Posts Tagged With: Thankfulness


The games, the thankfulness, the feast, winter fruit,a giant slide, and Frisbee…

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From Benjamin Franklin:

“For my part, I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen representative of our country: he is a bird of bad moral character…For in truth, the turkey is in comparison a much more respectable bird withal, a true original native of America. Eagles have been found in all countries, but the turkey is peculiar to ours:…he is besides (though a little vain and silly, it is true) a bird of courage who would not hesitate to attack a grenadier of the British Guard who should presume to invade his farmyard with a red coat on.”

Ole Ben did some smart things, but this opinion, (in my opinion) wasn’t  one of them. But, worth a chuckle.

“Thanksgiving Day”, from Lydia Marie Child

“Over the river and through the wood,

Now grandmother’s cap I spy,

Hurrah for the fun!

Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!”

And, from William Dean Howells, 1837 -1920

“Thanksgiving day, I fear,

If one the solemn truth must touch,

Is celebrated, not so much

To thank the Lord for blessings o’er,

As for the sake of getting more!”

Hey, I think  that describes a bunch of us as we load up our overburdened plates!

But my favorite I think is this one from  “Mr. Dooley’s Opinions ” written in 1900. Presented by Finley Peter Dunne.

“Twas founded be the’ Puritans to give thanks f’r being’ presarved fr’m th’ Indyans,,,we keep  it to  give thanks we are presarved fr’m th’ Puritans.”

Now that’s a thought to mull.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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The goldrush town of Jamestown is near enough to Murphys to stroll and spend an hour or two. We walked the town and took some pictures. The light was bright and imposing and warming for a coldish November day. Casting long shadows on flagstones. When I moved to the motherlode, both ends of town still had remnants of their old boardwalk. Gone, now.

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The town wasn’t exactly proud of its entrepreneur founder, but finally decided to recognize John James for whom the town is named. Something everyone smiles about now. At least he didn’t get run out of town with tar and feathers. (Double click the photo)

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The town burned down in 1885 so the oldest buildings date from 1887.

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This tree, the owner of the building behind it, told me  was in an old picture of when his building was being built in 1887.

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It is an evergreen that I don’t recognize. He didn’t know either.

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Don’t you just love that there was a time when people found it desirable and worth the time to make utilitarian objects, like door handles, so beautiful?

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Jamestown is well known for its antique stores, there are many, and we poked around looking for a small table I would like to place next to my living room window. I found two I liked, but wasn’t bright enough to bring accurate measurements. They looked to be the right size?

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One store had this line of hanging animal traps with the sign at the bottom unreadable until I loaded my pictures into the computer. Not much of a deterrent to theft if you can’t see it.

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Economic recovery is slower in the mother lode than the cities. And we all worry about it. The Antiques stores are holding well, but several restaurants were gone. The Willow has been a landmark in Jamestown since before I arrived. I used to like their fondue, but I haven’t eaten there in years, and we didn’t stop for lunch because neighbor Jan was having a pot luck celebrating new beginnings, thanking her helpful friends.DSC01970 (Copy)

It was afternoon of a day with a new moon, a new housemate for Jan, new opportunities for Leslie and…by chance, a new heart for a neighbor. The transplant was the day before yesterday.

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Jan’s friend, Dixie, is a Wiccan believer and she lit a sage smoker and gave voice to a spell for all of us, for new beginnings, prosperity and good health.

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I was wearing a necklace that assumes any shape you put it in. Leslie turned it into the ying/yang life sign for me.  Dixie read an invocation and we all said a prayer for our hospitalized neighbor. Heart transplants seem common, but when it happens to someone you know, you suddenly realize how miraculous it is. We also remembered the person who donated a heart that someone else may live. Amen!



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Thanksgiving is a unique American holiday. A time to take stock, reflect on the good things in life and…a time to take goofy pictures.

A pomegranate almost the size of Owen’s head. It has dried, cracked and shrunk some since it was picked from their backyard tree.

It is November and crisp enough outside for sweaters. These guys never want to wear long pants or shoes unless they are visiting the snow. They are all legs.

My daughter is mentoring a Brazilian PHD student. Stuffed Turkey isn’t new to him, but Thanksgiving is. Each person at the table shares what we have to be thankful for on  this day.   I may rant about politics, but this is the greatest country on earth and I’m thankful for that.

Everyone gives a hand with the dinner.

After dinner the desserts: apple crisp, pear tart, pumpkin pie, and walnut pie. Son-in-law is the artistic pie baker. Equally fit for pilgrims and kings.

Then a walk in the park. And, if you walk with three biologists, you have to inspect what an owl ate for Thanksgiving. Little bones, feathers and a small skull are evidence in the owl pellet.

Marciel came here almost four months ago with no English. In Brazil, he had only played cards a couple of times. He did not know how to shuffle. No trump games or bidding. He learned three new card games, trump, bidding, betting. A new dice game. He then bested Doug seven games in a row too much howling on Doug’s part. We relished Doug’s loss and shouts of anguish at being bested.

The two grandma’s look like they’ve been sucking too long on a wine bottle. Goofy pictures are part of the deal, doncha know. We think we are a normal family, whatever normal is.



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We have three main family get togethers per year Independence Day Reunion, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. At times we are splintered, like this year.

Traffic was sane for the two-hour drive to Virginia’s, and in time to see the turkey come out of the oven for a  turn over from breast side down, to breast side up.The smells greeted us on the driveway before we entered the house. Now that alone is a special joy.

It takes three people to turn an 18 pound hot bird safely.

Virginia did the first basting.

Doug was teaching the boys to play Risk, a game of armies and geography.

Jim and I  set out the snacks, quite a bit lower in fat  from former years;  dilled green beans, crackers and cheese, a bit of salami, chips and Texas caviar.

We brought a new game, LCR, a fun and fast-moving dice game. Non-stop table games in shifts went on all day between snacking and tending the bird. Virginia taught us two new dice games, Threes and High Or Low. Both, challenging and easy to learn. We like to choose games the whole family can play in which the kids are equal to an adult by age seven.

Close to dinner time, eleven year old Owen peeled the potatoes. Two days before, both boys cracked walnuts from my tree for the walnut pie that Cedric is famous for. When the boys were too little to reach the table, it was their job to grind the cranberries in my old-fashioned hand grinder. At some point Owen discovered peeling potatoes and opted for that job on his own.

The turkey rested for 40 minutes while the previously tenderized in the microwave beets and sweet potatoes were roasted in the oven, green beans stir fired, the gravy made, potatoes mashed, and the salads put together.

Doug carved the turkey.

The table was ready with three different kinds of cranberry sauce, but Cedric, who gets teased by his wife and brother-in-law, loves canned cranberries over the fresh any time.

Cranberries we all love at Thanksgiving;  the more the merrier.

With the magic of electronic communications, we still managed time with each other. Ken & Laurie spent Thanksgiving at home with their sons since Stewart, away at college as a freshman, came home for the first time in three months. It was comfortable talking with family members on the screen. Kristanne, too, connected by phone from Southern California.

A walk to the park in friendly California weather, the desserts and conversation until bedtime.  We all expressed our thankfulness for each other, and we realize how fortunate we are.

And I am  thankful for my cyber friends that follow my blog and give me input on my daily scribbles and photos. You put up with my rants and let me know when I’ve pleased you. Without you, my blog would not exist. Cheers to all of you in the blogging community.

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