Posts Tagged With: thanksgiving

Attempting to Let Go of the Scrappy Turkey

I’d like to introduce you to our turkey, born almost twenty years ago in Oklahoma. He’s looking worn around the edges and the middle. As you can see, he’s experienced better days.

Scrappy Turkey's seen better days.

Scrappy Turkey’s seen better days.

Born into an impoverished life, this turkey brightened one or two Thanksgivings in spite of his motley appearance and bedraggled state.

This multi-kid-crafted guy sat on the kitchen table for the month of November, or part of the month if I remembered too late. Scraps of paper and a pencil or pen sat nearby for scribbling down a daily something each of us in the family felt grateful for. Inconsistent at best, we all threw in a few thoughts during the month. Running up to the actual day of thanks we might’ve thrown in a few extra to make up for what we didn’t contribute during the busy month preceding.

Then sometime during the day, that fourth Thursday in November, we’d reach in to the turkey’s cavernous gallon sized innards and pull out those scraps of paper. And someone would read what our family felt counted as blessings, gratitudes, good things. We’d have a few brief moments of thoughtful gratitude or laughter and then get on to the pie or leftovers.

Some of the actual scraps of paper with blessings written down.

Some of the actual scraps of paper with blessings written down.

Some of those scraps I’ve saved all these years in the cardboard box labeled Thanksgiving decor. Every year when I pull out that box and set out my little scarecrows, faux fall leaves, and wicker pumpkins, I think about finally setting this poor old turkey free. But I can’t make myself do it. Sure, he’s too scraggly and chintzy to set out as a decoration, so he stays in the box. He long ago exceeded his usefulness and cuteness. But memories hover in and on and around the fowl little guy. How do I let him go?

Maybe this can count as a memorial of that brief span that our homemade turkey spent time on the table reminding us of the blessed life we lived. Especially since that life, at times, seemed held together by paper bits and cardboard tubes and empty milk cartons. Sometimes life still feels that way, taped and glued together, barely holding on, scrunched and crumpled and not so magnificent as in other, better days.

How do you let go of symbols? At what point can you say goodbye and let that be good enough?You’d think it’d be easy to toss this barely recognizable turkey. But nope. Can’t quite do it.

Maybe it just isn’t time to say adieu. Not yet. Not this year. Maybe next November.

I’ll try to remember to set him out on the kitchen table next year, albeit rougher and scrunchier. And then, I’ll set some scraps of paper nearby and a pencil. I’ll toss in my gratitude, and ask MSH to do the same, and visitors, too. And then, after reading all those scraps on Thanksgiving day, maybe then, I can let him go.

We’ll see.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

November Gratitude Invitational


I’ve already overbooked myself for November and we ‘re less than 24 hours into the month.


For instance I’ve accepted a walking challenge. This involves either several walking marathons or consistent walks every day for the entire month. Seems like a great idea since I need to get more outdoor time and exercise, so this is good. I already forgot this morning, must have something to do with sugar overload and a way too late bedtime.


photo-18 copy 18Also November is, once again AnClOuGaSoMo. Not familiar with this one? It’s been going on since MSH and I became a family. Seriously, he had a storage unit when we married back in the Neolithic Age.) It stands for Annual Clean Out the Garage Sometime Month. Which means I plan to clean out the garage, (yes, again already) sometime in the next 30 days. That could be scary or very cathartic. Or tragic, well, probably not really tragic. I just don’t really want to do that much work.  Maybe I’ll just shove it all out into the driveway and post a big garage sale sign. Except I despise garage sales.


There’s some convoluted travel plans mixed in the schedule this month, too.


And there’s the Thanksgiving holiday!!  A delightful holiday which involves a day of baking pies, and a separate day of cooking, and a day of recovery, and lots of shopping and cleaning ahead of time. All that for a few glorious hours of Family and Friends, noise and love bouncing off the walls, dishes piled high, dessert overload and abundant joy.


Otherwise, it’s simply a normal month with the usual comings and goings and dervish-like whirling.


I love me some November! Why? Besides all of the above reasons?


For me November rotates around gratitude every single day.


So, once again, I’m committing right here, out loud in front of everybody, that every day this month I’m going to blog or Facebook or both, something that I’m grateful for.  And I’ll still do my usual Gratituesday posts.


That sounds like a lot but if I’m only mentioning one thing a day and I’m not going into elaborate explanations, then I can succeed. Right?


At the same time I’m setting up this challenge, correct that, invitation,  I’m throwing this challenge/invitation out to anyone who’s  interested in joining me.


I’ve written a bit about the benefits of adding gratitude to your life on this post. If you want to see if I really know what I’m talking about or if I’m just blowing smoke, you could  join in with me. One thing a day. That’s all. Unless you want to overachieve and do three or five.


It doesn’t have happen publicly. You don’t have to post on Facebook or Twitter or a Blog. That’s just how I do it so I feel like I have some accountability. You can simply get out a sheet of paper or a little notebook and list your daily item that makes you smile, brings you joy, lifts your spirits, puts a zing in your step or makes your heart go purr.


