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American life has not quite been restored to whatever normalcy preceded the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still here for another Thanksgiving.

Travel is expected to increase somewhat from 2020, but many Americans are still celebrating with smaller gatherings or even alone for a second straight year.

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to be thankful for. Perhaps, if anything, it gives West Virginians and the rest of the country more time to reflect, and even more to be thankful for.

As is tradition, we reprint some wise comments about Thanksgiving and the concept of thankfulness.

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“Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings.... One of life’s gifts is that each of us, no matter how tired and downtrodden, finds reasons for thankfulness: for the crops carried in from the fields and the grapes from the vineyard.” — J. Robert Moskin, “The Heritage of Judaism,” Look magazine, Oct. 5, 1965

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“Strange to see how a good dinner and feasting reconciles everybody.” — Samuel Pepys, in his secret diary

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“Food for all is a necessity. Food should not be a merchandise, to be bought and sold as jewels are bought and sold by those who have the money to buy. Food is a human necessity, like water and air, and it should be available.” — Pearl Buck, To My Daughters, With Love

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“Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.” — Shakespeare, As You Like It

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“The original Thanksgiving was the last time we were nice to the Indians.” — Charleston reformer Bettijane Burger

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“It was dramatic to watch [my grandmother] decapitate [a turkey] with an ax the day before Thanksgiving. Nowadays the expense of hiring grandmothers for the ax work would probably qualify all turkeys so honored with ‘gourmet’ status.” — Russell Baker, The New York Times Nov. 27, 1985

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“I declare that a meal prepared by a person who loves you will do more good than any average cooking, and on the other side of it, a person who dislikes you is bound to get that dislike into your food, without intending to.” — Luther Burbank, The Harvest of the Years

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“Ever since Eve started it all by offering Adam the apple, woman’s punishment has been to have to supply a man with food and then suffer the consequences when it disagrees with him.” — Helen Rowland, A Guide to Men

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“Heap high the board with plenteous cheer, and gather to the feast / and toast the Pilgrim band, whose courage never ceased.” — Alice Williams Brotherton

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“’Twas founded by the Puritans to give thanks for bein’ presarved from the Indyans, and... we keep it to give thanks we are presarved from the Puritans.” — Finley Peter Dunne (“Mr. Dooley”)

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“The custom of saying grace at meals had, probably, its origin in the early times of the world, and the hunter-state of man, when dinners were precarious things, and a full meal was something more than a common blessing; when a bellyfull was a windfall, and looked like a special providence.” — Charles Lamb

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“Some people always sigh in thanking God.” — Elizabeth Barrett Browning

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“Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crowned / Where all the ruddy family around / Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail / Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale / Or press the bashful stranger to his food / And learn the luxury of doing good.” — Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveler

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“A man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, and to drink, and be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labor the days of his life.” — Ecclesiastes 8:15

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“The Bible tells us so often to give thanks, to praise God, and to acknowledge all his benefits. Surely it’s not that God, like us, needs appreciation for his own well-being. It must be because he knows that when we learn to give thanks, we are learning to concentrate not on the bad things, but in the good things in our lives.” — Amy Vanderbilt, Guideposts magazine, September 1957

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“The true essentials of a feast are only fun and feed.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

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“Come, ye thankful people, come, Raise the song of Harvest-home; all is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.” — Henry Alford

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“When mirth reigns throughout the town, and feasters about the house... when the tables beside them are laden with bread and meat, and the winebearer draws sweet drink from the mixing-bowl and fills the cups; this I think in my heart to be the most delightful of all to men.” — Homer

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“Here let us feast, and to the feast be joined discourse, the sweeter banquet of the mind.” — Homer, The Odyssey

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“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” — George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.” — A.A. Milne, Not That it Matters

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“A good meal makes a man feel more charitable toward the whole world than any sermon.” — Arthur Pendenys

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“They eat, they drink, and in communion sweet, quaff immortality and joy.” — Milton, Paradise Lost

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“The whole of nature, as has been said, is a conjugation of the verb to eat.” — William Ralph Inge, Outspoken Essays

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“So once in every year we throng upon a day apart / to praise the Lord with feast and song in thankfulness of heart.” — Arthur Guiterman

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“Ah! On Thanksgiving Day, when from east and from west / from north and from south come the pilgrim and guest / What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye / what calls back the past like the rich pumpkin pie?” — John Greenleaf Whittier

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“Their tables were stored full, to glad the sight, and not so much to feed on as delight.” — Shakespeare, Pericles

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“God is great, God is good / and we thank him for this food / From his table we are fed / Thank him for our daily bread.” — traditional child’s grace.

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“A two-pound turkey and a 50-pound cranberry — that’s Thanksgiving at Three Mile Island.” — Johnny Carson

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“Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us, and to all men.” — The Book of Common Prayer

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” — Harriet Van Horne, in Vogue magazine

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“What God gives and what we take / ‘tis a gift for Christ his sake / be the meal of beans and pease / God be thank’d for those and these / Have we flesh or have we fish / all are fragments from his dish.” — Robert Herrick

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“Thanksgiving-day, I fear, if one the solemn truth must touch, is celebrated not so much, To thank the Lord for blessings o’er, As for the sake of getting more!” — Will Carleton

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“In most of mankind, gratitude is merely a secret hope for greater favors.” — Duc de la Rochefoucauld

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“Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.” — Samuel Johnson

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“Never thank anybody for anything, except a drink of water in the desert — and then make it brief.” — Gene Fowler, New York Mirror, April 9, 1954

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“Give up wanting to deserve any thanks from anyone, or thinking that anyone can be grateful.” — Catullus

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“While I would fain have some tincture of all the virtues, there is no quality I would rather have, or be thought to have, than gratitude. For it is not only the greatest virtue, but even the mother of all the rest.” — Cicero

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