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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It didn't occur to me until after I was taking some still life shots in the living room (too cold and yucky outside to go out with the camera, without enough interesting payoff) that they were appropriate for Thanksgiving week.

Above, turkey feathers found on the farm, with a backdrop of a Navajo rug my great grandfather Arthur and great grandmother Carrie picked up on one of their mountain hikes out West, all sitting on a 200-year-old chair that belonged through the years to my mom's family. It made me so happy to realize the significant juxtaposition of an Indian rug and turkey feathers. I love that Thanksgiving started with a feast where immigrants and their helpers, the new land's native inhabitants, broke food together that they had worked together to raise. This human reliance on the kindness of strangers touches me, and I love remembering it.

Below, Don's grandparents Marshie and Guy behind the Thanksgiving cactus. Guy was one of 10 boys. These two were strong people. I met Guy, but not Marshie. Don says of his grandpa that he was a "brusque teddy bear." Guy was 6'4", and you can see Marshie was right up there too, at 5'11".

Wednesday we will welcome our children, and some of Don's family, for a few days of feasting, gratitude, family stories and laughing, and just treasuring each other. All too soon, all we have left are feathers, travel souvenirs and photographs.

I'm thankful this week, as always, but still, I'm huffing . . .

24 comments:

swedehart said...

Ouch!

I was running the five miles to the yoga studio this morning, as Zabrina rode her bike beside me and Roxi was trotting through the grass. I started thinking about her owner, and wondered if he was still alive (had a terminal illness and had to give her up). I wish I could thank him for her, send him photos of her journeys this year. She's been to California, Oregon, and Utah. What a gift she has been in our lives. I wish he could know that.

mystic rose said...

When I first came to America, I was pleasantly surprised to discover this tradition of thanksgiving. Such a perfect custom, as it should be.. it seemed to celebrate everything there was about life, with no religious connotation. Just what America should be. :)

(And yes, I did learn all baout its origins, about the pilgrims and the natives. Do the native Americans celebrate it though, I wonder?)

Ruth said...

Swedehart, I know death is part of the life cycle. But the finality of it, stopping the relationship in this world, really is heartbreaking.

Ruth said...

Mystic Rose, it's a good question. I don't have any Native American friends, so I don't know. It is a brief moment when we can think about our history with Native Americans and smile.

Ink said...

Ruth:

Interesting how, in the last paragraph of today's post, you seem to be talking about the intentional making of memories, by envisioning the upcoming long weekend with your family as if from the future. Memory has been on my mind a lot lately.

Love the image of the feathers with the blanket.

Catherine Mary said...

Out of all the holidays, I like the purpose of Thanksgiving the best--gratitude, family and friends, good food, traditions--and as you remind me--memories. I also like the phrase in ink's comment, "the intentional making of memories"

Ginnie said...

This is all so beautiful, Ruth! I love that you have this time with Don's family year after year. I can tell that it has become an important part of your year. My love is with you and yours this week. Celebrate to the hilt!

Ruth said...

Ink, I've loved talking with you about how memory affects our perceptions and choices. Thank you, sweetie, I love you.

Ruth said...

Catherine Mary, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope your own new memories will be meaningful.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Ginnie/Boots, I love this week of the year. We are all so laid back, and we laugh so much. With the men in Don's family, how can we help but laugh and laugh at all the old stories, retold with such ridiculous humor?

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Donica, Amy, Mark, Nicholas and Dennis!

Kalyan said...

lovely reading about the tradition & the pictures are also very nice...wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving!

JoAnn - NL "My digital eyes" :) said...

Hi Dear Ruth,

thanksgiving? was that not on a earlier date, what ever ... I like this Fetchers (don't know how to spell it sorry) but thats your 'art'way of looking' very well done. I Like it anyhow:)

Thank you so much for your celebration (for my birthday)! and your interest in me, and my trip to Paris. Its a fantastic!! city and I will publice soon some great views from my point of (digital) view , and you know me 'always playing with my camera' I'm Glad to be back, I missed YOU too:)

JoAnn :)

lesleyanne said...

i love that photo, and the significance to the upcoming holiday. i often forget the meaning of THANKSgiving. thank you for slapping me back into reality. of course, i am always thankful for you, for papa, for brother. but i am most thankful that i actually get to hug you and kiss you and be thankful for you.

Rauf said...

Oh Happy Thanksgiving to you Ruth.
Its a wonderful oppertunity for the near and dear ones to gather and celeberate. Thats what i care about, Meeting people, not the significance of the day or the reasons behind it.

Believe me Ruth, love kindness and compassion has gone up so high today unlike the last century. Today people love to give and share. But unfortunately they have no time on their hands. Any given day any given time a vast majority of people would love to sacricife
but not many are willing to sacrifice their time to be with their loved ones or to have a chat with a stranger.

i am not God Ruth, but i would be an invisible guest at your dinner table. Please bring home a stranger for the dinner this time. Please don't complain if he walks away with your favourite couch.

DrowseyMonkey said...

Hope you're enjoying Thanksgiving! Love that shot of the cactus...I just bought 2 fully in bloom...wonder if they'll actually bloom this time next year!

(I've just tagged you...if you'd like to participate)

Britt-Arnhild said...

Beautiful and perfect photos.

I am a little late, but Happy Thanksgiving to you.

Ruth said...

Kalyan, thank you very much. We had a fun holiday enjoying each other.

Ruth said...

Dear JoAnn, maybe you're thinking of Canadian Thanksgiving? Yes, it was in October. I'm glad to see you're back from Paris, and I can't wait to read about it on your blog. My daughter is home (sleeping now!) but I'll be back in blogland next week. I hope you had a tres belle visite.

Ruth said...

Oh sweet girl, how I love you. And as I write this you are sleeping upstairs!! :D

Ruth said...

Dear rauf, I agree with you that the occasion really doesn't matter. It's spending time with friends and family that matters. I am sad to see people so busy, too busy to sit and visit the way people used to, sitting on the porch (well not in the winter), just spending time together. I loved sitting with the women drinking tea and crocheting in Istanbul, just hours talking. All the chores done in the morning, and the afternoon spent in conversation.

Yes, rauf, you were our invisible guest. Did you like the pie?

Ruth said...

Drowsey, we've been having a good time, and now all the guests are gone, but our daughter is still here, such bliss. We have her all to ourselves now.

I take the cacti out to the porch in the summer, and as soon as I bring them in in the fall, they start to bud. Maybe you can try that? We can talk more if you want more hints.

Thanks for the tag, I'll try to visit blogs again next week when my daughter is gone (boohoo), today I'm trying to at least respond to comments here at Synchronizing.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Britt-Arnhild, but you're not really late. I keep saying Happy Thanksgiving all weekend. I'll visit you next week.

swedehart said...

I just checked in to see if you were having a nice visit together, and I see you are:D Yea!

Ruth said...

Swedehart Rachel, I'm about to post a little review of the holiday.