November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving...Let's Hear It for the Big Bird's Big Day!

It's a lightly snow-covered landscape here in upstate New York for Thanksgiving this year, and cold, too!  The weather gods wreaked a bit of havoc for "home-for-the-holidays" travelers yesterday, but things seem to have settled down now and it's a bright and clear, if very chilly, day.

I recently wrote a post that I shared with friends on Facebook about my disappointment that a lot of the accoutrements of autumn and Thanksgiving were pushed out of view in retail stores almost moments after trick-or-treaters made their annual neighborhood tours.  Hardly an autumnal display of gourds and pumpkins or a traditional turkey dish or platter to be found anywhere and this most American of holidays was still nearly 4 weeks away!  It was so disheartening to me to see the trappings of Christmas, lovely as they are, consume our visual environment in the stores before we've taken a moment to enjoy the rest of the autumn season, the bounty of the annual harvest, and given thanks for our many blessings.  

The nice thing about Thanksgiving is that it's about celebrating food and the importance of sharing it with friends and family and being thankful for the good things in our lives.  It's not about buying stuff and shopping, though the retailers are starting to intrude on the day in ways that I wish they wouldn't.  We can shop 24/7 now, and we don't need to leave the comfort of our chair to do it -- why do stores feel it necessary to open on Thanksgiving Day to sell us stuff and make an extra dollar?  I love the Pizza Hut manager who refused to open his shop on Thanksgiving - and was fired as a result.  Something is very wrong there.  As far as I'm concerned he did the right thing...and more should follow his example.  

Enough ranting,'s time to get back to chopping and sauteeing and preparing to take my contribution to a dinner with friends and celebrate the day and friendship and give thanks for my many blessings on this sunny day.

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

November 3, 2013

Spring Ahead, Fall Back - Seasons Changing...

To my utter embarrassment, spring was the last time I posted here.  It was just a very busy spring and summer, and early fall, so now, upon the first day of (Eastern) Standard Time, I've managed to come back to the fold.  I so enjoy reading others' has become part of my regular weekend traditions...and it's always a treat.  I owe my patient followers an explanation.

I can't promise I'll be back to routine posting, as I'm in a period of transition again - actually, I hope it's close to the end of my extended period of transition - so things are still a bit hectic, but I hope they'll be on a more permanent footing by the first of the year...time will tell.

In the meantime, I celebrated a "milestone" birthday last week - at least some consider it a milestone when there's a 0 involved.  I just prefer to think of it as hardly any different than the day before or the day after.  The fun part was that I was the happy recipient of the lovely arrangement of flowers, mini-pumpkins and bittersweet pictured above. I put them on the shelf by the window and, this afternoon, the sun shone in to illuminate them at just the right angle.

The sun shining in at a certain angle during mid-afternoon also signaled the aforementioned seasonal change as the sun begins to drop on the horizon an hour earlier than yesterday.  It's the sign that the growing season is done, and winter is around the corner.

I love the fall, when the leaves change and the traditions of autumn - Halloween and Thanksgiving - immerse us in the colors of the harvest and pumpkins, but I've always found the change to EST as a depressing day. We "gained back" the hour that we lost in the spring, and though we don't lose an hour, of course, the hours of daylight, which have been diminishing naturally since late June when they were at their longest, are given a preemptive jolt, and the sunlight disappears by 5pm here in the Northeast.  For two months, I'll endure the loss of late afternoon/early evening light and celebrate again when the winter solstice arrives in December...

Enjoy these early days of November as we fall back into the mid-autumn routine.