Forest Bathing and Your Health (Pt 2)

Lots of Trees = Strong Immune System

In the last blog, we discussed the amazing benefits of forest bathing, or spending time in the woods. You’ll find a wealth of health there, including stress hormone reduction, 30% average energy increase, improved sleep, and a cardiovascular health boost. Phytoncides (essential tree oils) are found in forest air, especially pine trees and cypress, and activate the immune system’s natural killer cells.

Americans typically spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, according to an EPA study. And right now–for those in many metro areas–it’s 100% due to COVID-19. Yikes!

Indoor natural pollutants like radon, molds, and pet dander can be 2-5 times higher than outdoors, and that’s not even including the toxicity of typical cleaning solutions, pesticides and chemical off gassing of man-made furnishing materials. Not the ideal atmosphere for a long, healthy life.

The contrast between unhealthy indoor air and immune boosting woodsy air has never been greater. No wonder forest bathing is gaining so many fans.

Use the Downtime to Plan a Healthier Future

With the Corona Virus bringing life to a screeching halt, many people have been forced to change their habits. Hand sanitizer and social distancing are great tools to “flatten the curve” and shorten the pandemic’s reign of fear.

But this is also a great time look at your entire health picture, starting with lifestyle. Is it time to add visits to the country? Are you ready for a few tweaks or changes to improve your health and quality of life? Or maybe even a new chapter, choosing to view life from your own home on wheels? The silver lining of any crisis is that through processing it, doors often open to new possibilities.

Don’t Wait until the Next Crisis

Many people do not truly explore the many options open to them regarding health and general lifestyle choices until a crisis occurs. Options like extended stays or full time living in beautiful wooded surroundings like Lake Fork’s Providence RV Park in east Texas.

There are still a few spots open, so start your new health plan with a visit to Providence for some forest bathing once the quarantine lifts.

Talk to others who’ve already discovered the value of breathing in pure country air, and enjoying acres of lush, health giving trees and foliage.

Who wouldn’t want to live longer, and with better quality of life?

It’s easier than you think!

Providence RV Park

 

Health Benefits in the Woods

Into the Woods

The woods can be a scary place to a kid. It’s a world of its own—dense, wild, and filled with hidden things.

But once you’re an adult, (and stop reading fairy tales), you realize the woods can be a fascinating place. Walks through the woods make for special moments. A rare glimpse of wildlife, an unexpected patch of berries, or dramatic rays of sunlight pouring in on a wooded path can be breathtaking. Wildflowers can chase any leftover stress from a long day or week right out of your world.

But aside from its beauty, did you know the woods holds important benefits for human health?

That’s right.

Trees are not just great for stress release, but several studies have shown they help our immune systems in measurable and direct ways.

Forest Bathing: Grab Your Rubber Ducky and Head for the Woods

Forest Bathing is a thing. Really.

In 2006, Japanese researchers from Nippon Medical School published a study that confirmed the powerful effect trees have on our immune systems.

If you live in a tree-rich environment, or visit one regularly, you inhale all kinds of substances that build up your Natural Killer Cells, making them more effective and aggressive. They go into turbocharge mode eliminating viruses, bacteria and cancer cells.

It’s a natural medicinal bath!

And the east Texas piney woods are the best. Spectacular benefits have long been associated with pines. From antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, to hormone support and free radical scavenging.

You take a dose of anti-aging goodness with every breath.

It’s Never too Late to Turn Back the Clock

So start thinking about aging well. About surrounding yourself with nature to take advantage of all the powerful health benefits placed in this world for you by your Creator.

There are plenty of ways to kick stress to the door, but waking up to the beauty of the woods outside your window is the best. Enjoy your coffee along with a relaxing forest bath.

So come check out Providence RV Park in Lake Fork, east Texas. Come for the fishing, the boating, the berry picking, the walking, the relaxing.

Or come to discover your anti-aging and health benefits waiting in the woods.

