Archive for the ‘pilgrims’ Tag

11/24/2021 “Happy Thanksgiving”   Leave a comment

Since posting the real letters of a real Pilgrim yesterday I thought I’d covered the holiday rather well. Today I did a little net surfing and made the mistake of reading the Wikipedia entry on the history of Thanksgiving. It irritates me a little when they spend so much time telling me about some meaningless conflict over where Thanksgiving originated.  In their opinion 36 colonists arriving in Virginia in 1619 gave thanks that they survived the crossing and years later it was claimed by some Virginians as the birth place of Thanksgiving. I just don’t see that as the real Thanksgiving. Did they celebrate with the native Americans? Who knows? Did any of them survive that first winter? Who knows? Maybe in 1000 A.D. Leif Ericson and a few Vikings landed in northern Maine and were thankful for not running out of food and water. Was that the real Thanksgiving? Now that I think about it, how about Ponce de Leon. He landed in Florida in late March of 1513, near present-day St. Augustine. He claimed this beautiful land for Spain and I’m sure he gave thanks for surviving his arrival. Then we must of course celebrate Thanksgiving as a Spanish holiday in March. Really, I think I’d prefer to celebrate that Viking holiday in Maine as the real one compared something Spanish. These kinds of arguments are all so much hogwash and an entire waste of everyone’s time.

I wasn’t planning a rant against Wikipedia but once again I want it understood I’m skeptical of a lot of their information, but that’s just my humble opinion.

Why I’m even bothering to rant is the real question. Well, I once lived in Kingston, Massachusetts, just a few short miles from where the Mayflower is berthed in Plymouth harbor. A few of my friends were actual descendants of the Wampanoag Indian tribe who assisted the Pilgrims back in the day. I was lucky enough to hear from them about their version of Thanksgiving. I’ve visited the Plimouth Plantation on many occasions and once even ate Thanksgiving dinner there with some family and friends. Screw Wikipedia and their politically correct nonsense.

The traditional celebration is one of the few holidays left that has actual meaning for me. I just can’t allow that tradition to be watered down with a lot of political nonsense. Enjoy your holiday with your friends and family. Give thanks for every good thing you can think of. Have a great meal and a pleasant day and hug your kids.

Just as a side note. I won’t be posting tomorrow because I’ll be doing all of those things myself.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

03-17-2015 Journal–Spring is Now Officially Here!   Leave a comment

More light snow through the night last night but we’re expecting warmer temperatures today.  As we drove through the surrounding towns this morning it became fairly obvious that Spring has officially sprung.  It seems as if every maple tree in Maine is in the process of being tapped for their sap.  It’s one of the best indicators that Winter is on it’s way out finally.  These first two photos are examples of the old time way of tapping.

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‘Old School – Low Tech’

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Many of the local farming families have been doing this since just after the Pilgrims landed and like doing it the tried and true way of their predecessors.  Others have succumbed to the more modern ways and now use multiple plastic tubes from multiple trees that flow into a central container.  Take a look.

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‘New School – High Tech’

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The results are the same but there’s something really comforting about seeing it done the old way.  You can almost picture the pilgrims and their ancestors tapping trees in these same areas in the mid 1600’s.  History is just too cool.

As we made our way home I snapped this final picture of what looks to be a very lonely horse.  He’s just hanging around and watching the world go by. I think he’ll be just as happy as the rest of us to see Spring arrive.

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11-27-2013. Thanksgiving   2 comments

It’s just turning 6 am on Thanksgiving morning.  It’s a windy and chilly day as it seems to be every year on Thanksgiving and I love it.  This just happens to be the one holiday that means more to me than any of the others.  Many holidays are religious and since I’m not a religious person they mean very little to me.  My best memories of my family are those from the many Thanksgivings we spent together.  There is no anticipation of gifts and the many negatives associated with that mind set.  It’s just a peaceful family gathering to share a meal and to be thankful for the good things in our lives.

I’m lying in bed with my better-half who’s sawing some serious logs next to me.  My cat just jumped up on the bed to demand his Thanksgiving breakfast, and the coffee pot just came alive and is beeping to let me know it’s time to get up.  This morning is  going to be just about me and that big, fat, twenty pound bird awaiting me in the kitchen.  I began thawing  him out two days ago and yesterday I began some of the prep work for his debut today.  Tradition means so much to me and I love preparing the bird.

As a youngster I spent all of my Thanksgivings with my immediate family at my grandmother’s home. She was an old school cook whose Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners were the things of legend, just incredible.  She was responsible for my undying love of cranberry sauce (the jelly kind) and the stuffing and gravy she was famous for.  I begged her for years for her gravy recipe but she’d just smile and say “maybe when your a little older”.  She went to her grave with the secret and I’ve spent years still trying to get it  just right.  Man do I miss her at this time of the year.

As a young man I married and moved away from my home area in Pittsburgh to Massachusetts and lived twenty minutes from Plymouth Plantation.  I visited Plymouth every year and attended as many of the local celebrations as possible.  I ate Thanksgiving dinner at the Plantation, was on and off the Mayflower many times, and really developed a love for the area.  We even visited many of the Wampanoag  Indian ceremonies that we were introduced to us by a friend who was a member of the tribe.  It was a terrific tradition we’d developed but as in all things change was inevitable.

Divorce required me to find a new residence.  I bought a small cottage near the ocean in Kingston, Massachusetts only 5 minutes from downtown Plymouth.  I lived there for three years and submerged myself in the history of the Pilgrims, the Indians, and everything Thanksgiving.  Again changes had to be made when my company bankrupted and I moved to Maine.  For the next seven years I celebrated a rather lonely Thanksgiving tradition.  I returned home to Pittsburgh once or twice during that time but for the most part it was just me, my cat and two ferrets. I maintained my own tradition with a large turkey breast, stuffing and all the trimmings and made the most of my crappy situation. The memories of all my past Thanksgiving’s helped tremendously but once again change was in the air. It arrived unexpectedly in the person of my better-half.

After a few years of adjusting to one another we’ve finally settled into a rather happy life and the holiday traditions had to change once more. We both maintain certain of our own family Thanksgiving traditions and are now creating a few of our own.  This year we’re welcoming our new grandson to the table for the very first time.  He was just a pooping and crying ball of flesh last Thanksgiving but now he’s grown into a walking and almost talking little person about to be officially seated at the holiday table.  I hope in the years to come the memories of his grandmother will mean as much to him as mine do to me.

I also hope that your Thanksgiving will be even better than what you expected.  The best thing about traditions is their flexibility.  No matter how much change we’re forced to deal with, both good and bad, the traditions carry on regardless.  The thoughts of years past and loved ones who are no longer with us  are the real traditions and they can never be taken away.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

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