“Take full account of what excellencies you possess, and in gratitude remember how you would hanker after them, if you had them not.” ~ Marcus Aurelius, from Meditations

From our house to yours . . .


“The funny thing about Thanksgiving ,or any big meal, is that you spend 12 hours shopping for it then go home and cook,chop,braise and blanch. Then it’s gone in 20 minutes and everybody lies around sort of in a sugar coma and then it takes 4 hours to clean it up.” ~ Ted Allen, from The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

How about a little Thanksgiving history, including some similar feasts around the world . . .

Did you know?

  • The cornucopia, or horn of plenty, one of the symbols of Thanksgiving, comes from ancient Greeks and Romans. The term (generally describing a horn-shaped basket filled with fruit, flowers and other goodies) comes from the Latin cornu copiae, literally “horn of plenty.” In Greek mythology, the cornucopia is an enchanted severed goat’s horn, created by Zeus to produce a never-ending supply of whatever the owner desires.
  • In England, the September 23 Harvest Festival goes back thousands of years, during which plaited corn dolls were hung in the rafters. The pagans believed that the Spirit of the Corn resided in the first cut sheaf of corn. During the Harvest Festival, children take fruits and vegetables to churches and schools for distribution to the elderly and the needy.
  • Thanksgiving is a part of U.S. military history, including days of Thanksgiving during both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
  • In Germany, Erntedankfest is officially celebrated in October, but can be celebrated anytime during the fall. Following the Erntedankfest celebration, the unused food is distributed to the needy.
  • Pumpkin pie has been around for hundred of years, possibly dating back to the 1500s during which a dessert was made by stewing pumpkins and wrapping it in pastry. During the 17th century, recipes for pumpkin pie could be found in English cookbooks, but it wasn’t until about the 19th century that pumpkin pie similar to what we know today became a Thanksgiving staple. John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a poem called the pumpkin in 1850: “What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie?” Lydia Maria Child’s poem (later a song) “Over the River and Through the Woods” (1844), includes the following verses:
Over the river, and through the wood—
When Grandmother sees us come,
She will say, “O, dear, the children are here,
bring a pie for everyone.”
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!
  • One of the biggest and most important holidays in Korea is Chuseok, a three-day harvest festival that is s celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. In the morning, foods prepared with the year’s fresh harvest are set out to give thanks to ancestors through Charye (ancestor memorial service). After Charye, families visit their ancestors’ graves and engage in Beolcho, a ritual of clearing the weeds that may have grown up over the burial mound.
  • The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1924 and has been held every year since, except for 1942-44 because of WWII. The first major balloon featured in the parade was Felix the Cat, in 1927. Floats were introduced in 1971. Each parade has ended with the appearance of Santa Claus.

Seriously though,  I hope the day finds you warm (or cool, depending upon your hemisphere), safe, and with family or friends, that your table has enough to fill your hunger, your glass has enough to slate your thirst, and your body feels the comfort of close companionship. And tonight, when everyone has gone, and the table has been cleared, may you spare a thought for those out there who find clean water a luxury, warm food a bounty, and a safe pillow something found only in dreams.

I miss you, Dad.

More later. Peace.

Music by John Denver, “The Wings that Fly us Home.” (yes, it’s blatantly sentimental)

                   

Moment

Before the adults we call our children arrive with their children in tow
for Thanksgiving,

we take our morning walk down the lane of oaks and hemlocks, mist
a smell of rain by nightfall—underfoot,

the crunch of leathery leaves released by yesterday’s big wind.

You’re ahead of me, striding into the arch of oaks that opens onto the fields
and stone walls of the road—

as a V of geese honk a path overhead, and you stop—

in an instant, without thought, raising your arms toward sky, your hands
flapping from the wrists,

and I can read in the echo your body makes of these wild geese going
where they must,

such joy, such wordless unity and delight, you are once again the child
who knows by instinct, by birthright,

just to be is a blessing. In a fictional present, I write the moment down.
You embodied it.

~ Margaret Gibson

If it’s Friday, it must mean leftovers . . .

If you Google “Do a Barrel Roll,” the whole screen will literally do a barrel roll.

Couldn’t post yesterday as I had to chauffeur Alexis back and forth and then try to buy some groceries, which was way harder than it needed to be. More strange dreams last night. I remembered them, and then I didn’t. Oh well . . .

A Friday ear worm for you:

Literary drunk texts by :

Document1

Not at all strange:

I love these digital collages made by Scorpion Dagger (James Kerr), who says that he creates them using northern and early Renaissance paintings:

More stuff from Ultra Facts:

And finally, from the too stupid not to be true files:

                   

Music by Madness, “Our House” (what else?)