 

Providence RV Park

 

 

 

February Spotlight: Providence RV Park’s Donny Moore

Donny Moore, one of our full-time residents at Lake Fork Providence RV Park, bought his Thor ACE motor home a few years ago for workamping purposes (and for you pet lovers, it is also known for its furbaby-friendly design).

Saying Yes to New Adventures

Donny enjoys some downtime

Donny’s son was headed to Oregon for a new entrepreneurial venture, and Donny wanted to help him get established. He decided, however, that he didn’t want to commit to living in Oregon with family back here in Texas. So, he purchased his Class A motor home, and headed northwest.

Buying an RV turned out to be the best way to go. His son’s job situation didn’t pan out the way they had hoped, and he ultimately chose to return to Texas.

With his new home on wheels, Donny could now live anywhere he wanted, for as long as he wanted. Of course, he picked Providence! Why? “I loved the security of a gated community, along with the trees, and the relaxing, spacious feel of the park,” he says.

Maddie, his 14 year old miniature Yorkie, agrees. She’s been his little sidekick for years, and loves taking strolls with him around the park. She also loves being pampered, and has Donny wrapped around her little dew claw.

Lady Maddie, who clearly thinks life is one big spa treatment…

 

Donny owned a grocery store for a couple years, then got into the antique business with two shops. These days, his unique finds can be found in Tyler’s famous Ye Olde City Antique Mall. Look for his company, Love Antiques n Auctions, and say hello.

 

The place to go antiquing on a sunny Texas day

The Art of Downsizing

As one of the managers for Providence RV Park, I asked Donny how hard it was for him to downsize when he first moved into his 30′ motor home. He just laughed. “It isn’t hard for men. It’s only hard for women. Women are too attached to their stuff.”

It was my turn to laugh. Why? Because when I moved into my own RV, I read every article and blog I could find on the subject, and “downsized” as well as I could, then put the remainder of my things into storage. Like, um, THREE storage units. Yeah. He’s on to something there.

Donny’s best advice when you’re looking for the perfect RV is to treat the deal like you are buying a car. Shop around for the best price, and don’t forget the importance of their customer service department. Look for reviews and check on their reputation. After the sale, it’s just you and them, and you need to know they will be responsive.

And when you’ve found the perfect RV, come to Lake Fork Providence RV Park, where you’ll find the perfect spot for your perfect home.

Perfect.

 

Providence RV Park

The New American Dream Pt 2: Glamping

Get started right with Mary Jane’s guide to Glamping 

The world of glamping (glamour camping) is exploding right now, and happens to be the star of our second half of The New American Dream. In part 1, we discussed workamping (work camping or working from the road) and how it suits the changing needs for many who are growing out of the suburban lifestyle.  Mobile freedom is the new prize for living well.

Living Without the Stuff

Many homes have basements, attics, and garages–great places to accumulate and store everything needed to go with the traditional family package. Unfortunately, we often wake up one day to discover the unhappy truth that we do not own all this stuff — it owns us. At one time, each item had its purpose. But now, decades later, lifestyle and priority changes are causing an entire generation to reflect and recalibrate.

How did we get all this stuff? Are there things just sitting that others can be using? Is it time for a lifestyle inventory?

The Cost of Stuff

Somewhere between starter homes and retirement homes, we are discovering that rooms of clutter and boxes of stuff have limited us. Weighed us down. Cost us money, time, and energy spent maintaining and upgrading (and sometimes just LOOKING for) our stuff. We’ve realized that instead of making our world fuller, too often it has actually made it smaller. Our focus turned inward where we had everything we needed. We settled for living life vicariously through characters and scenes on our flat screen TVs, forgetting there was a big, beautiful world outside waiting to be explored.

