Galen here, once again borrowing Marlene’s blog to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
As always, we are thankful for our cats (and Luna, pictured here, is thankful for quilts to nest underneath). Unlike 2018, 2020, and 2022, there have been no changes in our feline population: Lucifer, Hecate (and how did she suddenly become five?), George, Luna, and Tuna have been trucking along.
For today, “Harvest Moon” by Longfellow:
It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The song-birds leave us at the summer’s close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.
Galen here once again to wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. As was the case in 2018 and 2020, more cats have entered our lives. This time, it’s Luna (who likes bathroom sinks and has OPINIONS if you’re not petting her when required) and Tuna (who is a very sweet and very large lug of a kitty). Alas, this year also marked the passing of Freddie. Cats leave holes in our hearts when they pass; new cats do not fill those holes, not quite, but lay the groundwork for future holes — and yet I cannot imagine a life without them.
The reading for today is a small one: “The cat’s song” by Marge Piercy:
Mine, says the cat, putting out his paw of darkness.
My lover, my friend, my slave, my toy, says
the cat making on your chest his gesture of drawing
I hope you’re all ready for tomorrow’s Turkey Day! We’re doing something a bit different and having friends over on Black Friday instead of on Thanksgiving. It solves their problem of trying to be two places at once – which no one has really figured out a solution for yet – and doing our cooking on a day when we CAN go to the grocery store if we forgot something important.
So on the actual Turkey Day we’re having actual turkey – really just a turkey boob for two. On Friday we’re getting a Honey Baked Ham – something that would be a bear to pick up on Wednesday but should be easy-peasy on Friday. We’re also making potato pancakes and a broccoli casserole because OMG that meal will need something green in it. It’s all kind of an experiment as we’re cooking things we’ve never made before and hoping it all works out. No matter what, the ham is guaranteed to be good. And the pie. Did I mention the pie? We’re picking up a Chocolate Chess Pie, which I don’t think either of us has ever had, from a place that specializes in pies.
That’ll definitely be just fine!
What about you? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving treat? Answer in the Rafflecopter for a chance at the winner’s choice of a $15(US) gift card to either Amazon or the local bookstore of your choice, or the same amount in books, again from either Amazon, the Book Depository, or the local bookstore of your choice. In order to do this there are just a couple of restrictions. For US entrants, the bookstore you choose needs to have an easy method for me to purchase your gift certificate or books online and get them sent to you. If you are outside the US, you need to be in a location that the Book Depository ships to (they don’t do Gift Certificates – maybe someday.)
Galen here, once again sneaking onto Marlene’s blog to do a Thanksgiving reading list post.
As was the case in 2018, we are thankful for yet another kitty in our lives. George is one of the offspring of a neighborhood cat. He’s turned into quite the social glue of our clowder, demanding and getting affection from Freddie, Lucifer, and Hecate in various ways.
Again, as with 2018, I am hopeful that the results of the election will get our country back towards the path of justice. Of course, this is a difficult time: the pandemic is on fire everywhere in this country, and I fear that all of the travel and gatherings for Thanksgiving will cause so many needless deaths.
Marlene and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving together with the cats, and no one else is invited. Maybe next year will be different, but for as many of us to get to next year as possible, patience is required today. On the one hand, that’s easy enough for me and Marlene to say; we’re introverts. I won’t pretend that staying home hasn’t been hard for us, but I know it is a lot more difficult many others, including folks who have no choice but to go out into the world in order to keep body and soul together. But please: if you can, stay home for the holidays, share your Thanksgiving meal only with your pod (or at least stay outdoors as much as possible), wear your masks, and wash your hands.
Thanksgiving in World War II by Sarah Sundin. Did you know that there was a period where there were competing dates for “Democrat Thanksgiving” and “Republican Thanksgiving”?
Alternatively, Happy Turkey Coma Day. Or even Happy Parade Day.
Possibly even Happy semi-official start of the Xmas Season.
Last year, Galen posted a reading list along with a picture of tiny, bitey Miss Hecate, who was thankful for her timely rescue the month before. So I’ll leave you this year with a picture of the full-grown Miss Hecate, still grateful for that timely rescue, just as we are grateful for her playful advent into our lives. And as you can see from her picture below, she’s expecting someone to be grateful that she brought him a mousie.
Thanksgiving may be a bit more strained around some family dinner tables than others this year. We’re planning to be with like-minded friends, so while there may be some sadness amidst the joy, we’ve always been on the same side and this holiday will be a chance to welcome new friends among us and be grateful that we have each other to lean on.
Before I sign off to go see if I can help with the turkey, I have one final thought to leave you with today:
“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”
Of course, had the turkey become the national bird, we might feel inhibited against eating it… and I really don’t think eagle would be a good substitute. So it all works out.
For those of us in the U.S. it is the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. For everyone not in the U.S., you’re probably wondering what the fuss was about. Except that we were in Vancouver, Canada on Thursday and Friday and saw Black Friday Sale signs going up all over the place. It seemed strange to have Black Friday Sales without having had a Thanksgiving Thursday first. And Canada doesn’t. Thanksgiving in Canada was way back on October 14.
We asked people what the deal was, and it turned out that yes, it was becoming a deal. Vancouver, at least, is way too close to the U.S. border for economic comfort. Too many Christmas shoppers were driving to Seattle, or at least the outlet mall along the way, to grab the Black Friday shopping madness in the U.S.
So the Canadian stores were trying to keep those shoppers at home by giving them their very own Black Friday sales. Turkey and stuffing optional.
For those of us in the U.S. (which I’m technically not, today, so funny that) today is Thanksgiving. This also happens to be a very late Thanksgiving, always the fourth Thursday in November; because November started on a Friday this year.
For those of us who are Jewish, today is the first day of Hanukkah, which started last night at sunset. It is the 25th day of Kislev according to the Jewish calendar. (Wikipedia has a lovely explanation of how the Hebrew calendar drifts out of sync in relation to the Gregorian calendar used for standard dates.)
But the idea of this once in a lifetime phenomenon captured a lot of people’s imaginations. So we have Thanksgivukkah, a word which is driving the WordPress spell-checker absolutely bonkers.
A day where I can give thanks, eat turkey and possibly receive Hanukkah presents, all in one swell foop.
So wherever you may be, I hope that you are having a happy Thanksgiving, even if today isn’t your holiday. Or holidays.