The World and Everything in It—November 25, 2019

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

The U.S. Supreme Court considers an emotional case: whether the family of a Mexican boy, shot on Mexican soil, by an American border agent, can sue in American courts.

NICK EICHER, HOST: That’s ahead on Legal Docket.

Also on the Monday Moneybeat, more signs of recovery in the housing market. But one big problem remains: not enough starter homes.

Plus, the WORLD Radio History Book. Twenty years ago, a boy from Cuba finds himself in the middle of an international custody battle.

RENO: This case has struck the heart and soul of the world.

REICHARD: It’s Monday, November 25th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now the news. Here’s Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Navy secretary fired over SEAL scandal » Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday fired the secretary of the Navy.

The move stems from a case involving Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher—a Navy SEAL whom President Trump pardoned. Spencer had allegedly gone behind Esper’s back to propose a deal with the White House to resolve the matter. 

On Saturday, Spencer spoke at a security conference and denied reports that he threatened to resign over Gallagher’s pardon. 

SPENCER: Contrary to popular belief, I am still here. I did not threaten to resign. But let’s just say that we’re here to talk about external threats, and Eddie Gallagher is not one of them. 

A military jury convicted Gallagher of posing with a dead ISIS fighter in Iraq in 2017. The Navy then demoted him. But earlier this month, the president pardoned him and restored his rank. 

A few days later, the Navy notified Gallagher that he would face a review board hearing to determine if he should be allowed to remain in the elite force.

Gallagher told Fox News that higher ups were angry over the president’s pardon. 

GALLAGER: This is all about ego and retaliation. This has nothing to do with good order and discipline. 

In a written statement, Secretary Esper said of Richard Spencer—quote—“I am deeply troubled by this conduct shown by a senior DOD official.” He added that Secretary Spencer no longer had his confidence.

Esper also said it’s clear to him Gallagher cannot get a fair shake from the Navy. He had directed officials to cancel the review board hearing and allow him to retire at the end of this month at his current rank.

Pence visits Kurds, U.S. troops in unannounced Iraq visit » Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced visit to Iraq over the weekend—where he told Kurdish allies that America is still on their side. 

PENCE: The United States is prepared to partner with them further to ensure that their governance and meeting the needs of their people is achieved and those objectives for long-term security and prosperity. 

The vice president met with Kurdish leader Nechirvan Barzani in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region. 

Hours later, the Pentagon announced that U.S. troops and Kurdish commandos carried out a joint operation against ISIS militants in Syria. Coalition officials say they captured dozens of militants. 

It was the biggest joint mission since President Trump ordered a pullback of U.S. forces in northern Syria. That move opened the door for Turkey’s cross-border assault on Kurdish forces there.

Pence also delivered an early Thanksgiving message to U.S. troops at Al Asad Air Base. 

PENCE: You’re the best of us. You volunteered to serve. And every American is proud of you and more thankful for your service than you’ll ever know. 

The vice president and his wife Karen also served turkey and stuffing to hundreds of soldiers. 

Justice Ginsberg released from hospital » The Supreme Court says Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been released from a Baltimore hospital where she was treated for a possible infection.

A spokesperson for the court said the 86-year-old has returned to her home in Washington, D.C., and is “doing well.”

Ginsburg spent two nights at Johns Hopkins Hospital after experiencing chills and fever.

Ginsburg has had four occurrences of cancer, including two in the past year. 

Bloomberg announces presidential campaign » Another candidate has jumped into the big Democratic presidential field. 

AUDIO: Mike Bloomberg for president: jobs creator, leader, problem solver… 

The former New York City mayor formally declared his White House bid on Sunday, ending weeks of speculation. 

Bloomberg is one of the world’s richest men, and his deep ties to Wall Street could be a liability with the party’s liberal base. 

Bloomberg has vowed to spend at least $150 million of his fortune on his campaign. And a Bloomberg adviser said the candidate will not accept any political donations or take a salary if elected.

Already some rivals are accusing Bloomberg of trying to buy the Democratic nomination. 

Pro-democracy candidates gain in Hong Kong elections » In Hong Kong, partial returns early Monday from Hong Kong’s local elections showed that pro-democracy candidates making significant gains. 