Traveling Light

Enter the RV lifestyle. By scaling down and hitting the road, you can choose any number of RV options. You can move into a full-time long term RV Park as your home base (Providence RV Park, situated in the east Texas piney woods near Lake Fork, has everything from weekender options to annual part time and full time). You may find you love the woods so much you don’t want to roam beyond it. Or you can unhook and take off to visit places you’ve always wanted to visit but without the hassle of having to book and pay for hotel rooms.

The more adventurous enjoy the idea of boondocking, or going off the beaten path to exotic locales. In exchange for often breathtaking views, they don’t mind foregoing the basic comforts of being able to “plug in” to electric and sewer facilities typically available at more permanent locations.

Glamping: the Best of All Worlds

But what about those who have a luxury mindset they can’t bear to leave behind as they head out to the wild blue yonder? Or those wanting to enjoy nature’s stunning views while surrounding themselves with at least SOME of the comforts of home? Yes, glamping is for the Eva Gabors in life who shudder at the thought of roughing it, even for a brief stint. You can glamp in tents, yurts, treehouses, tipis, and–of course–RVs. The point is to make your experience the most memorable ever.

Naturally Elegant Yurt

RVs are easy to glamp up…all you need is money!

 

 

 

 

To some, that means bringing your Edison string lights, a bottle of wine and a Coleman queen size air cot with goose down duvet to outfit your tent. To others, it means booking a romantic treehouse “hotel” room to get you up, up, and away from it all. If you’re anywhere near the DFW area in Texas, check out Grandview Treetops. You can nest in private luxury for a weekend or so high above a working ranch and raw goat dairy on 95 acres with trails and plenty of room to hike. Or not.

So check out the glitzy world of glamping with plenty of guides, directories and how-to manuals like Mary Jane Butters’ guide on Amazon. There are so many possibilities out there. Consider catching up on all the life you may have missed. You know, while you were looking for your stuff.

Birds eye view of a sun drenched Texas morning! (Grandview, Texas)

The Resort at Paws Up (Greenough, Montana): The only tent in town with A/C, hardwood floors and heated bathroom flooring!

 

 

 

One of several Treehouse Point options starting from $120 per night (Issaquah, Washington)

Providence RV Park

The New American Dream? (Pt 1)

There was a time when the suburban split level with a white picket fence represented the American dream. Those chasing after it were usually from cities and urban areas, looking to escape the smog and gridlock for a better place to raise their 2.4 children. (We’ll save the question of what life was like for the poor .4 child for another time.)

The dream included a yard with perfectly trimmed hedges, a devoted dog to play and fetch, a lawn with no dandelions, and plenty of room to grow. Most would upgrade to bigger homes with bigger lawns, and more responsibilities as families expanded.

The American Dream Grows Up

The American Dream has changed a lot since the 50s. Many of the Boomers—once intent on escaping to the suburbs to grow their families and flower beds—now stand at a new juncture. With the kids gone and too much house left, big mortgages and daily upkeep no longer make sense. The new longing is to pare down, to focus on the important things in life before too much more of it gets lost in the daily grind.

Instead of expansion, now it’s about lightening the load. Forget keeping up with the Joneses—now it’s about keeping up with your own changing priorities.

Mobility and freedom are the new status symbols.

Workamping: The Best of all Worlds?

Workamping may be the new American Dream for many interested in RV living. The concept actually has its own patent! According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: “Workampers are adventuresome individuals and couples who have chosen a wonderful lifestyle that combines any kind of part-time or full-time work with RV camping.” Some workampers operate their own businesses. Others work part-time, while still others are able to transfer current full-time jobs without skipping a beat. Some work seasonally, others year-round.  Workampers include government workers, teachers, writers, musicians, corporate field reps, hunting, fishing, & tourism industry workers, and even non-profit volunteers. There are free sites that connect RVers with jobs for those itching to get away from it all, but needing to continue working at the same time.

