Behold the GIF

If a picture paints a thousand words, then what about two pictures?  Put them together to tell a story, make them move, and you’ve got yourself a GIF.  Cute, right?  Or maybe a little annoying?

Missing Tooth Gif

But is GIF a new art form?  Art is many things to many people and if you google the word art, you will probably find a definition to fit your personal bent.  I like this one:  “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.”  By this definition, ancient cave drawings, my own crude paintings, insta-gram photographs and GIFS qualify, as well as Picasso and Sherman.

But, if I think a piece is rude, crude or socially unattractive, I prefer the definition: “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.”

Art, like beauty, is heavily influenced by one’s culture but ultimately belongs to the eye of the beholder.  I choose what appeals to me.  You choose what appeals to you.

I’ve seen these moving images before.  I just did not know the term GIFS, short for graphics interchange format. I find them amusing, obnoxious, flashy and funny but up until now, have never considered whether they are art.  I did find that creating a GIF involves challenge, choices, infinite possibility and a sense of accomplishment and pride at the final product.  Art or not, thanks to this week’s WordPress challenge, I have another tool for telling my story and am a few steps closer in narrowing the ever-increasing technological, generational gap.  After all, I don’t want that little girl with the missing teeth to say that her grandmother is still in the stone age.

(cartoon from article: “Oldest Confirmed Cave Art Is a Single Red Dot“)

 

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.

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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.