Sunday’s vote drew a massive turnout. Former student leaders are among the winners. Rally organizer Jimmy Sham also won—after suffering injuries from hammer-wielding assailants last month. 

Early results showed pro-democracy candidates winning 159 out of 452 seats in 18 district council races.

Hong Kong’s largest pro-Beijing political party suffered the biggest setback. More than a hundred of its 182 candidates lost. 

Frozen II shatters box office record in opening weekend » At the weekend box office, a record-breaking debut for Disney’s Frozen II.

TRAILER: Elsa, the past is not what it seems. You must find the truth.

The sequel to the 2013 blockbuster hauled in $127 million domestically. Worldwide, it took in $350 million in its opening weekend. That’s the biggest global opening for an animated film ever

Another weekend debut, the Mr. Rogers biopic A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks, took in $14 million. 

TRAILER: It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor …

That was good for third place. Ford v Ferrari finished second with another $16 million. 

You can find WORLD’s reviews of Frozen II, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, and other current films—along with ratings and content information—at

I’m Kent Covington. This is The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER: It’s Monday morning and time to saddle up for another week of The World and Everything in It. Today is the 25th of November, 2019. 

Good morning to you, I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Well, the Supreme Court is on hiatus for the Thanksgiving holiday until next Monday, so we’ll use that time to catch up at least somewhat on oral arguments. 

First, a case with facts that’ll break your heart. 

Back in 2010, some teenage boys from Mexico were playing dare. They were on the border with the United States, between El Paso and Cuidad Juarez.

The boys dared each other to run across the border and then run back.

EICHER: One of the boys was 15-year-old Sergio Hernandez. 

While this game was going on, Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa arrived on the scene. One of the boys was detained on the U.S. side of the border. But Hernandez ran back to the Mexican side. Mesa, standing on American soil, shot across the border and killed the teenager.

REICHARD: And that’s the complicating factor: the boy was killed not on American soil, but Mexican soil. 

The Obama administration’s Department of Justice declined to charge Mesa. 

So Hernandez’ family sued Mesa, alleging he violated their son’s rights by using excessive force. That, in violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection from unreasonable search and seizure and the Fifth Amendment’s right to due process. 

But their son was not an American citizen.

So the legal question before the Supreme Court is whether this family can sue Mesa in American courts.

EICHER: Now, here’s a phrase to know: “Bivens action.” That’s shorthand for a Supreme Court decision from 1971, Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents

In that ruling, the justices found an individual has the right to sue a federal agent if that federal agent in certain situations violates his constitutional rights. The question is whether that “Bivens action” should be extended to the Hernandez family.

REICHARD: Now on to the oral argument. 

Justice Stephen Breyer described the border scene in this exchange with Randolph Ortega. He’s the lawyer defending Mesa, the border agent.

BREYER: We know this place by picture. It’s a culvert. It’s a big culvert, like here to the end of the room. And there’s a bridge. And across these bridge, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people walk each day on their way to work or on their way home. Now a border agent who’s standing near the bridge picks up a gun and shoots one of them. If he’s crossed that imaginary line in the center of the bridge, I take it, you agree that you can bring a Bivens action? 

ORTEGA: That’s correct.

BREYER: And if he is an American and on the other side, you agree he can bring a Bivens action?

ORTEGA: That would be correct, Your Honor.

BREYER: Okay. So the only person who cannot bring a Bivens action—and the border agent has no idea whether he’s shooting such a person—is someone who is just on the Mexican side of the imaginary line on the bridge and whom he shot deliberately or roguely or whatever.

ORTEGA: That would be correct, but—

Justice Breyer pointed out court precedent that suggested if Congress doesn’t act on a problem and the courts can weigh the costs and benefits of allowing a lawsuit to move forward, then that’s the standard to follow. 

But Ortega, again lawyer for Mesa, the Border Patrol agent, warned against extending Bivens to another country. There’d be no end of troubles with that, he argued.

Ortega ran into more pressure from justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.

GINSBURG: Here, we have a rogue officer acting in violation of the agency’s own instruction, using excessive force to kill a child at play. How does that call into question any foreign policy or national security policy?

