Sometimes we become so caught up in planning Thanksgiving dinner, travel and the like that we allow ourselves little time to–give thanks. Here are a few things that may sometimes be overlooked.
America is still a land of plenty in terms of food, and Idaho is a leader in food production. Though Idaho farmers do not specialize in raising turkeys or other poultry, if you want Idaho-sourced stuffing and potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner you are definitely in luck. Idaho is a leader in production of grains and beans as well as dairy products. Specialty farms produce garden seeds, fruit and vegetables so we don’t have to go far for farm-fresh food.
For the first time in decades, U.S. energy production has increased so we are much less reliant on foreign sources of fuel. Gas imports from Canada are approaching zero, and increasing use of compressed natural gas as a motor fuel will help the nation’s economy. Domestically-produced natural gas is so plentiful that Americans have no fear of being deprived of heat for their homes, a comforting thought as winter approaches.
Take a drive in Idaho, or even the more populous eastern states, and you’ll notice that the country is pretty empty. Despite suburban sprawl and multi-lane highways, there is still a lot of open space. Populations of some wildlife are increasing: white tailed deer in Oklahoma, bald eagles in Florida and coyotes in Virginia, to name a few. Most residents outside of major cities have opportunities to see wildlife and natural scenes.
Technology and the internet have placed educational and cultural resources at the disposal of most Americans that were undreamed of forty years ago. Performances of music and dance, movies and songs from every era are available on demand. America’s leading universities offer top-flight courses by renowned lecturers for free to anyone who has access to the internet through sites like Coursera, EDX and NovoEd.
And–Americans still have freedom to practice and proclaim their religious beliefs. Religion reminds us that human beings have been given intrinsic worth and the capacity to use reason by a kind creator.

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