By MARY O'NEILL
The oldest account of Thanksgiving is recorded in a letter written by Edward Winslow dated December 12, 1621. He wrote:
"Our corn did prove well, and God be praised, we had a good increase of Indian corn...our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors... many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some 90 men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted... and although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want."
The people of the Lakes Region not only know the story of Thanksgiving, they put it into practice. When asked what in particular in the Lakes Region they are thankful to God for, here are some of their answers.
Chevy from Meredith Center: "I'm thankful for the good-hearted residents of the Lakes Region. You see people you know at the supermarket and they take the time to stop and chat. It's uncommon to be surrounded by people who thank us for what we do. It's nice to be appreciated."
Steve B.: "I'm thankful for New Hampshire Fish and Games employees' efforts in controlling the great fishery we have in the Lakes Region and for all the volunteers who maintain our great hiking trail systems throughout the Lakes Region and White Mountains."
Mary Jane F.: "What isn't there in the Lakes Region to be thankful to God for? I wake up and look out over a beautiful lake. I love the wildlife in the area, especially the waterfowl and the bald eagles. Years ago when I was in school, I lived in another state. I remember paying $5 just to swim for the day in a mud hole with leaches and here we are surrounded by the most beautiful, clean lakes."
Rick H.: "I am grateful for the traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation which make the Lakes Region what it is: a great place to be."
Kevin T: "I'm thankful for the lakes. That's why I get up, mow my lawn, and pay my property taxes – so I can live on the lake."
Rachel X.: "I am thankful for the unique, natural experience of the Polar Caves that my son loves! And the [Squam Lakes Natural] science center!"
Linda H.: "I am thankful for the local mental health center that works to improve the lives of people who are less fortunate."
Frank R.: "I'm so thankful that my entire family lives in such a beautiful and peaceful corner of the world with a quality of life that is unsurpassed."
John G.: I'm most thankful for Lake Winnipesaukee. I've made my living off that lake and so has my family. A lot of us wouldn't be here if it wasn't for that lake."
Joe M.: "I'm thankful for the lifestyle in the Lakes Region. I was a suit and tie in Boston for 40 years but I came here and found I could not beat the lifestyle. The traffic in Boston was always horrendous but here if there are five cars in front of me it means someone has hit a moose."
Sue C.: "I'm grateful for the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford. It is such a great music venue. You would have to go to Boston to hear music of that caliber and here the venue is surrounded by all the natural beauty."
Erika from Laconia: "I'm thankful for all the places to hike and walk that are peaceful and relaxing. I love Ahern Park."
Amanda N.: "I'd have to say I am thankful I have the opportunity to live where everyone vacations; we have lakes, rivers, mountains, oceans, cities and even different countries all within a day's travel. You simply can't be bored living here. There is something for everyone."
Amy: "I'm thankful for the year-round activities that make you appreciate being from such a small community with so much to offer."
Liz L.: "I'm thankful that the Greater Meredith Program created the Meredith Sculpture Walk. It has received appreciation and praise from residents and visitors and has become an integral part of our community."
Alice and John O.: "Oh my Lord, where to start! We're glad to see the Colonial Theater being revived. We have such fond memories of that place. We're thankful for the good city clerk who is right on top of things. We're thankful for Vista Foods in Laconia. It's good to have a grocery store right in town. It's nice to walk down Main Street and go to yard sales. You see all the people you know. And we're thankful for the Laconia Antique Center – it's a great outing."
Nate: "I'm thankful for all the outdoor stuff we can do in the Lakes Region. I like Mount Major. We don't have to go far for so many places to hike. I like to hike late at night to see for instance the Supermoon from the top of one of our mountains."
To these, I would like to add a few of my own. I'm thankful for my friendly neighborhood. When you walk down the road, everyone waves as they drive by. I'm thankful for Lake Opechee and that sometimes it freezes so clear you can see fish swimming under the ice when you are skating. I'm thankful I can drive a short distance to markets filled with fresh produce, some of it from our own local farms, and see people working there who have become my friends. I'm thankful there are moments when I'm outside and there is complete silence. I am thankful that despite what is going on in the world, peace reigns in the Lakes Region, showing that God is still on His throne and everything is as it should be.
Years ago the pilgrims gathered as a community to thank God for their survival. Together with the pilgrims and the people of the Lakes Region, join in giving thanks not only during this week of Thanksgiving but on every day in every moment.
Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Mary O'Neill is a sales associate at Roche Realty Group in Meredith & Laconia, NH and can be reached at (603) 366-6306. www.rocherealty.com
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