Here in the U.S. and in Canada, we celebrate an annual national holiday dedicated to giving thanks for our abundant good fortune. Our holiday evolved from much older ones celebrating the gathering of the Autumn harvest. Since we’ve been having this party for a long time, it has gathered many traditions including special foods and activities. Here’s a quiz about some of the more obscure facts related to Thanksgiving. I want you to leave the blog smarter than when you came in! (The answers are at Comment #1.)
The first Thanksgiving Day feast between the new immigrants at Plymouth and the resident Wampanoag tribe lasted three days in 1621. They ate venison, game birds, fish and cranberries (in pemmican). The pilgrims brought beer, but what available vegetable was avoided out of superstition?
What basic eating utensil was unavailable at that first feast?
Two of the Founding Fathers disagreed over the choice for a “national bird”. Thomas Jefferson favored the bald eagle. Who argued in favor of the turkey?
Sarah Josepha Hale began petitioning sitting presidents in favor of adopting a national day of thanksgiving in 1847. Abraham Lincoln acted upon her suggestion in 1863, but Sarah Hale is even better known for what work?
The National Football League started having big games on the holiday in 1934. That contest was between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears. When did the tradition of watching football on Thanksgiving begin?
There are many food traditions associated with Thanksgiving Day besides eating turkey. One popular side dish was created in 1955 by Dorcas Reilly and a team of home economists at the Campbell’s Soup Company, to take advantage of two simple ingredients Americans generally had on hand. Name the dish.
There’s a tradition of U.S. Presidents periodically “pardoning” a selected turkey that goes back as far as JFK, but officially retiring a bird (or two) to a farm or zoo each year began in 1987. This year’s recipients are named Mac and Cheese. Name any of the previous lucky turkeys.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in 1924. The first giant balloon was introduced in 1927, a likeness of which cartoon character?
How many calories (on average) are contained in an American Thanksgiving “one-plate”?
Why do people get drowsy after the meal? Don’t over think it.
I hope each and every person reading gets some time off for reflection in good company, with ample provisions.
“I like to say I’m more conservative than Goldwater. He just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax. I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other.”
How would you like having to nurse your twins in a stranger’s yard?
People love habit. Having the feeling of knowing what comes next is comforting. But you can’t fix problems or grow from a place of complete safety. You have to take risks, spend resources, embrace the insecurity of undetermined outcomes, and dream of better things that might be. Continue reading →
When the world is full of danger, fear and catastrophe, it’s a good time to plant. At my house, we make improvements slowly. We’ve been looking over our property borders for two years, considering what might make them more inviting to our senses, and to neighboring wildlife. Continue reading →
The Gun Control petition I reprinted yesterday went viral. It gathered more than 200,000 signatures in support, and the author, Staci Sarkin, will be going to Congress in person to present it.
There’s some current woo-woo about the world ending on December 21st, because that’s when the Mayan calendar “ends”. I wouldn’t put much stock in the prophetic abilities of the Mayans. They stopped calculating their calendar because they were too busy dealing with the invasion of the Spanish, and two centuries of drought, both of which decimated their culture, neither of which they saw coming. Continue reading →
The time between Halloween and New Year’s Day seems to go by faster every year. I’m doing less than I used to, on purpose, but it still feels like activities, responsibilities, even the passage of hours speeds up. Continue reading →
WOO-HOO! It’s OVER! Those suffering from arrested development will continue to whine for a bit if their man or woman didn’t win, but the wisest will progress to more important matters. Like raking leaves, cleaning the gutters, and throwing out those stupid lawn signs. Continue reading →
It’s been a good week. The rest of the country has been uncomfortably hot, but until yesterday it was raining most days in my little town, and I sometimes felt sad without reason. I chose to live at the geographic edge of a rain forest. It would be silly to expect it to be drier. Perhaps I’m still adjusting to not living in the artificial oasis of El Lay. Continue reading →
There are so many different ways to enjoy sacred classical music. It can be an expression of faith, as it was for these composers. But you don’t have to be religious to enjoy it, because it’s beautiful to hear. Continue reading →
One of the nice things about having creative friends is that you enjoy and pay attention to their work, and it inspires you to produce work yourself. It’s an effect of the originating energy of all art. Continue reading →
Miss Anne, an Uptown lady, told us how it used to be.
My little town had the blues last week. The rest of the world has the blues too, something or other about debts and deficits, but we in the old port town celebrated having the blues with a festival. Continue reading →
There’s a tension that exists between natural and artificial order. You can be creative by playing that tension as if it was a tuned string. If you continue to play, you will undergo a transformation that unifies art and nature. You merge with everything. Continue reading →
Early in our courtship, my wife and I each risked participation in the other’s creative hobbies. She was an experienced ballroom dancer. I had never danced except in the uncontrolled, untrained fashion acceptable between horny teenagers. Continue reading →
We talk within contexts, in groups, in culture, varying with the situation or occasion. I’m trying to collapse the different levels, and unite modernity with tribal spirit. At the most basic level, we pass messages as animals. We smile or show other facial reactions within each other’s sight. It’s more elementary than language. Continue reading →