“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

Streets and backyards are covered with brown oak leaves, recent victims of the last three days of winds. Pine needles in the front yard cover the lawn and garden. My world is drab and messy.

Today Miss Gracie is six years old. After I finish here, we have to go to Agway for dog food so she’ll get to pick a couple of gifts and a treat or two. Gracie won’t think this too special as it happens almost every time we go to Agway. Dogs are meant to be spoiled.

I sent out my Thanksgiving cards today and they got me thinking. Thanksgiving is the least pretentious of all the holidays. No colored lights gleam in the darkness, no special decorations or costumes or new spring clothes are any part of the day. Christmas has Santa and Easter has its bunny, but Thanksgiving just has itself which is more than enough. It is the one holiday without the hustle and bustle of days of preparation. It is a day when we can take time to remember the people we love and the people we have loved. We get to be thankful for being together, and we get to share a sumptuous meal. I think the sharing of food is one of the most intimate moments which brings people together.

When my Ghanaian student, now a woman in her fifties, was here we all sat and ate a Ghanaian dinner. It was the sharing of a culture, of my memories and experiences and of the bond which has held strong between Francisca and me despite the forty years since we last saw each other. It was more than a meal: it was a celebration of friendship and family.

On Thanksgiving, most of us have a turkey at center stage. We cook foods we’ve eaten since childhood, foods which connect the years, strengthen the bonds between family and friends and touch all of our memories. I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving without green bean casserole or Tony’s grandmother’s cole slaw or my mother’s squash dish. This year, as on every Thanksgiving Day, I will be thankful for the years of memories, for the gifts from this one unpretentious day.

Explore posts in the same categories: Musings

Tags: , , , , , ,

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

14 Comments on ““We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,
    The weather here in Vancouver is clear and cold. This part of Canada doesn’t get the the real harsh cold and snow that the rest of the country experiences. It’s more like Seattle and Portland. The leaves here are falling and turning orange. This afternoon I am returning home for the big Thanksgiving week.

    Thanksgiving is a holiday without hype. The day after traditionally begins the Christmas buying frenzy marked by people shopping for bargins at 2AM on black Friday. I think the big bargins online will begin on Thanksgiving day.

    In Canada they celebrate Thanksgiving in October serving the same kinds of dishes that we generally serve in November. Their Christmas buying hype starts today with a Santa Claus parade in Toronto.

    The part of the Thanksgiving day that is steeped in hype and commercialization is football. I can recall the male members of my family sprawled out on the sofa after the big noon time meal, with their belts and top buttons on their pants opened, watching the line up of football games. The Detroit Lions vs. the Chicago Bears was the big game in the late 1950s. Later in the 1980s it was the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Washington Redskins. These were preceded, and now followed, by the major Collage rivalries such as Texas vs. Texas A&M. While the men sat cheering their favorite team, while scarfing down chips and snacks, the woman cleaned up the kitchen and prepred turkey leftovers which appeared in lunch and dinners in various disguises until everyone returns to work or school on Monday.

    I am still glued to my TV on Thanksgiving morning watching the big helium ballons of the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. In my mind it’s soft hype.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      Okay, I too sit and watch the Macy’s parade and in my cozy clothes. When we were kids, my mother put out snacks of tangerines, M&M’s and mixed nuts. We loved using that silver nutcracker and loved it even more when the shells flew all over the room. It is the traditional start to the day.

      I have become an almost exclusive on-line shopper except for stocking stuffers. I find the neatest stuff without having to traipse around looking.

      I have a lot of people for whom to shop so I do it all year which gives me breathing space this time of year. I have stuff which has to go to Colorado so I finish them first. Never do I shop in a frenzy and I have yet to do any Black Friday shopping. I love finding just the right gift, and that takes time and though and a lack of crowds and pushing.

      My dad was one of those football fanatics. He was, back then, a Giants fan, no Patriots yet. He’d eat and rush back to the set. He was also the best turkey picker I ever saw. He’d pick that bird clean for sandwiches and turkey salad. I love turkey so much all those left-overs were a gift from the day.