Providence Works For Everyone

Here at Providence RV Park, our tenants span a wide array of professions and ages. Several school teachers and a concessions entrepreneur (Canton Trade Days is the world’s largest flea market) call Providence home. We also have a retired rocket scientist (yes, Virginia, there really ARE rocket scientists among us 😊), a marketing rep, government employees, and a writer all living full time here. Our part time tenants include a construction company exec, a retired colonel and other retired (but still quite active) folks who come for the water sports and trophy bass fishing at Lake Fork. Weekenders who come in for the tournaments enjoy the secure yet fast and easy access to activities.

From Workamping to Glamping

Join us next time, when we will look at the upper crust segment of the RV world, known as the glampers (glamorous campers). Proof that amenities and comforts DO have a place out in the wild. Or, at least, SOME folks think so.

 

Providence RV Park

 

 

Is This the Year?

It’s 2020. We’ve got a brand new, shiny, “just off the presses” new year upon us. A blank slate, a winter white canvas just waiting to be filled up with plans, and perfect for those dreams and “someday” ideas you’ve been kicking around for years now.

So, is now the time? Is this the year you find freedom with a new RV?

What is Your RV Personality?

The RV life means so many different things, and that’s the way RVers like it.

Park it out in the woods or near a lake, and escape there on weekends and holidays. (Bonus: Providence RV Park offers you peace of mind with our gated community).

Use it a “hotel room on wheels” if you love to travel, or your job covers a lot of ground and you like the idea of taking the comforts of home with you. Recreation vehicles are typically 45% less expensive than a conventional hotel/air vacation.

For those into “workamping,” RVs mean you can work from anywhere and live a simpler, more stress free life.

Or take your camper on the road each year and “boondock” it where there are no hotels for miles, just gorgeous weather and breathtaking scenery.

And for those who discover they can’t imagine living anywhere else, full timing is the way to go to reap the benefits of daily, therapeutic doses of nature up close and personal.

Is This the Year of Freedom?

Over 1 million Americans live full time in their RVs. Some do it to escape mortgages and empty nests, others to spend less time on lawns and home upkeep and repairs. Honey-do lists are dramatically shortened, which means you can spend less time “doing,” and more time with Honey. And of course, many decide to go full time so they can choose where they want to live and for how long, without major upheaval when it’s time for a change of scenery.

Is This the Year to Live Your Dream?

You may have been thinking about an RV for a while now. Or maybe you’re just beginning to entertain the idea of getting more “mobile” in life. Either way, you will be delighted to learn that winter can often be the best time to buy–for many reasons–and east Texas is one of the best places to live in or park your new rig. With plenty of RV dealers, expos/shows and RV support, you’ll find the perfect match for the lifestyle that suits you best.

2020: Is This the Year of YOU?

Every year that ticks by is one that is lost forever. Just yesterday, it seems, we were discussing Y2K and whether our computers would turn on the next day. And here we are, 20 years later. Have you been living an adventure all this time? If not, it’s never too late to start.

Don’t spend your best years enslaved to a lifestyle that no longer works for you. Get out there and discover how far the RV world has come in structural, technological and comfort advances.

This could be your year to escape the urban pressure cooker, or the boring suburban sprawl.

 

 

 

This could be the year you look back on 20 years from now with a smile. Don’t let your adventure get away.

 

Providence RV Park

 

The Providence Lifestyle

There is No Better Place to Be…

…than tucked away in God’s providence. We talked a little about providence at Thanksgiving, and indeed, the entire end of year holiday season is filled with acknowledgment and gratefulness for God’s care, guidance, and provision for us. Which brings me to this question: Are you living the Providence Lifestyle?

The Israelites: A Picture of Providence Living

You might think we have come so far from the days of the ancient Israelites that there is little that we share as a people. But God’s guidance and care connect us. As we watch their desert wanderings and their victories (and defeats), they correlate precisely with their alignment with divine providence. When they allowed God to guide and instruct them, they were led to victory. When they broke away through sin and disobedience, they lost battles, they lost hope, and they lost their way.

