So Very Thankful

There is a question everyone is asking these days. We’re checking our cupboards and cabinets and asking ourselves, “Do we have enough ____ ?” We all have memories of going to the store in 2020 and seeing the toilet paper row empty. My daughter lived in Switzerland at that time, in an apartment that straddled two grocery stores. I would text her a photo of an empty row at Walmart, and she would text back a photo showing the same situation in the stores below where she lived.

And now it seems that it could be happening again. The global supply chain is slowing down at the very moment when Americans are demanding that it go into overdrive. One-hour errands turn into multi-hour odysseys, as we go from one store to the next trying to find what we need. Next-day deliveries are becoming day-after-next-after-next deliveries. That furniture you ordered? Think six months. The new washing machine you needed yesterday – the store is waiting on the factory for delivery, but washers aren’t being manufactured because the factory is waiting on parts.

The most dramatic expression of this snag in the supply chain is the surplus of loaded cargo containers stacked on ships bobbing off the coast of Los Angeles and Long Beach. There is a shortage of trucks, truckers, and port workers to get the supplies moving across the U.S. Then, because ships can’t be unloaded, there aren’t enough empty containers in transit to go back for more of the supplies that consumers are trying to buy. And even sadder, when the containers are finally unloaded and ready to travel back to China or another country, they are going back empty. With high demand connected to limited supply, prices are spiraling. Economics 101.

In spite of all this bad news, I have to say there is so much to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day. In the world of my dulcimer music, things are going well and I thank the Lord for the blessing of having all y'all as my online pickin’ and hammerin’ friends.

In addition, I am so very thankful that there is no shortage of …

  • … smiles from friends, co-workers, and family members (or sometimes tears) when I play a special hymn for them.
  • … encouraging words from the same folks if I make a mistake (or two or three) while playing a tune.
  • … new dulcimer music to learn, new genres to investigate, new techniques to explore on my instruments.
  • … dulcimer festivals to attend – both online and now, finally, even in person.
  • … online dulcimer teachers, videos, and teaching websites such as Dulcimer Crossing – so we could continue to develop our skills even while we were “benched” at home.

On this Thanksgiving, let’s put aside thoughts of past or possible future shortages and just focus on what we DO have. Life is beautiful, the gift of music is wonderful, and I am very grateful for the way God has looked after all of us through this past year.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!



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