Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Today is the national day of giving thanks.  It started as the fall feast before winter sets in and after the harvest is done and stored.  It is an ancient tradition for agrarian peoples who felt a need to mark the time of plenty in hopes that it would ensure more plenty.  Not really effective but the rites serve to remind people of the work needed to sustain life.  Did the ancient hunter gatherers also have a fall feast?  They also spent a lot of effort getting ready for the harsh winter like the bear who feasts to store fat to sustain it thru the winter sleep.

Today we are separated from our life-sustaining needs.  We just go to the store and pick up whatever we want with no need to work for it or plan ahead - or go to a restaurant and have it all served to us with no more effort than to hand them our plastic to pay for it.  I have been a life long gardener and have celebrated the end of harvest and storage season with relish.  I used to have my own vegetables on the Thanksgiving table in various dishes.  I recreated the comfort dishes eschewing the canned this and that with the natural base ingredients to the effect of making them both more delicious and healthier.

But this year, I did not put in a garden and abandoned my stick and bricks house for 2 months while I galavanted in my van.  What I came back to was 8 foot tall weeds and a renewed energy to tackle all the home improvement projects needed to get my house in good condition for eventual sale.  The Brown Asian Marmolated Stink Bug invasion of the past years made gardening less appealing since they destroyed most of it.  The summer was brutally hot and destroyed most of the gardens of my friends so I didn't miss much.  My friends, the uber gardeners, got a nice harvest of sweet potatoes and little else.  I get plenty of those from them.  This fall, the stink bug invasion is greatly reduced for some reason.  When I got on my tractor to mow the grass in August, every bush rained stink bugs on me but they are not in their billions during the fall like last year.  I'm thankful for that even if it is only a respite.

Sand washed out on edges after heavy rain

Washout on the edge but firm where the cut bricks were done

Making progress but I'll have to re-do the edges after a heavy rain
My brick work is coming along even tho this week brought heavy rain and some washout along the edges.  But because this time, I am cutting and fitting the edges and putting in firm edging, only the edge is damaged and must be redone.  Thanksgiving day is warm and sunny.  So, do I get out there and work on the driveway?  Or should I replace a bath sink faucet that came off in my hand a few days ago.  Think I'll tackle the faucet and let the sand dry out today.

Aside from the ongoing thanks for my family and friends, I am thankful for having the resources to fix up my house, have the van and fix it up, and have my pets and be able to take care of them.  Granted, all that I have is due to my own diligence and choices I made in the past, but it is looking like I was born in the sweet spot where hard work and smarts would enable one (even a woman) to make a comfortable life on her own.  I'm not sure that today's youth will have the same opportunities that my generation had and it isn't all an "entitlement" attitude that makes it doubtful.

I am also thankful that I somehow inherited a cautious fearlessness and appreciation of truth rather than acceptance of dogma.  This was illustrated last night when some kids were running around the neighborhood, hopping fences for whatever reason at midnight.  My fearful neighbors called the cops and asked me to turn on my outside lights.  It appears that is all they did as there is no visible damage or even trash in the light of day today.  What a shame high spirited kids get such a reception when they are just playing.  My neighbors were sure they were under attack.

I'm thankful this week that wireless broadband is finally here.  This week, I am testing out the connection and it is so much better than my cell phone.  Yesterday, I got a new wireless router that is more than twice as fast than the old one I had so welcome to the 21st century!  Even my HDHomerun TV tuner for the computer is working a lot better.  Uploading the pics took just a few seconds instead of the long wait when using the cell signal.  Unfortunately, it isn't portable or mobile but at last, my rural location has a good broadband service.  I am definitely signing up for the service.  I will have a new camera coming in next week after I managed to launder the old cheapy in my pants pocket.  No harm to the SD card but the camera is a wash (ha ha).

Happy Thanksgiving to all.


  1. Happy Thanksgiving! You made me remember my childhood where we did indeed live off our garden through all seasons. :-)

  2. "Appreciation of truth rather than acceptance of dogma." Thank you for that statement. It means a lot to me. Hope you had a great day.


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