Just a heads up here. If you’ve been with us since 2010, then a bit of this blog might be familiar; especially if you have the razor sharp memories of Jan and Meka!
This coming Thursday in the United States, we are celebrating Thanksgiving Day, sometimes called “Turkey Day.” But a day like this is not unique to just Americans (except maybe for the bird). It is celebrated in Canada, the Netherlands, Granada and even Liberia. And I would bet that many other countries have a day to commemorate the founding of their country; remembering the struggles and hardships that went before them just as we do here.
Thanksgiving has always been my second favorite holiday. I can still smell the mimeograph copies in 3rd grade. They were covered with pumpkins, tepees, pilgrim hats, hatchets, and log houses which we’d color and cut out. Then we’d paste them up on all around the classroom. We would divide up the class into Indians and Pilgrims – I always wanted to be an Indian because the headbands with feathers were much cooler than the stiff bonnets the Pilgrim women had to wear.
Plus the lunch that my mother cooked had all of my favorite foods. We’d have a big turkey (with enough for plenty of turkey sandwiches later), rice, dressing with pecans and gravy, green beans, yeast rolls, cranberry/orange relish, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, and gingerbread with hard sauce for dessert.
Once I was married, the menu changed a bit, adding in peas instead of beans, switching out the marshmallows for pecan topping and then, angel food cake and ice cream for dessert. And now this year, carrot soufflé has been requested as the all time favorite vegetable. But before say grace and sit down to eat, we will stand, hold hands and each tell something for which we are thankful. I can’t wait to hear what our 12, 10 (almost 11),10, 9 and 6 (almost 7) year old grandchildren will say this year. In 2010 I wrote that “The one year old will be happy with both hands in the rice and the beans – she is thankful for food in general!” This year, that grandchild is 9 and she is the one grandchild out of 5 that will have a full plate. She adores food and is already a great little baker. We’ll be enjoying her apple pie!
A little book by Dandi Daley Mackall will be shared with our grandchildren before lunch. They are older now and know the story of our first Thanksgiving.
Pilgrims flee, sail the sea, knowing there’s no guarantee.
Leaving, grieving, still believing … Off to Plymouth Rock!
Mayflower ship, dangerous trip! Waves that rock and winds that whip.
Crashing, splashing, lightning flashing! On to Plymouth Rock!
Land ahoy! Shouts of joy! Cheers from every girl and boy.
Steering, veering, there’s a clearing! On to Plymouth Rock!
Sawing beams, work in teams, building up their Pilgrim dreams.
Blizzards pounding, snows abounding, here at Plymouth Rock.
Massasoit, Indian King, sees the Pilgrims suffering.
Shivering, praying, still they’re staying, here at Plymouth Rock.
Watchful Squanto understands, shares the secrets of the lands.
Digging, hoeing, corn is growing, here at Plymouth Rock.
Pilgrims call one and all, come and celebrate the fall.
Pumpkins, cherries, turkey, berries, here at Plymouth Rock.
Glad to share, bow in prayer, harvest blessings everywhere.
Humble living, first Thanksgiving, here at Plymouth Rock.
This year, 2018, has not been an easy one for many people. The hurricanes that blew through and caused so much destruction -homes just gone – were hard to comprehend. One little town, Mexico Beach will never be the same. The fires in California are going on still as I write this, and they are beyond devastating. The death count keeps going higher and higher each day. It’s hard to find words to describe the photos that we see on TV; you can almost feel the heat from those overpowering flames that are moving so fast. So many people are missing, so many homes are nothing but ash. In truth, it has been described as worse than any war zone by a veteran who served overseas in the Middle East. Furniture, clothes, photographs, treasures gone. And then the photos of the aftermath show more than we can comprehend. How could everything just be gone? Watching these people whose homes are but dust, say over and over that they will start again, and that most of all, they are grateful to be alive. Being grateful is surely a matter of strength, of endurance, of faith – so many times in our lives.
Though we come from different countries and celebrate in a variety of ways and traditions, we can all be thankful for similar things; faith, family, friends, health, experiences, and strengths are blessings that we share. We have so many blessings and so much to be grateful for.
In addition to the list above, I am grateful to all of you who have faithfully tuned in to Pixels2Pages for the past 8+ years. You’ve supported us, cheered us, encouraged us and helped us to keep exploring because of your passion to learn new techniques to help you preserve your memories.
And I am thankful for the friendship of our p2P team – now, women from New York, California, Texas and North Carolina. But, originally, we were women from all over the world who came together to help others celebrate their photos and life stories. When I think of our team, a quote from Albert Schweitzer comes to mind, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” That spark has come from fellow team members and it has also come from many of you too. Thank you.
Content used:Gratitude Collection from Cottage Arts; Font: KG Be Still and Know