The Israelites’ desert tents, or “sukkahs” are even similar to our RV lifestyle today, where we are closer to the elements. We are never over-insulated from whatever is going on outside our walls. It is a fantastic way to live, to be constantly reminded that He is the Lord of all creation. And we get to enjoy it with His blessings.

Reminders of His Loving Care

Christmas is at the very epicenter of God’s providence. Just think of it. He healed the fatal wound caused by humanity with part of Himself – by sending His beloved Son Jesus to rescue us from our hopeless state. He breathed life back into us as only He could do. The ultimate act of “care, guidance, and provision.”

We are reminded of this unspeakable gift each year every time we pass a nativity scene. Or receive a Christmas card (yes, people still do that!). Or watch a program on the wonders of a God Who would send His only child into a broken world to make it whole.

Life sized Creche in nearby Quitman

We are reminded when we hold a child or grandchild for the first time, that there is hope for this child’s eternal future only because of the far-reaching providence of our heavenly Father.

We are reminded when we go to the store and pass by the Salvation Army bell ringers that God often uses some of us to bless others of us. It’s His providence being shared among us.

 

 

The Providence Lifestyle

So the Providence Lifestyle is nothing more than accepting your personal invitation to live a life filled with constant awareness of how much God loves you and wants to help guide, care, and provide for you. We only limit Him when we choose to ignore His voice and His ways in favor of our own. Good ideas, or God ideas…can you guess which might make your life one you’d love to live?

Enjoy this week of Christmas fun, food and family, and never forget Who made it all possible. As it’s said every year, Jesus is the reason for the season.

But He’s also your personal invitation to live Christmas all year long.

Holiday Snapshots from Providence RV Park

Some more scenes from my strolls through our park. What a joy to slow down and breathe deep the woodsy pine air out here, and smile at the lovely pops of color and creativity. And remember why life is so good. As I said, there’s no better place to be than tucked away in God’s Providence (RV Park)!

 

Merry Christmas from all of us at Providence RV Park!

Providence RV Park: YOUR Happy Place?

It’s That Time of the Year…

…to find your happy place in the midst of holiday madness. As the Christmas holiday kicks into high gear, shoppers take over the highways, malls, and internet. The brisk, hustle-bustle atmosphere is an annual delight that can quickly turn into a joyless pressure cooker.

The schedule fills up with family gatherings and office parties, school and church plays and events, gift hunting trips and obligations of all shapes and sizes. Finances often spiral out of control. And the pressure to keep up with the crushing demands can ruin anyone’s Christmas spirit.

“There are moments,” wrote Henry David Thoreau, “when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.”

Everyone Needs A Happy Place

Christmas Providence RV Park

Serenity without…radiance within…our Mary knows how to pick out a tree!

It’s easier to navigate the stressful effects of holiday demands when you can balance it all out with planned escapes to your happy place. Do you have a happy place? A sanity retreat? A quiet respite in the country or woods where every care melts away near a lake or under a canopy of towering oaks and pines?

Henry David Thoreau spent two years living alone in a forest cabin near Walden Pond in Massachusetts. He knew the power of wooded serenity.

Out here at Providence RV Park, our residents know that unique tranquility, as well.

Let the Lights Shine

But escaping the metro congestion doesn’t mean we forget how to celebrate our favorite holidays and seasons.  Our residents have been busy dressing up their homes in sparkles and lights. They’ve be-ribboned posts, trees–anything that looks like it could use a touch of festive color.

Tara and Andy win Best Dressed RV

A stroll through the park reveals a gorgeously tall tree with elegant cream tones shining out through one window, while another home is decked out in beautiful lights and puffy lit up animal friends.

Of all the bears, puffy lighted ones are the best…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garlands, ribbons, wreaths, and blinking lights invite the Christmas spirit in, while simple living keeps Christmas stress out.

It’s a lovely, reflective time of year as we wind down from whatever 2019 may have brought our way, and turn our thoughts toward the brand new year moving into view.

