Once again we approach Thanksgiving and thoughts turn to those things and people for which we are especially thankful. Of course, I'm thankful for my wonderful and patient wife of more than 43 years, and our families and friends who provide us with love and support every day of the year.
This year, though, I'm especially thankful for Costa Mesa City Manager Allan Roeder and his team of dedicated employees who have kept the city running under the most dire financial conditions since the city was incorporated more than a half-century ago.
In addition to dealing with the ever-worsening budget dilemma for the past three years, Roeder and his team have also spent countless hours over the past 18 months trying to deal with the Orange County Fairgrounds sale.
So, this year I want to express my sincere gratitude to Roeder, who will retire in March after serving our city for more than three dozen years, and to the rest of his dedicated team. Thank you all for continuing to serve our city as true professionals through all this turmoil.
Despite all the staff cuts I know that my telephone call to City Hall will still be handled promptly by a smiling, courteous staff member who really wants to help solve my problem. Whether it's the police officer or firefighter responding to a call, the folks filling the potholes throughout the city, the crew cleaning up the graffiti around town or the new fellow driving the street sweeper in my neighborhood every Wednesday, they all just keep on working hard and make me proud I live in such a wonderful city.
Remember God today
Sitting down with family and friends today, we will offer thanks to the guiding hand of our father who brought us to this table — to his abundance, which still fills our shelves with food.
We pray he use the present disruption of our lives to bring all of us close together, with many small communities springing up forming families who care for one another.
Let us give thanks for the unexpected, for those who have passed on who have left their mark in our lives and for those we will yet embrace as we journey ever homeward as life renews itself without warning.
What would our lives look like if they held only what we have planned? Where would our wisdom and patience come from? Planning is our imagination's fantasies. Life is reality. It cannot be imagined or planned. It can only be lived.
Who of us can foretell with any accuracy what next Thanksgiving will bring?
It is the unexpected, the living in present time and rejoicing through our tears and sorrows as God unfolds our lives like a flower inside of all of us, that makes life worth living.
We here at Piecemakers thank God for all of you. Whether close or far, we are all part of one another's life. So let us all give thanks to our father who brings peace out of unrest, joy out of sorrow and a grateful heart out of that stony tomb of self.