Sunday, November 18, 2018

Let grateful days be endless

Forever on Thanksgiving Day. The heart will find the pathway home. - Wilbur D. Nesbit

How many times did we sit around the table, focusing on food instead of understanding the preciousness of those moments? No longer can I sit with my parents, my aunts and uncles, my grandparents. Little is the family that remains, yet I am not saddened. I am blessed to have had those times, those people. Each Thanksgiving those faces once more come into view. The dialogue we shared. The laughter and memories that made my family so wonderful. The love that I always knew was there. Even as a child, I was thankful. Now as an older adult, I am truly blessed.

This Thanksgiving I hope you look into the eyes of those surrounding you and understand the gifts of giving. Tuck those moments in your heart for you will take them out and look at them time and time again. Even in the darkest of times, in those of loss and sorrow, the heart that laughed and loved will find warm memories to ease the pain.

Many are not as fortunate as most of us. Perhaps we are their thanksgiving by what we can do to make their lives easier. Perhaps that smile you share with a stranger or the hand given to someone in need will be the giving and the thanks. For in giving we truly receive and are thankful to be tools of hope and joy.

My column is small this week because I want to add this Thanksgiving Song. I am thankful for each of you. Please reach out this week and give others something for which they can be truly thankful. Thanksgiving Song by Mary Chapin Carpenter:

Grateful for each hand we hold gathered round this table. From far and near we travel home, blessed that we are able. Grateful for this sheltered place with light in every window, saying "Welcome, welcome, share this feast. Come in away from sorrow." Father, mother, daughter, son, neighbor, friend and friendless; all together everyone in the gift of loving kindness. Grateful for what's understood, and all that is forgiven; we try hard to be good to lead a life worth living. Father, mother, daughter, son, neighbor, friend and friendless; all together everyone let grateful days be endless. Grateful for each hand we hold gathered round this table.

Many blessings, my friends. Happy Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Chill in the air

That time of the year when summer is tucked away and fall has taken her leave(s). The grey skies that
make you think that it is evening all day long. And, most of all, that chill in the air that only comes with the first frosts. Winter.

I sit in my writing place in our 'crow's nest' looking out over the valley. In the distance I see Mt. St. Helens glowing with winter's first mountain snow. Outside the window our little hummingbirds seem to fight just for the heck of it. The huge fir tree looming over the back of the house is alive with birds of all types. I can hardly take my eyes off the view from the window.

We sat by the window in the kitchen back the lane. Mom always wanted a big window with a bar and stools below it, so she and Dad could sit there watching the comings and goings on Neff Road. The red maple outside the window was filled with lively activity. The bird feeder was enticement to draw them close enough for the window viewing.

By the time the kitchen was remodeled, the Loxley girls had all moved away. Coming home meant that we got to enjoy that beautiful kitchen and even more so, the new bathroom with a tub!!! Sometimes we lament that we had an outhouse when we were growing up, and as I child I took a bath in the kitchen sink until I outgrew it. The new kitchen had a dishwasher, so the previous dish washers could retire. Perhaps we enjoyed the new room more having experienced the old.

We all took turns sitting on those stools, enjoying the view as much as Mom and Dad did. We sat our toddlers on the counter, showing them the wonders of Neff Road. Long talks were held by the window. Long talks and a pot of coffee.  We watched as cars came down the road, maybe coming to the Loxley house. We watched for family and friends as they drove or walked up the lane. We watched Dad go down the lane for the mail, and for family members returning from a walk to the bridge. This was our window on the past, and one we still visit in our hearts now and then.

I look out my window over the valley to the hills far away and think how my Dad would have loved this lofty view, especially of the birds. There is not a time that I sit there that I am not drawn back to the farm and that wonderful window. We should all have such windows. Those that tug on the heart. Those that evoke smiles. Windows into the creation of all who care to look.

There's a chill in the air. Perhaps it won't be long until I see snow.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Run, Turkey, Run

Not being much of an athlete or a follower thereof, I must make a confession. I thought the Turkey Trot was for turkeys trying to escape hunters, looking for a Thanksgiving bird. Hm. Well, at least it should be. 

This time of the year I have turkeys on the mind. I hate that the birds are raised just for eating. What a life! And, I feel the same for all food animals even though I do partake of said critters. As you know, I am a believer that animals have souls as well as do people. Then we come to those being hunted with guns. First of all, it is my belief that we should arm all turkeys with weapons to make the hunt equal. Makes sense to me. However, as you know, I am on the animals' side. 

I wish I could be a vegetarian. I actually like veggies better than meat, yet a great prime rib calls to me now and again. I remember when Dad loaded my pet calf on the trailer to become someone's dinner. "Pam, you did such a good job with the calf. He walked right onto the trailer." Well, darn! I didn't train it to be meat. I trained it to be loved, Dad!!!

I am not against farmers or hunters. I am just for the animals. And, a tofu turkey does not whet my appetite. Not that I don't like tofu, soybean growers. Oh my, it does get complicated. And, I do love turkey sandwiches the day after. In essence, this is a traumatic time of the year for the turkeys and me.

This article seems to be about me and those darn birds. Yet, maybe it is about a bit more. Maybe it is about realizing that animals give up their lives for us. In olden days animals were sacrificed for higher deities. Perhaps we are still sacrificing turkeys to our deity in thanks. Hm. Sometimes I wonder where my mind will lead me. 

So, in keeping with the season, all I can say is "Run, Turkey, Run!!!!"

Monday, November 5, 2018

Just crossing off days

My Halloween decorations sit waiting to be stored for another year. The weather is warm and flowers still blooming. The trees are just glorious this year. And, next to me, Emma sits with her tablet making a Christmas list. Just crossing off days.

I was a little girl living back the lane when I made my first list. I found it in some papers from the farm. The printing is that of a very small child. Some letters are large and some are small. All go uphill and downhill like a silly worm that lost sight of the body parts preceding it. That small girl asked for a black baby doll. Yes, I have always been this way. I knew that beauty was in the doll and not the color of it.

Santa certainly read that list for on Christmas Day Amosandra was sleeping dressed in a long yellow gown with blue trim inside of a grey baby buggy. It truly might be the one present I hold most dear. That little doll went to Washington DC and every place else with me.

Years ago I found the doll in a paper bag inside of a dresser in my old room. Being a rubber doll, she had not made the trip through life in good condition. Most of her was so fragile that to touch her she would crumble. Yes, I cried. The tears were those of a little girl who knew how to love with all her heart, saying good-bye to her sweet friend.

I don't know if Mom and Dad realized the gift that they had given me went much deeper into my soul than just the love of a doll. I grew up blind to the color of people. I grew up with a deep love of color and the beauty it possess, the diversity it adds to my life and most of all the richness that happens with the shades of humanity. It was the gift for a lifetime.

Those days of my childhood are crossed off. I now look at my granddaughter and see the child I was so very long ago. I wonder if I have perhaps given her pieces of who she will become. Okay, she wants a hot tub, a horse (I asked for that most years), a trampoline and a playground just to name a few. I don't know what I give her, but she gives me the reminders of what it was to be a child with hopes and dreams. She gives me words to type and love to express.

We are just crossing off the days from Halloween to Christmas.