For a few years, I ran a small dog sled team. I had four female dogs on my team, Kai (the lead dog), as well as Suka, Kina, and Pika. Each dog had their own unique, and at times annoying, personality. Each dog had a job on the team, and while some shared jobs, they each employed a different emphasis to the way they executed this job. Three to four times per week, I would load all the dogs in the van along with the sled and all the gear and then we would drive the forty miles or so to our sledding zone; Hope Valley.

Turkey on the table, smiles on the faces. Family together and music in the background. And here, now we gather to give thanks. But what is it, then, that we give thanks for? Turkey on the table, smiles on the faces, family together and music in the background. Peace and comfort. Food and drink. Family and neighbors. A slice of annual happiness that we try to conjure up with some sights, sounds, and smells.

The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield was famous for quipping, “I get no respect.” That line showed up in some way, shape, or form in most of the films he was famous for. Dangerfield typically played the role of bumbling but loveable idiot, who somehow managed to come out on top. But even though he came out on top, he still “got no respect.”

Well here we go again. Another round of restrictions imposed by our governing authorities. Another set of closures and limitations for small businesses. The people talk and they complain, of course. Our social media feed is full of references to the insane overreach for a virus that has an incredibly high survival rate. Where is the concern for those who are unemployed, or those who are depressed, or those who are lonely?  They tell the churches when to open and when to close, where to worship and how to conduct themselves. They dictate how we are supposed to celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving and, without a doubt, Christmas. They believe they have a right and even a responsibility to know what is going on in your home: how many are gathered there and how you are implementing the mandates of the state.