The Catoctin Mountain in the Emmitsburg-Thurmont area offers up autumn in all its magnificence and grandeur, with its varying shades of red, orange, gold and yellow mixed together to form a tableau of the season’s grandest natural art.

This phenomenon is followed by Thanksgiving, the one day when we might allow ourselves a slight departure from the strictest or healthiest of diets so we can enjoy a plethora of comfort foods fit for a king.

It’s a grand season, marred somewhat by the ebb and flow of a pandemic but still managing to calm us and providing a breather from our daily concerns regarding the inexplicable developments of daily life.

The warmth and beauty of the season often distracts me from dwelling on the complex questions that ride in on my daily consumption of current events. Maybe if I share some of these questions with you, they will be even less likely to cause me indigestion on Thanksgiving. In no particular order, here are a few.

Why do so many people keep their Trump flags and yard signs on display this long after an election when they were never particularly “in your face” for any losing politician in the past?

Why do so many of the aforementioned flags and signs utilize profanity?

Why was there not an uproar over active-shooter drills in schools causing trauma in our children like the hue and cry we see now regarding masks in schools?

If anti-vaccine, anti-mask and open carry advocates claim it’s all about “freedoms,” why do their “freedoms” keep me inside?

Why do so many people allow that “boys will be boys” while at the same time suggesting that the behavior of women needs to be regulated by law?

How can people believe speed limits and highway regulations lower car accident fatalities, while believing that less regulation will solve gun violence in our country?

Why are we constantly compromising with our children, a spouse or a family member and yet voting for people who refuse to compromise?

How can we claim the high road by teaching our children not to lie or disrespect anyone when we accept lies and inappropriate behavior from the adults we vote for?

How did the former president of the United States, who was vaccinated, manage to create an army of anti-vaxxers?

Why don’t people realize that they need to use their own words to defend their voting choices, not the words of the person they are defending? Certain words and phrases are dead giveaways that you are just repeating what you heard.

If I was a peaceful protestor on the third day of a volatile situation, what would give me more comfort, an innocent person carrying an identifiable medical kit or someone with a rifle strapped to his body?

How did civil discourse, debate, discussion and compromise become dirty words in Congress? When Nancy Reagan said, “Just say no,” she was referring to saying no to drugs, not saying no to every proposal that came from Democrats.

What has happened to us as a people when we cheer and applaud the guy at an Idaho rally who asks, “How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?” Furthermore, when did it become OK for a politician to suggest later that it was a fair question? [New York Times, November 13, 2021]

How can we believe that behind refusals to accept mask mandates and FDA approved vaccines for children is a desire to protect our kids when protecting our kids and others is the purpose of mask mandates and vaccines?

Isn’t it easier to get rid of politicians you don’t like by voting against them than to take off work, get on a bus, go to a rally and commit criminal acts against a government that you, over the years, at least occasionally approved of?

“Why do people continue to believe in a lie no matter how many different ways it is proven to be a lie?

Why do we persist in showing the world the worst of ourselves instead of showing the world the good we can do when we work together?

There is no doubt these questions will persist, but over Thanksgiving, I’m going to temporarily put them aside, give worry a rest and give thanks for the beauty of the season, for family and for everything I do have. I hope you can do the same. Happy Thanksgiving!

Patricia Weller writes from Emmitsburg and can be reached at

(3) comments


Ms. Weller, people keep flying Trump flags and the derogatory signs about Biden the same way you harped and went on about Trump over the last few years. Biden is an slow witted Ding-a-ling as you claimed Trump was a fascist (or whatever). I think it's time you let the whole trump thing go, it would be much better for your health.


Like you, Ms. Weller, I feel like I got off the bus in an America that I don't recognize - one where compromise, fair governance and decency has evaporated. I spend much of my time in nature, reflecting upon these feelings which are intensely depressing. While I might have some disagreements with you on some of your concerns, we'd be able to talk about them without wishing ill upon each other and go our respective ways with respect for one another. That's what I'm trying to get back to and I cannot tolerate a country that is primed for a civil war driven by vocal minorities of rabid partisan nuts.



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