This pre-Thanksgiving note is always my favorite to write because Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year. We even sent out Thanksgiving cards this year. What a wonderful country that sets aside a whole day to focus on gratitude and sets it up where most folks get four grateful days out of it. That’s enough reason to be grateful all by itself!
For the Petersons, Erik and Stephanie are expecting their first child, and Sean and Heather their third; both around the end of April, first of May. Family positively working together is pretty much the definition of “good life.”
You all interface with third time mom-to-be Heather, who is responsible for the subscriber side of AHO. Her husband Sean manages our fruit packing business but also built the new UPS site and is fast learning how to make it go.
First time dad-to-be Erik works with all your farmers, what to plant, how much to harvest each week, what’s a good price? You know, the easy stuff. He works with mom Carol to “build” a balanced box of produce each week. Erik also manages the production end of our own farming business. I really don’t think his role in AHO would work without the real-world experience of producing a profitable organic crop himself. He relates as a muddy booted peer rather than a purchasing agent.
And Carol makes it all work and make sense. The recipe here in the bottom corner has been her work for the past 500 weeks. She gives Erik the chef’s perspective of balance and grand-children tending is a triple win for all involved. My life’s partner is exactly that in all things; the recipe for a positive working family is to anchor it with a positive grandma, mom, and wife.
So, the Peterson Family has a great deal to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, not because life is trouble-free—if you have a pulse you’ve got trouble—but because we’re working with the hope of a better tomorrow for all of us.
This isn’t rose colored glasses optimism, or “Life’s peachy because we grow peaches.” Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said in Celebrating Life that: “It takes no courage to be an optimist, but it takes a great deal of courage to have hope.”
Humanity has three eternal forces: love, faith, and hope. A life without love isn’t worth living, without faith it’s meaningless, but without hope it’s an escape-proof pit. As I take in all the yucky stuff out there in the world, yuck’s common denominator is hopelessness.
Hope is the resilient spring in our step. Hope enables us to bounce back from disaster, hope wards off disease and helps us heal. We hear it ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings, but really, it ain’t over ‘til we lose hope, and without hope, we’ve lost even if we’re winning.
And to bring it back around, I am convinced gratitude—thanks-giving—is built on hope. This Thanksgiving, first answer the question: “I have hope because…” and then list all the things you’re thankful for.