The First Thanksgiving

At our house when the children gather for Thanksgiving and the grandchildren ask why we celebrate this special day, we tell them the story about the first Thanksgiving.

It was a year of bounty for the young pilgrims.  There had been several lean years, waiting for their dreams to mature.  It was a perfect time to gather up friends and loved ones to celebrate with turkey, cranberry, and pumpkin pie.  A young girl pondered where to put everybody in her tiny cabin but her husband of two weeks assured her that there was plenty of room.

Alas, there was no dinning room table.  “Let’s take apart the frame from my “bachelor days water-bed,” he said.  And so the bed transformed into an extra roomy coffee table suitable for dining, if one sat on the floor.  They were “re-cycling” when recycling wasn’t yet cool.

Confronted with the fact that the twenty-one year old girl’s entire cooking repertoire included cake and/or brownies from a box, scrambled eggs, baked potato, Ramen noodles and banana pudding, the young husband encouraged her saying,  “How hard can  it be?”

Then there was the matter of her brothers and her father.  Tradition had it that the older, more experienced pilgrims used this sacred day to hunt.  They rose early to enter the woods and didn’t return until one of them had a trophy to carry out.  “How does one know what time to serve the Thanksgiving feast?” the young woman asked.  Her mother came to her rescue forbidding that anyone be late for her daughter’s inaugural holiday meal.

And so came the day of celebration.  She had made pies the day before.  Early that morning she prepared corn pudding *(her grandmother’s recipe) ready to be popped in the oven to warm just before dinner.  The oven, set to cut off exactly 4 1/2 hours from the starting time, housed a beautifully stuffed turkey. Peeled, cut, potato cubes slowly moved in bubbly water on the stove next to a pan of green beans.  The young girl finished setting the TV trays and the water-bed/coffee-table.  The family began to arrive.

Her father and brothers were on time as promised.  They came, even though they had not finished hunting (meaning no deer).  They were, disappointed, tired and STARVING.  She quickly mashed the potatoes and opened the oven to take the turkey out and put the corn pudding in.  Where was the delectable aroma of roasted fowl?  Her body went rigid as her mind registered why there was no such smell.  For though she had set the oven to turn off at the proper time, she had neglected to set the starting time.

And since there were no indians or take out service to bring a cooked turkey for the pilgrim family, they all bowed their heads and thanked God for the vegetables and the pie.  And for the promise of turkey sandwiches in the days ahead.


Grandmother’s Corn Pudding

1 can crushed corn

1- 1½ Tbs. flour

2 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

Pinch of salt

1 cup milk

In small bowl, add sugar, salt, flour to corn. Stir in beaten eggs.  Add milk.  Pour into buttered baking dish.  Bake 350* for 1 hour or until firm.  Doubles nicely.

Grandmother, she’s the real deal

To all of us who have been loved for a long, long time, who don’t break easily or have sharp edges, whose hair has been loved off, eyes have dropped out, are loose in the joints, and are very shabby:


“What is REAL?”

“What is REAL?” asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day… “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.

“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand… once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.” *

*― Margery WilliamsThe Velveteen Rabbit or How Toys Become Real

OH, You mean Grandmother!

(Who knew that the Skin Horse was describing Grandmother?)


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Our 4th

Repost of last years celebration. Happy 4th

We were anxious to take our grandchildren to the 4th of July picnic, parade and fireworks event. I began to prepare myself for an anticipated “teachable moment,” when I could gift them with my wisdom and understanding of freedom, independence, and the America dream.

I brushed up on dates and events, re-learning that the 4th of July celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, proclaiming liberty from the tyranny of Great Britain and giving birth to democracy.

I’m not quite sure how this translates into hot-dogs and tri-colored popsicles, children dressed in red stripes, dogs with stars on their colars, men wearing tall ‘Uncle Sam’ hats, whistles, glow sticks and fireworks, but I’m glad it does.

We went, joined in all the festivities, ate too much, laughed a lot, and collapsed on a blanket under a darkening sky. No one asked me why we celebrate the forth, and I could not weave the words from the declaration document into any sort of narrative.

Then the sky began to explode with sparkle. All around me, the sound of cannon booms and oowws and aahhs. I catch a glimpse of my husband and grandchildren staring into the sky.


liberty ……….and the persuit of