ORTEGA: Well, it would create a chilling effect as to the Border Patrol agents in conducting their day-to-day activities…

SOTOMAYOR: Well, doesn’t that happen if the shooting happened in our own land? Meaning a Border Patrol agent who sees a child at play and kills him two feet from the line is not chilled. He knows he can’t do that. What makes it chilling to tell a Border Patrol agent don’t shoot indiscriminately at children standing a few feet from the border? 

Justice Sotomayor also noted an amicus brief filed by a former official with Border Patrol. It cites multiple incidents of excessive force and questionable killings by border agents, with no follow up or discipline at the agency. 

Why create a class of Border Patrol agents immersed in such a corrupted agency and make them immune from lawsuits, she asked. 

The answer came from government lawyer Jeffrey Wall, also arguing in support of Mesa. This is for legislative debate, not courts, he said. 

As for bad behavior by Border Patrol, Wall cited a 70 percent drop in the use of force with firearms at the border in recent years.

Other justices focused on how all kinds of harms might be unintentionally caught up with a ruling for the family in this particular case. 

Listen to this exchange between the lawyer for the Hernandez family, Stephen Vladeck, and Justice Neil Gorsuch.

VLADECK: So, I mean, I—obviously, I wouldn’t decide more than is necessary. But I do think—

GORSUCH: Ah, ah, okay. That’s what—that’s what I thought you’d say.

VLADECK: But, but, Justice Gorsuch—

GORSUCH: All right. And so—so where is, if—if you’re not willing to draw that line, where is it? And how is this Court supposed to draw it? You say you could say this, but I wouldn’t say it. All right. 

Where would you draw the line?

This is the second time this matter is before the high court. The first go round, the justices sent the case back to lower court to sort out whether the family had a Bivens claim. When that court decided they didn’t, the family appealed to the Supreme Court. 

And this time around, Chief Justice John Roberts saw a foreign relations problem.

ROBERTS: There has been diplomatic correspondence between the Mexican government and our government with respect to this incident. The Border Patrol has conducted an investigation, and it reached the determination that the action of the agent was not contrary to policy. And you would have the courts look into this by … providing a Bivens remedy that could well come to the opposite conclusion. 

So that in terms of our relations with Mexico, we’d have one agency saying this was not 
inconsistent with policy. We’d have the court saying it is….with respect to foreign relations, I thought the country was supposed to speak with one voice. 

VLADECK: So I do—I certainly agree that the—that the country is supposed  to speak with one voice, Mr. Chief Justice. 

This is not an easy case, if you remove emotions from the equation.

Strong arguments exist on both sides. 

This family has no other remedy for the loss of their child, save for a lawsuit to prove agent Mesa used excessive force against their son and then convince a jury that they are entitled to damages.

For its part, Border Patrol sometimes has to make quick decisions in matters of national security. Terrible things can happen.

The facts in this case are far different from the facts in the Bivens case. That involved a warrantless search of the home of an American citizen. And Congress has been silent about extending Bivens to other situations. 

The justices seemed divided on yet another case where if Congress did its job, they’d not be involved at all.

This next case is a complex stew of badly written law requiring interpretation that will affect thousands of non-citizens with criminal records. 

It’s also sure to raise the ire of citizens

How badly written is this law? Well, here’s how Justice Breyer put it.

BREYER: I know, but I can’t think—that isn’t going to be an answer because they’d say, sometimes they do say A/B, sometimes they don’t say A/B, it wasn’t a genius who drafted this and he forgot the A and the B and he—but he did put in the or. And so, all right, I’ve got that point. 

Here are the facts. 

Andre Barton came from Jamaica to the United States on a tourist visa in 1989. Three years later, he became a permanent resident. 

A few years after that, Barton received multiple convictions for assault, property damage, and various drug offenses. 

Finally in 2016, the Department of Homeland Security began removal proceedings to deport Barton. He had to have gone seven years in continuous residence without committing any crimes. DHS says Barton didn’t do that, so he is ineligible to apply for cancelation of his removal. 

But Barton argues he is entitled to fight his removal proceedings because federal immigration law says a permanent resident alien is “removable” only if he is “inadmissible.” 

Barton says he was already admitted, so he’s not “inadmissible.” And he disputes the time clock: he says he’d met that seven years without a crime rule, albeit barely. 

Justice Ginsburg asked Barton’s lawyer, Adam Unikowsky, a blunt question, reflecting the government’s perspective.

