Finneran: Thankful For
Friday, November 24, 2017
Our riches are so abundant that we tend to take them for granted, rarely pausing to consider that our lives are blessed far far beyond the lives of earlier generations.
Let’s start with people. Teachers who excite and inspire, priests and ministers who counsel and console, doctors who heal. How about engineers and their stunning designs, be they autos or aircraft, soaring bridges or stunning buildings, microscopic medical tools or the immense telescopes scanning our skies? How about poets and authors, musicians and playwrights, all giving voice to the human condition?
A particular profession or achievement is not necessary in order to gain entry to the honor roll of people for whom we are thankful. How about just genuinely nice people? They may be helpful neighbors, civic volunteers, or joyful commuters---you know, like the one who smiles and waves you ahead in the congested on-ramps of life.
Be thankful for life itself. It is truly precious. And it is nowhere nearly as appreciated as it should be. Any doubts about the miracle and gift of human life? Ask an infertile couple about it. Or a Gold Star mother. Or a widow. Or an orphan. Cherish the gift.
Here’s a great story, taken in its entirety from the pages of National Review magazine (a great magazine btw):
A big international judo competition was held in Abu Dhabi. Israelis participated—though they were the only participants forbidden to attach their national flag to their clothing. One of them, Tal Flicker, won a gold medal. At the medal ceremony, the Israeli flag was not raised. In its place was the flag of the International Judo Federation. The Israeli national anthem (“Hatikvah”) was not played. In its place was the anthem of the International Judo Federation. There on the stand, the gold medalist sang his national anthem anyway. “The anthem that they played from the world federation was just background noise,” he later said. “I was singing ‘Hatikvah’ from my heart.”
How’s that for one of life’s golden moments? Tal has stones. Tal has class. Tal has dignity and grace. God bless Tal.
I’m thankful for certain places, places near and places far. Boston is a beautiful walkable livable vibrant city. Boston Harbor and its islands hold my devoted attention. As does magnificent Cape Cod.
Going abroad someday? Spend some time in Rome.......lots of time. Venice too. Vienna and Prague are striking cities. Paris anyone....spectacular Paris? Hong Kong and Sydney, Australia. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. I’ve yet to visit London but when I do I’ll drink it all in. South Africa too. My wife is just back from Portugal which she loved. Closer to home, I hope to take the grandkids to a lot of our National Parks. They are national treasures.
I’m grateful for the abundance of food in our lives. Too much food? It’s a nice problem to have, a “problem” that earlier generations never experienced. Those generations suffered from severe want. Hard and bitter hunger dominated their minds and affected their health.
How about medicine? Or joint replacements? Or intricate surgery? Once upon a time there were three “medicines”---whiskey, aspirin, and penicillin. Penicillin was deemed a miracle, a gift from God. Aspirin and whiskey were used to blunt and mask pain. Today’s medicines cure disease, curb hospitalization, and extend life. Those joint replacements restore movement and life to people hobbled with crippling pain.
It’s an amazing world we live in........................
One more salute to people we depend upon---firefighters who race into infernos to save people and police officers who have the world’s saddest, most difficult, and most thankless tasks of all. They are a daily blessing in our lives.
On this weekend and throughout the Christmas season, just remember that we have much to be thankful for.
Related Slideshow: 25 Things You Must do This Fall in New England - 2017
There are some great walking and hiking paths behind the Audubon Society on Massasoit Road in Worcester to visit this fall.
Want to be at peace and escape the city without really leaving the city? Take a brisk walk through the Bird Sanctuary. If you don't feel better by the time you leave there...then turn around and go back in.
The bird sanctuary is located on 414 Massasoit Road in Worcester
The fall season is all about pumpkins. Pumpkin beer, pumpkin pie and most of all pumpkin picking.
Pumpkin picking is a timeless event for families, especially those with young kids who will love to just run around and grab whichever pumpkin looks good to them.
The Boston Children's Museum has two special exhibits to celebrate the fall season.
