Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Maggie, our lab, saying wake me when it's dinner!
I was talking to my sister this morning, as I was beginning the preparations of my home for tomorrow's special guests, and she said Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday. Her reason is that it's our purely American tradition to come together for no greater reason than the selfless desire to give thanks and enjoy each other's company--to share what we have--to bring our mutual gifts to the table. It's stress-free (or should be) and it's all about friends and family and making sure everyone in our community is fed well on this one special day.
I think that's pretty nice.
The first Thanksgiving here in the US was in 1621--almost 400 years ago. They had a Thanksgiving feast with the Wampanoag Indians to celebrate their first successful harvest.
After trying to grow hay this year, I appreciate more than ever the happiness of these colonists. To grow their own crops meant they could sustain life in the new world.
Every year brings its own set of trials. This year, the recession and our stock market losses hit us hard. Most of us know someone who lost their job and couldn't find another. Our country has been burdened by the collapse of the financial system and high unemployement. Our states are struggling to find ways to save money in order to stay solvent. This affected us directly since my husband works for the state.
On a personal level we almost lost one of our grandbabies last Spring when she choked on a little, tiny bean--but by a miracle, she was saved, and she'll be with us, hopefully, many more years and celebrate many Thanksgivings long after we're gone. We can't look at her without giving thanks every time.
All in all, I'm amazed at how fortunate we've been. I haven't lost a single family member. I didn't even lose an animal this year. And life is so tenuous, it's amazing I can say that. We've kept our job. Our savings have regained some of their losses. We were able to get hay into the barn, plant lots of flowers and trees and grass, and pay off debt.
It didn't come easy. My husband had to work extra hours at another job to accomplish these goals. In this climate, he works more and makes less. He has worked more than I thought humanly possible, to tell you the truth, and then, after all that, found time to work around the ranch here. There were months he only had 1 or 2 days off, and those days were spent farming or landscaping. But he was thankful for the opportunity to work at all.
Now, finally, he will have a four day weekend and we have our family coming to share dinner with us tomorrow. We'll have my three kids here--my parents--some of my siblings and their spouses--and a nephew. It's not our whole family, but it is many of them. We'll prepare a beautiful dinner together--each pitching in. We'll relax. We'll enjoy each other's company and give thanks for the day and all that we have right now.
We know next year will bring trials as well, but on this one day, we can slow down and take a good, long look at the present happiness.
It seems holidays inspire us to complete projects around the house--maybe in anticipation of the guests who will be in our home. For us, we started the long awaited painting of the foyer. Here are some pictures of our project--we chose the color Mustard Seed which is a brownish/greenish gold. Some people love it and some people hate it. It makes me feel good.
This is what they say about the color gold:
It is no surprise that gold symbolizes wealth used wisely, but it is also the symbol of good health. People who favor the color gold are optimistic.
Put some gold in your life when you want:
increased personal power
relaxation and enjoyment of life
Wearing gold in everyday life increases personal power, and promotes courage, confidence and willpower.
We've been working to pay off debt and use our money wisely, we've needed courage to meet the challenges, and we've tried hard to be optimistic about the future--it's no wonder the color GOLD appealed so strongly to us this year.
Here's wishing you and your families much success, enjoyment of life, confidence, and good health! Happy Thanksgiving!!
Painting the foyer--high ceilings made it difficult. (No wonder we put it off almost 3 years). My husband is in this shot, but believe it or not, I did much of the painting myself--climbing up that tall ladder you see there and hoping for the best!
The gold takes on different tones, depending on the light--it can look muted or bright. Here it looks muted--almost brown.
Before shot (remember this one?)
And ready for Thanksgiving dinner!