GINSBURG: Why wouldn’t Congress want the clock to stop when an alien has committed a qualifying offense showing that he has abused the hospitality of the United States?

Unikowsky replied that Congress hadn’t listed his client’s specific crimes as precluding him from relief from removal proceedings. Sort of a “give the guy the benefit of the doubt” argument. 

But the plain language of the statute says otherwise, according to the lawyer for the government, assistant to the solicitor general Frederick Liu.

LIU: The statutory text alone is enough to resolve this case… Now petitioner says there’s an added requirement in the statute, that requirement being that he must be seeking admission. But that requirement can’t be found in the text of Section 1182(a)(2).

And then rotten fish entered the argument. Justice Samuel Alito echoed the lower court’s way to think about the word “inadmissible.” Listen to this exchange with Liu, for the government, and justices Alito and Elena Kagan.

ALITO: So, if a fish rots and it is inedible, they say, well, it was inedible before the person ate it. But, under Justice Breyer’s interpretation of admissibility, suppose this person eats the fish and then goes to the emergency room to have his stomach pumped, would the doctor say, well, the fish wasn’t actually inedible because he ate it? [Laughter] 

LIU: No, no, you wouldn’t, because the fish has the status of being inedible, whether someone has—


LIU: —eaten it—

KAGAN: But, Mr. Liu—

LIU: —or is trying to eat it or not. 

KAGAN: This really is dependent on context because you wouldn’t say is car is immovable if the car has just been moved…

BREYER: Before you leave this, I’ll think about the fish. I’m not sure I got the fish, but I’ll think about the fish. [Laughter] 
But I’m back in what in heaven’s name is that clause doing there.

So this is a technical argument about how to interpret a terribly written law. A broad reading would mean lots of criminal aliens would be deported. A more narrow reading like Barton wants is arguably contrary to congressional intent. 

And that’s this week’s Legal Docket.

MARY REICHARD: Coming next on The World and Everything in It, the Monday Moneybeat.

NICK EICHER: The housing market continues its recovery: Sales of existing homes climbed in October 2 percent over the previous month, and now 4.6 percent year-on-year. This is good news for a sector that for the first time in the past nearly two years added to Gross Domestic Product in the 3rd quarter, instead of acting as a drag on economic growth.

There remain a few kinks in the housing sector, though: What’s driving growth is higher-end homeowners selling to other higher-end homeowners, and first-time buyers are largely priced out of the market because of a tight supply of starter homes. Growth in the overall market is concentrated in the price range north of $250,000. Below that range, sales declined.

Right now, the supply of homes for sale is at the lowest point since March. A healthy real-estate market would have a six-month supply to meet buyer demand. But a National Association of Realtors estimate says the available supply is less than four months. The economic principle is, tight supply puts upward pressure on prices, and even low interest rates aren’t enough of a counterbalance.

Here’s the good news: Home construction jumped almost 4 percent in October versus September, and builders also secured more permits for single-family home and apartment construction—5 percent more. That’s a positive sign for future housing supply.

REICHARD: Trade warriors President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping say they are getting closer to trade peace. Both sides issued statements last week: Xi said China doesn’t want the trade war, but will fight back as necessary. 

President Trump suggested President Xi needs a deal more than he does: “I’m not anxious to make it,” Trump said, nevertheless an end to trade hostilities is, his words, “potentially very close.”

The Wall Street Journal reported last Thursday that China’s lead negotiator in the talks has invited his American counterparts to Beijing for more talks, and that seems to mean there may be some progress. The sticking points remain China’s insistence that the United States roll back tariffs already in place, and America’s insistence that China stop stealing trade secrets from companies chartered in the United States.

EICHER: Well, the six-week winning streak came to an end last week on Wall Street. The week started well, with all the major stock indexes reaching new highs: The Standard & Poor’s 500 and the Dow Jones Industrials each set records on Monday. The Nasdaq set record highs Monday and Tuesday. 

But it was downhill from there: Although the stock indexes finished the week well, it wasn’t good enough to erase midweek losses. The S&P 500 finished off three-tenths for the week. The Dow down half a percentage point. And the Nasdaq off two-tenths. 

And that is today’s Monday Moneybeat.

NICK EICHER: Hey, here’s a possible solution to the housing supply problem I just told you about: an offer for free house.

