As I was growing up my father always said a short prayer before our evening meal. It went like this:
"God bless us for what's for us, pardon our sins, and save us for Jesus' sake. Amen." It never varied, and was delivered rather flatly. My father had probably learned the prayer from his father, who may have learned it from his father....
It wasn't until I reached adulthood that it occurred to me that the prayer didn't really make sense. What did it mean to ask God's blessing for "what's for us?" After just a little bit of thought I realized that the original prayer was almost certainly, "God bless us and what is before us, pardon our sins, and save us, for Jesus' sake. Amen."
I guess it was the tradition and the feeling behind the words, not the meaning, that was most important to my father.
My mother's father, a Hungarian immigrant, was more pragmatic. At nearly every meal he would simply say, "We eat good in America!"
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Project Nutmeg, and how Ocracoke almost became a site for testing nuclear weapons. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news042112.htm.