Thanks Giving Day

Whither a day of national honor?  What the heck happened to a day that used to be a day off to remember our first years as colonists, starving and saved by our native brethren (or something like that).

Blue Bronc

Blue Bronc

Look at it this way.  Yeah, there were a lot of “thanks giving” days associated with November, and feasts and lots of feathers from turkeys being turned into dinner.  November in most temperate climates was harvest time.  Grains were gathered and put into storage for the winter (and sometimes that storage was needed for more than a year due to bad weather).  Game was easier to spot without leaves on the trees too.  It is a good time to put on the extra weight needed to survive a long night of winter.

thanksgivingWhat about our Native American cousins?  Yup. They saved many colonists, which then eventually turned around and killed the saviours.  This occurred up and down the coastline, from north to south.  So once again we have a lot of “thanks giving” days.

Okay.  It was Abe Lincoln, once again, who gave us a holiday, Thanksgiving.  It was 1863 and things were not exactly ducky in the Civil War.  So he declared a national day of Thanksgiving to celebrate all the good things happening in the war.  However, it was not a holiday, it was just a day of “thanks giving”.

A few years later our hero, FDR (a hero, but kind of weird), saves the day (really does) when he declares the fourth Thursday of November a day of ‘thanksgiving.”  This is a good thing because it turns a miserable day for football in Detroit into a good day for sitting home and eating turkey.

Something important to state at this moment.  The turkey that was almost the national symbol is not the turkey on your plate this year.  The dinner turkey of the 1600′s and earlier, and up until the modern era, was a tough, skinny, wily, and somewhat evil natured beast with a sense of humour.  Think of a tyrannous Rex shrunk down to the size of a parrot on steroids.

That bird is not what we eat today.  I just read an article regarding how the thing on the table is not the same as what we chowed down on in 1960 (I remember when Ike was president).  What we eat today is not the same as a wild turkey.  What we have today will die an unnatural death whether it becomes a dinner or not.

Oops.  Back on track.  What happened to our day of giving thanks?  Do you remember, oh forget that, most of you were born after Ollie North lied to Congress.  One of the easiest days to give up has been Thanksgiving.  Congress gave it a Thursday, and not a four day weekend.  It has no religious backing, just a lot of pig out.  The “real” holiday of the year is four weeks away.  And, there is not much else to do other than hole up and drink or go shopping at this time of year.

thanksgiving_dinnerSo. We have football in crappy weather.  We have good food, lots of food.  We have the day off and nobody wanting to hang around with Crazy Aunt Bee or Creepy Uncle Bo, so why not go outside and pretend all is right with (ops wrong holiday).  You can’t do anything like we did back in the 50′s in school because it really is offensive to our Native American cousins and others.  So?

Why not go shopping?  The retailers were tired of a dead day in the cash register, so they advertised a little trying to get people to come to the store and shop.  The people were there — who wanted to go to work on Friday?  Nobody.  Without a church holiday (except for a freaky couple I know who had Black Friday as one of their religious holidays (very freaky) to keep people from over drinking and eating left-overs the store keepers came up with a winner.shoppers

Opening hours at 8 top retailers on Thanksgiving

And, so the stuffed, pickled and on holiday Americans are now skipping a national holiday, hence the under-abundance of Thanksgiving decorations and straight to Christmas from Labor Day life.  I do miss the build up to Thanksgiving from Halloween. I do miss having time in the stores where carols and jingles were to happen after Thanksgiving Day.

What can we do to reclaim a holiday?  Sadly, I fear very little.  The holiday vanished long ago.  The few things we can do is enjoy the day, focus on happiness and eat healthy.  Sanity is ours, only if we know we are sane.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

Note from Craig: As always I am thankful for Trail Mixers, and an extra thanks to the many contributors, such as Blue Bronc, who have been writing a rich variety of interesting and thought-provoking posts for us this year. Hope to see more joining the team. And now, a little something one of my Kentucky cousins passed along, read by her preacher in church last Sunday:

thnksvglineODE TO A TURKEY

When I was a young turkey, new to the coop,
My big brother Mike took me out on the stoop,
Then he sat me down, and he spoke real slow,
And he told me there was something that I had to know;
His look and his tone I will always remember,
When he told me of the horrors of….. Black November;

dinnersign1Come about August, now listen to me,
Each day you’ll get six meals instead of just three,
“And soon you’ll be thick, where once you were thin,
And you’ll grow a big rubbery thing under your chin;
“And then one morning, when you’re warm in your bed,
In’ll burst the farmer’s wife, and hack off your head;
“Then she’ll pluck out all your feathers so you’re bald ‘n pink,
And scoop out all your insides and leave ya lyin’ in the sink;

toughturkey1Well, the rest of his words were too grim to repeat,
I sat on the stoop like a winged piece of meat,
And decided on the spot that to avoid being cooked,
I’d have to lay low and remain overlooked;
I began a new diet of nuts and granola,
High-roughage salads, juice and diet cola;
And as they ate pastries, chocolates and grapes,
I stayed in my room doing Jane Fonda tapes;
I maintained my weight of two pounds and a half,
And tried not to notice when the bigger birds laughed;
But ’twas I who was laughing, under my breath,
As they chomped and they chewed, ever closer to death;
And sure enough when Black November rolled around,
I was the last turkey left in the entire compound;

So now I’m a pet in the farmer’s wife’s lap;
I haven’t a worry, so I eat and I nap;
She held me today, while sewing and humming,
And smiled at me and said
“Christmas is coming”


66 thoughts on “Thanks Giving Day

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

    woo coo ca choo…

    I’m thankful for everything about my life.

    yeah… I’m up early… I have a craft booth to put up. So everyone enjoy whatever they eat today… and oh yeah…. it’s football day! :smile:

  2. Happy Thanksgiving to All!!

    The Health Sherpa is a free guide that makes it easier to find and sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The people behind the web site are pro ACA, and built this web site with the information they were to able gather from It provides the reader with the various health care plans and their related cost and well as contact information. With high yearly deductibles and the rest, it still resembles an interest only loan. Knock on wood, I know of no one who is paying $5000 plus yearly in medical deductible.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!…

    Thankful to know that Trailmix & his Mixers are here to come back to…

    Hope everyone enjoys this day with friends & family…

  4. well, pumpkin pie baked and cooling. cranberry orange pecan relish freshly made. turkey in the oven and giblets asimmer on the stove. now for the best part: the delicious aromas, the siren call of thanksgivings past.

    no parade, no football. just gluttony, festive spirits and good friends.

    happy day to all the trail, the congeniality and civility for which I’m very thankful.

  5. Arrived in CA. yesterday to spend the day with youngest daughter Janna.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. Enjoy the day however you choose to spend it..

  6. Is a good day to travel to my Brother’s home and enjoy his delicious cooking; the love of our mother and my nieces and nephews. This day is always an important day for sharing, just as it was 400 years ago.

  7. Waiting for Mr. Cracker to get up so we can start eating and drinking — the traditional holiday bloody mary. My friend Roberto is coming over at 2 for the start of the serious eating. Despite eye-rolling and sounds of disgust from others — we are having latkes as an appetizer and then mashed potatoes and roasted sweet potatoes with the turkey

    The only question remaining is in which dish to use the sour creme and in which to use the creme fraiche.

    Thank you all for being entertaining, informative and bringing such unique personalities into my life.

  8. Thanksgiving: a day where the Redskins provide the puritans with a crapload of entertainment in return for mucho wampum.

    Chop, chop.

  9. It’s been nice seeing all the long absent names popping up. As we get closer to this really important mid-term election, I hope that gives them the impetus to share their wisdom more regularly.

    Daughter and I had the turkey in the oven a couple of hours ago--guests should be arriving sometime after one.

    It’s the kid’s 52d b-day today. I gave her her present during a break this morning--a nice 6-1/2 quart KitchenAid slow cooker. She expressed pleasure at having it. She’s an excellent chef.

    It’s still really cold. I guess I’ll set a fire in the fireplace then go make myself handsome. Wish I had time to take a nap, but I don’t. Oh, well.

    Okay, gang, here’s my best, most profound thanks giving good wishes to each and every one of us. May they carry us through until next November. (And yes, I did have a nice chat with Kumcho first thing this morning, and Crystal, and The Great Teacher, too.)

  10. “The promise of living, with joy and thanksgiving”

    So American and so perfect for today.

    ;-) ;-) ;-)

  11. Happy Thanksgiving to all. The day we celebrate in American when the natives welcomed undocumented immigrants.- Mangold

    Probably the best tweet of the day.

  12. part of today is about the celebration of the harvest or The celebration of food in plenty. Nothin’ wrong with that,
    While few of us have suffered hunger a good many of our parents or in the cases of younger folks grandparents did. For a good many of the folks that lived through the depression an orange was an unheard of luxury and a chicken, turkey or even a nice roast that wasn’t bone and gristle were beyond their means So for them it was a point of pride to be able to set a table loaded with food where friends and family. could eat until full and then they urge them to eat ” just one more piece”

    Not sure just where I’m heading with this comment, just remembering other folks and other thanksgivings


  13. Happy Thanksgiving to all. Enjoying the day in DC with my daughter and a few of her friends, and hoping my alma mater has a respectable showing against Memphis in an Old Spice Classics game this evening. ESPN2 at 6:30.

  14. Today the wife and I have all to ourselves
    Todays food

    Morning coffee and pumpkin pie

    Scrambled eggs with pruchetta de parma, shrimp sun dried tomatoes,mushrooms. From the garden the last of red chilis and green chilis. onion and spinach. All scrambled together,
    Sliced some of the baggette I bought yesterday and toast. served toast with softened creamy goat cheese and fig jam.
    Broiled slice of pineapple
    coffee and OJ

    Brief break about 1pm assorted crackers with cured meats and several cheeses from a local goat farmer. Really good stuff, I’m doing my best to enjoy it until they give up and do something that pays a living wage. A Missouri white wine that fits our need. Good and cheap.

    Main meal
    the last of my garden tomatos that have been ripening on the counter. Sliced placed on top of a 5 inch piece of the baggette I bought yesterday sprinkled with dried herbs from the garden and slid under the broiler..
    A top sirloin roast Prime Beef, really good stuff.
    Mashed yukon golds from the garden.
    A slaw made with cabbage celery, carrots apples and pineapple. vinegar and sugar dressing.

    Desert, Family traditional cranberry whip and pumpkin pie.


  15. You two are definitely living the good life, Jack. That song you linked is so beautiful… and thanks for generously sharing the details of your day. Sounds wonderful.

    Nice… those beautiful french lyrics before I continue with the french series I’m getting close to finishing. I’m always lost when these things, I absorb myself in, end.

    … hope everyone had as good a day as Jack and his significant other.

  16. Thanksgiving truly is my favorite holiday of the year because it isn’t about conspicuous consumption except for the meal As a result we make it a point to never go out to buy anything for the whole of the weekend.

  17. From the time stamp you can see that I and a few others do have day jobs on the day after. Traditionally I, and others who have the desk today, get the best work done as there are few distractions and bothers around.

    Enjoy a great day, those who work today. That a Thursday-Friday holiday was not created is something for future politicians to fix.

  18. Cherokee Prayer Blessing:

    May the Warm Winds of Heaven
    Blow softly upon your house.
    May the Great Spirit
    Bless all who enter there.
    May your Mocassins
    Make happy tracks
    in many snows,
    and may the Rainbow
    Always touch your shoulder.

  19. @P0TUS
    At the Cheney family Thanksgiving, Liz asked Mary if she wanted breast meat and it was all downhill from there.


  20. Tryptophan overdose. I nearly pitched forward into my second helping of mashed potatoes and gravy, but woke up just in time. Fortunately, no one noticed, as they were all trypping too. I stayed awake on the long drive home, and was sawing dream-logs before 10. I haven’t slept so well in weeks.

    What a surprise this morning . . . I’d only laid on one pound of fat ! That bird must have been breathing helium.

  21. I think we should see this time as an opportunity to revamp our national holidays and why we celebrate. Columbus Day has kind of gone by the wayside due to the protests and at least on the west coast was Indigenous People’s Day. —

    Thanksgiving historically is just as inaccurate and probably should be celebrated for a different reason.

    It’s time for all of us to face up to the fact that we have no idea of our real history because most of it has been cleaned up to always make us look good.

    As for the unpleasantness between the North and the South — like many Northerners I felt it was the fault of the South and now I have learned (not suprisingly) the NE was full of slave owners and traders.and that many of the Ivy league schools benefited from the slave trade new book out
    by Wilder — Ebony and Ivy

  22. In the case of Brown, a recovering slave trader endowed the school. Others continued to grow Cuban cane with slaves into the 20th Century.

  23. Well, I got up around 8 this morning. Fussed around the kitchen for a while then went back to bed and slept until eleven. I’ve finally had my breakfast and will go take my morning shower in a little bit.

    I did go to the Microsoft Store web site and ordered one of their spiffy Windows Surface tablets for $199 plus tax delivered. Best price by far for an excellent productivity tool. Ordered a fancy accessory kit off of Amazon for $15. Maybe I’ll finish the Pinot before I shower. :)

    Thanksgiving dinner was fine. The guests oohed and aahed over the very well set table and were eager to take leftovers. And, the fire in the fireplace surely added to the feeling of living off our magnificent land.

    Thanksgiving, indeed.

  24. Rhode Island the center of slave trading--

    In the case of Brown, a recovering slave trader endowed the school.

    along with his partner the DeWolfe’s the largest slave traders in the US ever

  25. We are exceptional at deluding ourselves about what we are really doing

  26. all of it:

    “With God On Our Side”

    Oh my name it is nothin’
    My age it means less
    The country I come from
    Is called the Midwest
    I’s taught and brought up there
    The laws to abide
    And the land that I live in
    Has God on its side.

    Oh the history books tell it
    They tell it so well
    The cavalries charged
    The Indians fell
    The cavalries charged
    The Indians died
    Oh the country was young
    With God on its side.

    The Spanish-American
    War had its day
    And the Civil War too
    Was soon laid away
    And the names of the heroes
    I’s made to memorize
    With guns on their hands
    And God on their side.

    The First World War, boys
    It came and it went
    The reason for fighting
    I never did get
    But I learned to accept it
    Accept it with pride
    For you don’t count the dead
    When God’s on your side.

    When the Second World War
    Came to an end
    We forgave the Germans
    And then we were friends
    Though they murdered six million
    In the ovens they fried
    The Germans now too
    Have God on their side.

    I’ve learned to hate Russians
    All through my whole life
    If another war comes
    It’s them we must fight
    To hate them and fear them
    To run and to hide
    And accept it all bravely
    With God on my side.

    But now we got weapons
    Of the chemical dust
    If fire them we’re forced to
    Then fire them we must
    One push of the button
    And a shot the world wide
    And you never ask questions
    When God’s on your side.

    In a many dark hour
    I’ve been thinkin’ about this
    That Jesus Christ
    Was betrayed by a kiss
    But I can’t think for you
    You’ll have to decide
    Whether Judas Iscariot
    Had God on his side.

    So now as I’m leavin’
    I’m weary as Hell
    The confusion I’m feelin’
    Ain’t no tongue can tell
    The words fill my head
    And fall to the floor
    If God’s on our side
    He’ll stop the next war.

  27. Dextrose……yep that was a one….. And now my Gwin is on the tweeter racking up folliers….or is it follicles…..whatever….the coolest thin-g of all the inter-naughts was yesterday when dickie smothers punched “like” on my comment…..I stand here an Umble morn and half armused…

    You kidding me? Dickie Smudders???

    Ok god, enough is enough….. Reminds me of the time old Charles Kuralt stood in the doorway and waved a big good-bye…..warmed the sticklers of me old Horus…..

  28. Ate the Thanksgiving leftovers last night. Probably ate than I did on Thursday.

    “Gluttony” the sequel due out December 25. ;-)

  29. I will be soon making a frame….a king-hell frame which will leave all the other frames back there in the primordial dust…right now I’m planning out the corners…. When I get thru The frame will be so cool that I’ll have to make a frame for it……..not a problem….I live in a woodshop.

  30. And, Sturg, with your kid contemplating a move to Detroit, it must seem really daunting. FWIW, w/my grandson there, I’ve made a number of fly-ins over the years, earlier w/Kumcho and this year, for his graduation, w/his Aunt Sue and the rest of our family.

    I am mightily impressed by the spirit I see in middle class Detroit. I really want to characterize it as a pioneering spirit with the trekkers eager to jump aboard entrepreneurial ventures.

    And Detroit being Detroit, music is in the bones. Jasper took a couple of the young people to a music bar featuring dueling something or others. They said it was really neat.

    Let me worry with you while we both hope for the best

  31. Flatus, hope you — and others — remember to use our Amazon button for purchases during the holidays. Kick backs for the TM penny jar! Just had to spend some bucks upgrading our mobile version (which btw should now be Apple iOS7 friendly), so every little bit helps.

  32. Craig et al. I hope everyone is enjoying the long holiday weekend. Posting this from my iPhone 5.0. Accessing TM through either Craig’s email or via Google. Lost access when I upgraded to iOS7. Seems to be working ok now.

  33. I think Detroit is a great place to go. Very lively restaurant scene and not every place is dangerous to live. There are some near suburbs with plenty of excellent safety services. I havea close friend who grew up in Detroit and most of her family still lives there. She has a sister who was a city employee she has nothing nice to say about the governor. Her nephew is in a big law firm there and has been doing a lot of traveling to China. They think ithas to be a regional approach.

    Unless their Koch-head governor pulls some more bone head moves -- all the ingredients for something good are there. The hard decision is how to resolve the neighborhoods that will survive and those that will not. For any success they have to move some people who don’t want to go.
    I’m trying to imagine how I would feel if I was told I was going to be relocated.

  34. oh no…Am I going to have to change my gnome de plume

    What about the teams of the South? Let’s start with Atlanta, Carolina, and Tennessee. Marshall himself would have nary a cross word for Dixie of course. But if these teams had been named in the spirit in which Redskins were named, they might have been dubbed Rednecks, Crackers, Peckerwoods. Some other Southern teams represent special cases. New Orleans is heavily Catholic, so they might have ended up the Mackerel-Snappers or something along those lines

  35. Born in Detroit, grew up next to it. Used to go to the Pistons at Cobo Hall Arena. Tigers at Tiger Stadium. Lions at Briggs/Tigers Stadium. And, Red Wings at Olympia.

    We used to go to Windsor for lunch, dinner or a show.

  36. I just heard an ad for Blacklist, aand wonder if anyone else has been watching it. James Spader is something else.

    Chloe, Andrea and the kids came over for the last of October because the boys had a vacation and Andrea is handling the preporation of her grandmother’s house in San Francisco. They went back on November 2 and I went with them
    and it was agood thing, too, especially when we landed at Charles de Gaulle.

    My god, that place is huge. There was a wheelchair waiting for me and a young woman to push me around, for what turned out to be an hour or so it seemed. Elevators and moving walkways and tram car just to get to the luggage place. I had one big suitcase and they had three big duffel bags, plus three other bags, plus backpacks.

    My pusher was African-French, named Lyvia, and she knew that place like the back of her hand. She helped Andrea schlep all those bags and then went to look for carts. There were no carts so she called her boss and they found some.
    Then Steph had our arrival time wrong so we rented a car and drove ourselves.Lyvia was still helping and got me seated safely in the car!

    the triptp Blois took at least two hours and we stopped en route and got something to eat, smiles galore from the people who worked there. Just nice happy people

    The country reminded me of Long Island! Really.
    I was surprised too. Well, of eastern LI. Mostly flat and wooded. We had a gps and Andrea was a little stumped by some of the directions but did fine. Of course, the boys fell asleep at times, but chattered too.

    The restaurant at the stop place had pre-wrapped sandwiches and exactly what you’d expect here, and nice restrooms too. In the older shops that has been a bit of a problem for Andrea with three boys.

    I did try some of my basic French but with Andrea
    there,…I mean , why?

    This is pretty long already, but as long as I have
    this place to keep babbling I’ll keep on with my diary.

  37. bethyboo,

    that was not long enough. I want to hear more. maybe gracious host can persuade you to do a thread called “innocent abroad” with photos of “bethy does france” …
    you have a talent for putting me right there sharing the joys of discovery or even re-discovery.
    thanks, bethy. what a nice sunday morning start.

  38. twain: “great books are wine. my books are water…[he pauses and you can almost see the wink]…but every body drinks water”

  39. sturgeone,
    thanks for that link. the faulkner on twain insult below imho falls into the takes-one-to-know-one category.

    A hack writer who would not have been considered a fourth rate in Europe, who tricked out a few of the old proven ‘sure-fire’ literary skeletons with sufficient local colour to intrigue the superficial and the lazy.
    William Faulkner (1897-1962) on Mark Twain (1835-1910)

    far rather be stuck with any twain tome on a desert island than faulkner’s fulsome falderols

  40. bethyboo,

    Hey, Bethy
    I completely agree with what Pat said.

    Just love hearing about you, your wonderful family and your take on things.

    Keep ‘em coming! Please.

  41. Sunday Serendipity.

    A little something in honor of Bethy’s trip to France. ;-)
    A nice antidote to the really bad holiday music that has already been playing in the stores for far too long.
    Enjoy and have a wonderful Sunday!

  42. Flatus:
    Jace, I’m happy that you take every opportunity to stay close to your kids.


    I do and we have a wonderful time. Dan, eldest daughter’s significant other took us flying yesterday. Just a leisurely flight up the coast on a beautiful day. Afterwards I got to watch a P51 D make several take offs and landings What a kick.
    Got to climb all over the plane and have a look in the cock pit. For $1200 I could have had a ride. ;-)

    Had a wonderful dinner party with friends and family last night. The occasion for which was the once a year nuisance known as birthdays.
    It was a dirty job but someone had to do it.

    The upside to turning 59 is that I don’t feel a damn bit different that I did when I was 58.

  43. patd, I watched the USF-UCF game late Friday. Finally it seems as if the Bulls are getting behind the trauma of multiple coaches resulting from the necessary firing of its first head a few years ago after he smacked a player in the locker room.

    After four games, their true freshman quarterback is finally grasping the fundamentals of college ball and being competitive; The Bulls gave Orlando a run for their money.

    Ohio State, did as The Ohio State does, whether at home or on the road--win. Incessantly.

    It’s too bad they won’t have the chance to whup on Alabama. But, I’m a traditionalist. I’d rather see them in the Rose Bowl.

  44. jace, some four-star wanted to bring P51s back during Vietnam--said it would be the perfect airplane. Total BS. He just wanted to have fun at others’ expense.

    Glad you had a great time!

  45. Flatus,

    It was at a really neat air museum at the Camarillo air
    port. Funded by donations. They had some great air planes and some excellent exhibits. It was two hours very well spent. Was thrilled to see a fully restored operational Spitfire, as well as an exhibit of code breaking apparatus.

  46. jace, well, then, two other ‘must sees’ when your travels take you in their direction. The first is at Naval Air Station Pensacola and is a compact but brilliantly assembled history of aviation from its roots to the current day. And, the other is the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB outside of Dayton. It as at least one of everything.

    Many of the old Army installations have mission related exhibits and museums. Very impressive ones that I have visited are Aberdeen Proving Ground outside of Baltimore, Fort Knox KY not too far Louisville, and Ft Leavenworth KS just above KC. The last one has a fascinating exhibit of wagons exhibiting the skills involved in their making. The Fort, itself, is steeped in history.

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