It’s in New Jersey, but that’s no big deal. It’s a handsome 3,300 square foot Victorian. It was built in 1910. Six bedrooms. Two-and-a-half baths.

Tom Lipinter heads up a construction company building an addition to the church that owns the house. He told WPIX tv:

LIPINTER: You don’t see ’em built like this anymore, for sure.

No, you don’t. This is quite the catch. But there is a catch. The house doesn’t come with the land it’s on. So any taker is going to have to move it. Like, literally move the house. And that’s not going to cost nothing.

LIPINTER: I would say 100 plus, depending on how far you go.

When we’re talking numbers in real-estate, we talk thousands. So 100-plus means $100,000 plus. Lipinter told News 12 New Jersey it’s doable, though.

LIPINTER: You put steel beams under the house. They have a system of hydraulics that will lift the house all in one shot.

If no one claims the home, you know what’s going to happen, right. They’ll demolish it to make room for—what else? A parking lot!

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER: Today is Monday, November 25th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. 

Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: the WORLD Radio History Book.

Twenty years ago, a boy is found floating in an inner tube near Florida. Plus, in 1984, musicians record a song to raise money for famine victims.

EICHER: But first, the story behind a 95-year old Thanksgiving tradition. Here’s Paul Butler.

PAUL BUTLER, REPORTER: We begin today on November 24th, 1924, in New York City. The employees of Macy’s department store dress up and parade 6 miles from Herald Square to Harlem. 

Macy’s “Big Christmas Parade” features elephants, bears, and monkeys from the Central Park Zoo. The parade ends with Santa Claus and his reindeer sleigh pulling up to Macy’s front door. He mounts a golden throne and declares the Christmas shopping season open.

The parade is so successful, for both the store and the city, it becomes an annual event with millions of attendees every year. 

AUDIO: A million people line New York streets to see the Thanksgiving parade…

In 1927, lighter than air balloons replace the live animals—becoming the most well known feature of the parade. Felix the cat was the first character balloon. Fan favorites over the years have included the Happy Dragon, Mickey Mouse, and Smokey Bear. But the character balloon making the most appearances since 1924 is: Charles Schultze’s Snoopy… 

AUDIO: Snoopy, you’re a jewel. We love you…

Snoopy returns for the 40th time during this year’s parade. The balloon is 49 feet tall and takes 90 people to control. Snoopy is dressed as an astronaut—celebrating the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon. 

Next, 35 years ago:

AUDIO: [Sound of artist arriving at studio]

After watching a documentary on the Ethiopian famine, Irish rock-singer Bob Geldof decides he has to do something. 

AUDIO: It’s a complete obscenity that at the moment the grain silos of Europe and Midwest America are bursting with food…

Within a month, Geldof convinces more than 30 famous Irish and British artists to donate their time and talents to record a charity song co-written by Ultravox frontman Midge Ure. The proceeds are for famine relief. 

On November 25th, 1984, Sting, Boy George, George Michael, and the chorus of A-list pop-stars begin recording:

AUDIO: There’s a world outside your window, and it’s a world of dread and fear… 

The British press describes the gathering as: “The Billion Dollar Band.” Film footage of the recording session reveals a circus like atmosphere. But many of the artists also seem melancholy over the tragic situation. U2’s Bono: 

BONO: There is people starving to death and people in Rock and Roll are overfed. And you worry about it. You worry about your place in it… 

Audio from a 1984 “making of” documentary. Columbia Records United Kingdom releases the recording about a week later. The single sells a million copies in the first week, making it one of the fastest selling singles in UK chart history. 

AUDIO: At Christmas time, we let in light, and we banish shade…

Thirty-five years later, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” is ubiquitous. But the song has been heavily criticized for its caricature of Africa—a view that writer Bob Geldof shares, at least in part. 

In a 2010 interview with the Daily Telegraph, Geldof said: “I am responsible for two of the worst songs in history…” speaking of the Christmas standard and its sequel: “We Are the World.” But he added that the projects were never about music, rather about raising money. And that seems to be exactly what Band Aid did. Earning figures vary, but the Telegraph credits: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” as raising $24 million for humanitarian relief. 