Gratitude changes everything

Gratitude changes everything (Photo credit: symphony of love)

At the end of the month what will you have? At the very least, a list of thirty great things about your life. Or more likely, you’ll have gained a slightly changed perspective about how your life does not stink. Or even better, you’ll see life through a lens of thankfulness.


Think of it. If ten of us did this there’d be three hundred grateful vibes mixed up in the universe of grouchiness. If fifty of us did it there’d be fifteen hundred thankful thoughts floating about. If a hundred people joined in there’d be three thousand smiles to offset all the frowns that exist out there.


Don’t you want to try it? Ah, come on, say yes!


Say, “Today I’m thankful for _____” and fill in the blank, every day, all month-long. You can do this!


It can’t hurt.


Give it a try.


Two other posts I wrote that sort of tie in, that you might want to check out.


Related articles by other cool bloggers that show I’m not the least bit original and that this idea rocks.


Categories: Gratitude, Happiness | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

I’m Always Learning Something New, This, For Example

Portrait of the first president of the United ...

Portrait of the first president of the United States, George Washington (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



[New York, 3 October 1789]


By the President of the United States of America. a Proclamation.


Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor–and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”


Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be–That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in thecourse and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.


and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions–to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness onto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.


Given under my hand at the City of New-York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.


Go: Washington


Categories: Gratitude | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oh, Delicious Indecision!

Pumpkin pie, from

Every  year as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I have to ask my family this crucial question.  What kind of pie are we going to have this year?  Seems like a simple question, with a simple answer.  But, no.  Not for our family.  My husband says “Pecan” and my son says, “Pecan.”  Then my middle daughter says “Apple and Pecan.”  My youngest daughter says, “Chocolate… and Apple, and I get to help make the Cherry pie this year.”

Then the short debate happens wherein daughter 2 and daughter 3 both claim the other one made the cherry pie last year.  Weaving the lattice top crust is a lot of fun and it looks pretty cool.  Not to mention the filling is the easiest pie we do, open can, dump into unbaked pie crust.

Photo of a slice of coconut cream pie. Taken a...

Coconut cream pie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Doesn’t anyone want Coconut Cream or Banana Cream?” I ask imploringly.  Silly me.  I’m the only one who likes either of those kinds. If I want to, I can make a cream pie.  A bit of whipped cream and a sprinkle of coconut or some slices banana. Nice.

Then someone always says, you should probably make a Pumpkin pie, since it is Thanksgiving.  “But no one likes Pumpkin!” I counter.  “I’ll eat some, says my husband, “And I’ll have some too,” says middle daughter.  “I might,” says my son with little commitment in his voice. A few years ago we acquired a son-in-law who loves Pumpkin Pie.  So if he’s in town, that debate settles itself.  A pumpkin pie goes on the “yes” list.

What about Daughter 1, what kind of pie does she want? Someone invariably asks. That’s my oldest daughter who doesn’t live at home anymore.  Sometimes, I actually call and ask her what kind she wants, but she says, “oh whatever you make, Mom, will be great!”  When she did live at home, she liked to eat some of the apple pie filling before it got baked.  We don’t get to see her for Thanksgiving this year.  Dang.

So I count the votes, “Okay, so that’s one Apple, one Pecan, one Cherry, one Chocolate and one Cream pie.”

“Can’t we have cheater cheesecake too?” My husband asks.  “That’s not really pie,” I say, “it’s cake.”

American cultural icons, apple pie, baseball, ...

Then he reminds me that we always run out of Pecan.  And Apple.  So I add another one of each of those to the list. And, he reminds me that the chocolate sits forlorn in the fridge, untouched.  Chocolate being ignored is a strange phenomenon.  I’ll have to investigate that some time.   So maybe I won’t do the chocolate pie this year either.

I like to fantasize about other flavors; Lemon Merengue, Strawberry, Peanut Butter, Key Lime, Blueberry, Peach. Mmmmm.  But those are for another day.  Maybe a Sunday treat sometime during the year.  I should make a list and magnet it to the fridge so I don’t forget.

The final pie count? 2 Apple, 2 Pecan, 1 Cherry, 1 Cream and 1 Pumpkin.

I like to think of pie as the topping on the whole Thanksgiving day.  A symbol of the richness, the sweetness, and the abundance of my life.  We don’t have everything, but we have all that we need.  Family, friends, freedom, work, meaning, hope.  Life is stuffed full of goodness even when it feels otherwise.  Especially on this singular day of  giving thanks, I celebrate all that is right and good and delicious about my life.

Categories: Food, Joy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

What is that Bird Thinking?

I’ve been cold for so long I think I’ll never be warm again.  But I’ve been sitting in this sink filled with cold water for a few hours and the frost is starting to give a bit under my wings. I’m ready for some fresh water.

turkey for LD

turkey for LD (Photo credit: Collin Anderson)

The other turkeys said it would be awful to get roasted, but I can’t wait.  It will feel so good to get my legs warmed up, my insides heated, my skin nice and brown.

Roasted Turkey

I always knew I was destined to be an Arizona Snow Bird basking in the warmth, admired, respected, desired, craved, saved.  I’m a happy bird.


Make sure your bird is a happy one by clicking on the following related links:

Categories: Humor | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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