The first is a dinosaur exhibit titled "Explor-a-saurus," and there is also a "Bubbles" exhibit and a "construction zone."
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a daily basis.
Arguably the coolest thing about the fall season is the changing of the leaves. You will want to go up to the Berkshires and stroll through a park or just down a street and take note of all the colors, it's a must do fall activity.
How many colors can you see?
Not one, not two, but three corn mazes all in one spot.
The famous triple maze at Coppal House Farm in New Hampshire is fun for all ages!
This year's theme is honey bees for all three mazes.
Built in the mid-1700s, Coppal Farm has horse-drawn carriage rides, pumpkin picking, and tons of other activities on its 78-acre farm.
Across New England
Nothing says fall like drinking nice warm glass of apple cider, or maybe multiple warm glasses of apple cider.
Head over to your local market and buy some, or maybe you know how to make your own or have your own recipe. Either way, drinking apple cider is something to look forward too.
While it may not be summer anymore and you may need an extra shirt or light jacket, there is still time to get some end of season swings in at your local golf course.
The fall season presents some of the best golfing weather that we have all year in New England.
Hit them straight.
Across Southern New England
The Coastal Wine Trail is a nonprofit group of 14 wineries that are spread throughout Southeastern New England.
Vineyards on the trail include Preston Ridge Vineyard in Preston Connecticut, Travessia Winery in New Bedford, Massachusetts, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery in Westport, Massachusetts and Coastal Vineyards in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
The heart of the trail is less than three hours from New York City and 90 minutes from Bosto
Check out five attractions at the super spooky Factory of Terror! Clown College, Zella's Hideaway, Zombie Alley, 3D Nightmare and the 13th Haunt all in one place.
This indoor haunted house offers a frightening and spooky experience with realistic, detailed rooms featuring cutting edge special effects and horror creatures at every turn!
Enter at your own risk!
The views of Mount Hope Bay are unparalleled. Enjoy some wine with a snack or three while watching the sunset. The chef is known for a well-balanced menu of seasonal treats that uses locally sourced seafood in creative ways.
Celebrate the fall season and eat outdoors one last time.
The fall season is Plimoth Plantation's busiest time of year and it is a great time to bring the family.
Visit the Wampanoag Homesite, the 17th-Century English Village, Nye Barn, Craft Center, Plimoth Bread Company, Mayflower II, and the Plimoth Grist Mill!
A great way to learn and have fun at the same time.
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular is a one of a kind fall event taking place at Roger Williams Park Zoo and runs from October 6 - November 6, 2016 and tickets are only sold online.
The display features more than 125 carved pumpkins, featuring designs such as the laughing tree and several others.
New to this year’s spectacular, Friday – Sunday nights now feature timed ticket entry starting at 5:30 p.m. These tickets will only be sold online.
Caffe Espresso Trattoria has been open for more than 20 years as a family owned and operated restaurant. Trattoria offfers authentic Italian home cooking.
Put on a comfy sweater and take a fall run or bike ride down this 14.5 mile long path that stretches from India Point Park in Providence to Independence Park in Bristol.
The path connects many towns while providing waterside views nearly the entire way.
Dive into history at King Richard's Faire, New England's oldest and largest Renaissance Festival and most beloved annual fall event. Dress up, play games and learn alot at a faire that is a great fall event for the entire family.
The faire ends on October 23.
Block Island, RI
As the fall season rolls on, trips to Block Island are winding down.
But at the moment, there is still great weather ahead and great opportunities to get on the ferry and head over to Block Island for the day, or maybe even multiple days.
A fall trip to Block Island is something ou must do this fall.
New Canaan, CT
Construction began on the Glass House in 1949 by architect Philip Johnson and is now a National Trust Historic Site.
The house is on 49 acres of land which holds 13 other structures and features a collection of 20th century painting and sculpture.
The foliage surrounding the house makes the fall season a great time to go visit.
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