SONG: Feed the world, let them know that Christmas time is here…

And finally, Thanksgiving day 20 years ago. In the early morning hours of November 25th, 1999, two fishermen find a boy clinging to an inner tube off the Florida coast. The boy’s name is Elian Gonzalez.

Four days earlier, he and his mother joined 12 other refugees fleeing Cuba in an aluminum boat. Bad weather and rough seas filled the small vessel with water. The motor failed. Elians’ mother placed him in the inner tube fearing for his safety. Elian fell asleep but when he awoke, his mother was gone. 

U.S. officials grant temporary custody of the boy to his uncle, Lazaro Gonzalez. Meanwhile, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, Elian’s estranged father in Cuba, demands his return. 

RENO: This case has struck the heart and soul of the world…

The immigration, asylum, and custody battles rage for months. But eventually Attorney General Janet Reno announces the U.S. will return Elian to his father. 

RENO: I think we must take enforcement action based on the facts as they arise at the time…

Elian’s uncle refuses to cooperate. So in the early morning hours of April 22nd, 2000, armed U.S. federal agents forcibly remove the boy from his uncles’ arms.

AUDIO: [Agents remove Elian Gonzalez from uncle’s home]

Two months later, Elian and his father return home to a hero’s welcome. 

AUDIO: [Crowd welcoming Elian to Cuba]

Today, Gonzalez is 25 and works as a technology specialist in Cuba. He says he’d like to return to the U.S.—but only for a visit.

That’s this week’s WORLD Radio History Book. I’m Paul Butler.

MARY REICHARD: Today is Monday, November 25th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. WORLD commentator Kim Henderson now on wildflowers and gratitude.

KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: In February, with spring just around the corner, I pulled out a gardening DVD and watched it until I was fully inspired. I knew just the right place for my field of dreams.

Next, I had to sell my husband on the spot. It was flat. Sunny. He succumbed, but the work was hard. He plowed, then plowed some more. 

Good Friday came and went, and we knew we had to get some seeds in the ground. This would be no ordinary pea patch, though. I proposed exotic pumpkins and spaghetti squash. He wanted a row of cotton. We both thought the pound of deer-resistant wildflower seed was a nice idea. 

It’s a good thing I kept our usual herbs close to my kitchen, since nothing edible came from my field of dreams. Time to hoe and haul hoses a hundred yards was hard to come by. As they say in these parts, things went to pot. Everything, that is, except my wildflowers. That 50-by-5-foot effort seemed to thrive on inattention.

For nearly six months, it was a showstopper of cut-and-come again California giants, dahlia, cosmos, aster—and God’s wondrous creativity. I kept my vases full and gave away bouquets and invitations to come pick yourself silly. Drivers had floral eye candy to catch on their commute. Mamas had a good place to plop babies for photo ops. Hummingbirds and butterflies had a feast.

With summer still hanging in the air, I took a pair of granddarlings to the flower patch to snip dead tops. Later we sat in the floor and twisted the heads until seeds—wads of them—fell into our bowls. I packaged the precious byproduct, along with a good measure of hope.

Recently temperatures dropped, and our field of dreams did its death dance. Petals curled. Stems bent. Brilliant lilacs, fuchsias, and golds vanished in the night. I regretted that I missed one last harvest, and I stopped to consider the real value of a $20 bag of seed.

If the weather holds and the Lord wills, on Thanksgiving we’ll front our barn with a row of folding tables and lay them with linens and china and foods both familiar and foreign. (Yes, I’m slipping in a few new recipes.) 

The granddarlings will laugh on the trampoline, and the grandguys will move from lap to lap. The cousins will catch up, and their grandparents will tell them to speak up. We’ll pass tea and rolls and time. Together.

And just before a baseball game begins in the pasture, I plan to pull out my bags of seeds and pass them around. As I remind my loved ones of big purchases made this year—cars, homes, trips, and such—I want to tell all who will listen what joy a simple patch of flowers brought me. I will encourage them to be thankful for the small things, and I hope they will hear.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Kim Henderson.

NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: More and more children in foster care are finding their forever homes. We’ll talk about what’s behind that good news.

And, we’ll tell you about a longtime Christian ministry to drug addicts that’s now seeking government money to help out. But with it comes government strings that may compromise mission.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Give thanks to the Lord,  for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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