Two of my most favorite songs . . .

Last day of Muppet Christmas Carols. I had wanted to include the “Peace Carol,” but couldn’t find any version that didn’t sound as if it was coming from a wind tunnel . . .

Where the River Meets the Sea

**********

Silent Night

“I drank coffee and read old books and waited for the year to end.” ~ Richard Brautigan, from Trout Fishing In America

“the tea smoke
and the willow
together trembling” ~ Kobayashi Issa

Internet was out until late today. I fell asleep in the wee hours of the morning and did not sleep well, awaking with a headache and heavy sinuses. Spent most of today dealing with customer service representatives. I am completely spent.

I can only offer you this . . .

My love affair with coffee is only surpassed by my much longer love affair with tea, which I began to drink when I was but a child. England, you know. Milky tea and hot bread and butter. Good times . . .

A cup of tea by tee-magazin.de

                   

A Sweetening All Around Me As It Falls

Even generous August
only a child’s scribblings
on thick black paper, in smudgeable chalk –
even the ripening tomatoes, even the roses,
blowsy, losing their fragrance of black tea.
A winter light held this morning’s apples
as they fell, sweet, streaked by one touch
of the careless brush, appling to earth.
The seeds so deep inside they carry that cold.
Is this why some choose solitude, to rise
that small bit further, unencumbered by love of earth,
as the branches, lighter, kite now a little higher
on gold air? But the apples love the earth and falling,
lose themselves in it as much as they can at first touch
and then, with time and rain, at last completely:
to be that bone-like One that shines unleafed in
winter rain,
all black and glazed with not the pendant gold of
necklaced summer but the ice-color mirroring
starlight
when the earth is lonely and dark and knows nothing
of apples.
Seed-black of the paper, seed-black of the waiting
heart—
December’s shine, austere and fragile, carves the
visible tree.
But today, cut deep in last plums, in yellow pears,
in second flush of roses, in the warmth of an hour,
now late,
as drunk on heat as the girl who long ago vanished
into green trees,
fold that loneliness, one moment, two, love, back into
your arms.

~ Jane Hirshfield

                   

Music by Maggie Siff, “Lullaby for a Soldier”

Happy Thanksgiving . . . Bonne Action de grâce . . . Feliz Día de Gracias . . . Glad tacksägelsedag . . . Herzliche Danksagung

Set up and of course, forgot to schedule to post . . .

autumn

                   

First Thanksgiving

When she comes back, from college, I will see
the skin of her upper arms, cool,
matte, glossy. She will hug me, my old
soupy chest against her breasts,
I will smell her hair! She will sleep in this apartment,
her sleep like an untamed, good object,
like a soul in a body. She came into my life the
second great arrival, after him, fresh
from the other world—which lay, from within him,
within me, Those nights, I fed her to sleep,
week after week, the moon rising,
and setting, and waxing—whirling, over the months,
in a slow blur, around our planet.
Now she doesn’t need love like that, she has
had it. She will walk in glowing, we will talk,
and then, when she’s fast asleep, I’ll exult
to have her in that room again,
behind that door! As a child, I caught
bees, by the wings, and held them, some seconds,
looked into their wild faces,
listened to them sing, then tossed them back
into the air—I remember the moment the
arc of my toss swerved, and they entered
the corrected curve of their departure.

~ Sharon Olds

                     

Nick Drake, “Blues Run the Game”

“There are a few moments in your life when you are truly and completely happy, and you remember to give thanks. Even as it happens you are nostalgic for the moment, you are tucking it away in your scrapbook.” ~ David Benioff, from When the Nines Roll Over and Other Stories

Andrew Wyeth Army Blanket 1957

“Army Blanket” (1957, watercolor on paper laid down on board)
by Andrew Wyeth

                   

Happy Birthday Joyce!

This kind of reminds me of your mother’s old farm house . . .

Music by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young (I had to replace the first video because it didn’t work. Sorry)

Since my Hogwarts letter still hasn’t arrived . . .

Reblogged from Curious History:

Abandoned Cottages in the Woods Overtaken by Animals

In a series titled Once Upon a Home, photographer Kai Fagerström captured the new residents of abandoned cottages in the woods. After residents had passed away or relocated, a group of feral animals took over the spaces. In a story published for National Geographic, Fagerström captured the “wild squatters” in a handful of derelict dwellings near his family’s summer home in rural Suomusjärvi, Finland.

sources 1, 2