Dreaming of Your Own Happy Place?

So, have you thought about creating your own happy place for weekend escapes—or even long-term living? You might be surprised at how easy and affordable it is to place your “home away from home” out in the wilds of east Texas. You can visit whenever you need to stretch and breathe in that soothing piney woods air.

Or, if you visit for long enough, you might even decide to leave that daily commute and stagnant job behind. There are many RV living career options that scores of adventurers, just like you,  have found to be a perfect fit for their new stress free life. You only live once, so make it count!

Visit Providence RV Park to see why Lake Fork is one of the top fishing, camping, and relaxing destinations in the state of Texas.

What do you have to lose, except your stress?

See you soon…we’ll leave the (Christmas) lights on!

The Best Time to Buy an RV

Lake Fork is getting dressed for winter here in east Texas. The towering pines and oak trees are shedding the last of their pine cones and acorns (and the oaks are being pretty noisy about it, if you ask me!). Providence RV Park is finishing another year of steady growth. Some residents might be ready to start thinking about an upgrade, or help relatives or friends join the RV lifestyle. Which raises the question: When is the best time to buy an RV?

Many of those wanting to join “the mortgage-free movement” have been searching for the perfect rig all year. They are ready to take a break and hibernate until spring, when they’ll pick back up in warmer weather.

But Wait!

You might miss the best time to buy an RV! That’s right, you may be surprised to learn that winter truly is the best time to buy an RV. Your dream home on wheels could be gone by spring.

Here are the top 3 reasons that should motivate you to use the winter months to get out there and make your best deal:

Best Selection

New models come out near the end of the year. Just like the auto industry, prices on the year-old models are typically more negotiable than the new kids on the block. And often, new models don’t offer big enough improvements to outweigh saving a few thousand dollars.

So, check with dealers (who may have more than one lot) if you’re interested in scoring a great deal on a leftover. And if only brand new will do, sales folks looking to make quotas and pick up the pace of sluggish winter months are more likely to cut their best deals then. Even pre-owned RV sales favor the buyer in slow months. So go and check them out.

Finally, dealers are more likely to give you a great price early in the season, when they can replace it on the lot vs. later in the spring, when it’s too late in the season to order another.

Best Service

In spring or summer, you’re more likely to have to wait for assistance, sometimes a half hour or more, when buyer competition for the sales associates’ time heats up. In winter, the sales team is far more attentive to you and your needs. Your travel trailer is a huge investment, and you deserve to be able to work through every possible question and all options sans any pressure to shortcut the process.

Best Financial Options

Financing is typically easier in wintertime, and dealers are more likely to be offering creative promotions and financial perqs. Because they are especially motivated to move inventory, you’ll probably find more flexibility in terms (like deferred deposits or “No payments till spring!” type promotions).

Many will offer helpful bonuses like free winter storage of your new RV beauty, or gift card giveaways and other valuable perqs.

And don’t forget the RV expos and shows that run January through March (like Dallas RV SuperSale at Market Center). They’ve brought it all to you, and would much rather sell you an RV at a lower cost if it saves them from having to transport it back to the lot.

Yes, Virginia, Winter IS the Best Time to Buy an RV

So, research your options online and warm up and energize with a cup of Joe. Then grab your scarf and gloves, and hit the local dealerships and shows. As the icy air greets you, smile at how smart you are to beat the crowd and get the best in selection, service, and price.

Yes, winter is the best time to buy an RV in a field that is getting more and more crowded each year. When spring comes, you’ll be glad to see others just starting their search while your dream RV is already bought and ready to park or take you on a life of adventure.

 

 

Thankful for His Providence

Thankful for His Providence here at Providence RV Park

We are in Thanksgiving week, the time of year where our name – Providence RV Park – shines with meaning and purpose.

We are thankful for the many blessings our heavenly Father has poured out on us this year. From the steady growth of our community to the beginnings of our expansion on the backside of the property to accommodate future residents, we are grateful for the wonderful people God has brought to Providence.

