having failed to defeat the Affordable Care Act in Congress, to beat it back in the last election, to repeal it despite more than eighty votes in the House, to stop it in the federal courts, to get enough votes in the Supreme Court to overrule it, and to gut it with outright extortion (closing the government and threatening to default on the nation’s debts unless it was repealed), Republicans are now down to their last ploy.
My two favorite holidays of the year are the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. I love the 4th because it’s all about celebrating how we have evolved as a nation, from the underdog to the top dog, in less than two hundred and forty years. I also love Thanksgiving because it speaks about being humble; that is being thankful for what we have.
Lawns don’t usually green up this time of year. But there’s hope yet.
New state regulations on lawn fertilizers just kicked in. This means a winter blackout for applying nutrients – nitrogen and phosphorus – to lawns. The new rules aim to reduce the level of nutrients that end up in our rivers, streams, lakes and bays.