NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Before they landed at Plymouth, they arrived at Cape Cod. The journey had taken longer than expected. No one expected the crossing to take two months. It was late in the growing season when they made land, and imagine their horror to find that near today's Provincetown was nothing but sand. None of their seeds would grow. Starvation seemed a likely ending.
They set sail again for the mainland of Massachusetts, where the ground was more hospitable. The new problem was sickness. The close quarters below ships deck and unsanitary conditions had weakened the settlers. Some days only a half-dozen were well enough to pick berries and build their common house. Half died that first winter. By springtime, only five women of child-bearing age were still alive.
And then in April the Mayflower was scheduled to return to England. The settlers, after 6 months in the new world, had to decide if they would stay or go. Some decided that staying would be their death. Who could blame them?
You know the happy ending. Native Americans helped the Pilgrims plant. There was a good harvest that fall. Seven houses were built that first year, and their numbers multiplied. And during their second November, they had a feast and gave thanks.
There are some people today who tell us that times are hard, and that we have less to be thankful for than past generations. Those people, of course, are mistaken.
Operations Manager-Midwest Communications, Wausau