To say thank you, and enjoy some relaxing chat time this Thursday, the Community Center will be open for a turkey feast (with all the fixins!) for any residents spending the day here at the park. We may even play a little Christmas music to signal the transition into full-on holiday mode.

In the meantime, we wanted to share a few thoughts about this holiday straight out of the history books, and the lessons we can learn today…

Did you know…?

The First Thanksgiving was Actually a 3-day Celebration

Yes, just like the ancient Israelites, our plucky pioneering ancestors knew how to throw a party.

So take your time this year. Streamline any food prep to make sure your focus is on people. Make sure those you care about know how thankful you are to know (and/or be related to) them. Get others to tell their favorite stories, or after dinner, have everyone share a thought or memory they are most thankful for. Reflect on special blessings you’ve received from God. From children and grandchildren to the many lessons and truths you’ve learned on your life journey thus far.

If you have no family or friends with which to celebrate, there is always a local soup kitchen or food pantry. Volunteer to make the holiday a bit brighter for others.

“It’s one thing to be grateful. It’s another to give thanks. Gratitude is what you feel. Thanksgiving is what you do.” –Tim Keller

Turkey wasn’t the Star of the Table

Although record had it that some of the colony’s men went “fowling” before the feast, and wild turkeys were among the game birds of the region, the menu was much broader. It included lobster, seal, and the five deer brought by their Wampanoag guests—not to mention the actual stars of the event: the season’s harvest. Many things missing from the original Thanksgiving, but popular today such as stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie are largely thanks to Sarah Josepha Hale (see more about her below). She shared widely circulated Thanksgiving recipes in newspapers.

Get creative, and maybe even start new traditions. If you don’t have a lot of turkey lovers in the group, consider replacing it with a duck, venison, or seafood—or a combination of any of these—knowing you are right in line with true Thanksgiving tradition.

Here in east Texas, many people skip the typically roasted bird for a Greenberg smoked turkey, a tender and aromatic delight people will wait in line for every year (it even made Oprah’s 2017 Favorite Things list!). So, do something different – a small tweak or a new tradition entirely – and add to the fun of your annual festivities.

Thanksgiving Took a While to “Take”

Washington made the first Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 3, 1789. But it wasn’t until 74 years later that Lincoln finally established the acknowledgment to Divine Providence as a national holiday.

Sarah Josepha Hale, (author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”), was the Champion of Thanksgiving. For many years, she wrote congressmen, governors, and five different presidents for an annual day to thank God for His great providence. Unsuccessfully. Up to then, the only national holidays were Independence Day and Washington’s Birthday.

Sarah’s final letter to President Lincoln was during the tense times following the Civil War. It was a plea to restore unity with a national day to give thanks to our Creator. He responded four days later with the Thanksgiving Proclamation on October 3, 1863.

The lesson here?

Nagging works. Okay, maybe that’s not the lesson, but we can learn a lot from one patient, smart, determined little lady who made the history books with her many accomplishments (check her out sometime!) She brought us Thanksgiving and all the recipes to celebrate it in style.

Texas Was Doubly Thankful

Up to 1941, every president—except FDR—would annually declare the last Thursday in November as the national day for giving thanks for divine providence. For three years, Roosevelt declared it the second to last Thursday in order to extend the shopping season. Half of the states joined him, the rest stuck with the tradition of the last Thursday in November. Except Texas, the state that decided to take BOTH as a holiday (we never overlook an opportunity to celebrate). Congress finally cut the confusion, declaring it the fourth Thursday of November.

So–like Texas–be doubly thankful for the blessings our God has poured out on us as a nation. He is doing marvelous things in His people and our leadership in these historic times. Enjoy this special day of food, fun, and laughter across the land, and smile as you think of all the blessings we have today that our forebears did not.

Like propane fireplaces, turkey fryers, and indoor plumbing. Oh, and football.