      I remember getting hot turkey sandwiches, but my favorite was still turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce in a sandwich. It was like dinner all over again.

      I’ll be right here also watching the parade!

  2. Hedley Says:

    I read this morning of the passing of Basil D’Oliveira. Dolly was a wonderful all round cricketer who was a boyhood hero, played for England but is probably best known for the D’Oliveira affair and his critical role in ending apartheid in South Africa.
    A man of great dignity who took centre stage in 1968 and influenced the policies of a closed society

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Great men are rare and losing one is always painful especially one who saw inhumanity and worked to change it.

      • Bob Says:

        Thanks for letting us here in the colonies know about the passing of Basil D’Oliveira and his courageous stand against apartheid. I was unaware of him until I read your post and looked him up on Google. Hopefully racism is dead everywhere.

        Race is just a pigment of your imagination.

      • Hedley Says:

        You are welcome. It is worth spending time on the obituary and reflections in the serious English papers such as the Telegraph or the Guardian (The Times requires a subscription).
        Dolly was thrust in to the limelight by the brilliance of his play and was wrongly, and deliberately, excluded from the English team scheduled to tour South Africa. A player dropped out and they had no choice but to select him…and then all hell broke loose.
        I was a boy of 14 and he was a hero before this happened, I met him once and treasure his autograph.
        Because of D’Oliveira countries gathered the courage to confront South Africa and apartheid, force their isolation and start the long road.

  3. Zoey & Me Says:

    Thanksgiving has turned commercial. It’s nice to read what wonderful days we celebrated giving thanks for all we had. And I too remember the special dishes set out like the walnut stuffing my Mom made. It was the most special of holidays because it didn’t require shopping for anything but flowers and food. Today it’s off to the toy store to grab the discounts and stop by MacDonalds for a quarter pounder with cheese.

    • katry Says:

      It’s off to the toy store only if you choose to go. Thanksgiving is whatever you want it to be.

      We still celebrate Thanksgiving almost the same way as when we were kids except our manners are better. All the foods are there and we still gather around the table. It is, for me and my friends, the day to enjoy each others’ company, good food, a game or two after dinner and lots of laughs.

      It continues to be for my family and friends, who are like family to me, the most special of holidays.

    • Hedley Says:

      Z and Me, I sort of like commercial Thanksgiving. I am currently scouring the net for a good price for Kate Bush “50 words for snow” (releasing Monday and not a Christmas album). I like the Ads on Thursday, heck if my wife’s relatives become too much I might even go shopping at midnight.
      When the kids were young I got to Target at 4.00 am to buy a Nintendo 64. Kids were thrilled and I had all sorts of fun with my fellow queuers.
      Now I am a Pumpa to my Grandson Ethan and have to find that perfect gift….bring it !

  4. olof1 Says:

    Foggy and warm over here again and it will continue to stay foggy for a while they say.

    I guess that if we had Thanksgiving here my family would celebrate it a bit different. We would all stay away from each other like always being thankful we didn’t have to meet each other πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    So there still is a vacant job as a thanksgiving symbol πŸ™‚ Not even a happy turkey on a dining table πŸ™‚

    I came to think about our symbols at the big holidays. The Yule gnome at yule of course, the same as You but with other words πŸ™‚ For easter its a wich or a rooster/hen and chickens (the easter bunny has never really hit it here) and at midsummer a midsummers pole.

    Have a great day!

    • olof1 Says:

      By the way, say Happy Birthday to Miss Gracie from us over here πŸ™‚

      • katry Says:

        Right now she is growling at and playing with her bew tow, a round rubber ball which squeaks. She loves rubber toys espeically ones which squeak.

        We always had Thanksgiving at my mother’s and father’s then we started habing it down here after my father passed away. Eventually we started going out as some years it was just my mother, brother and me. I always cooked a small turkey enyway so my mother and I could have sandwiches.

        WE all have the traditions we love.

  5. Hedley Says:

    Maggie, who is coming off some heavy duty deer action sends Gracie Birthday wishes

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: