Thanksgiving or a Harvest Festival has been around in one form or another since the first hunter-gatherer said, “Enough of this eating by chance. I’m planting stuff to eat in this piece of ground.” Then when the food stuff pushed through the soil and grew to full size, that person gathered the grain and vegetables and was thankful to whatever he deemed responsible for not having to go into the forest and feed his family by the luck of the draw. It might not have happened that way exactly, but I’m telling this story and I’ll imagine it my way. (I’m reasonably certain they did not speak English).
There are historical records that the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Chinese (among others) celebrated a new harvest that would see them through the winter. At HarvestFestivals.Net, you can read about cultures who have celebrated this time of the year. You might be surprised that the Native Americans celebrated long before the Pilgrims arrived. Continue reading Be Thankful!→
Once a year a particular type of excitement came to our small town on the banks of the Ohio River. The Fourth of July, Independence Day, called for parades, and picnics and visits from relatives. But for me the great excitement happened all week—The carnival came to town with thrilling rides, a merry-go-round, cotton candy, and pony rides. I could hardly contain myself waiting for the Fourth, the night my family would go the carnival. Loud music, bright lights, and a duck pond where I could to pick a little plastic duck with a number on its bottom that corresponded to a prize hanging on the back wall of the stall.
I know now that the prizes were cheap trinkets, but then I was excited that I had actually won something.
People dressed up then as though they were going somewhere special, and for some it was a special treat. I could go on describing the excitement and wonder of it all, but instead let me share a story I wrote some time back about a child, Emily, and her very first Fourth of July adventure which mirrors my first experience of Goin’ to the Fourth.
Thanksgiving was never a big deal when I was very young. We didn’t have turkey or stuffing or family gathered around. I don’t know why we didn’t celebrate it. My mom was always saying she was thankful for this or that. Maybe she didn’t need a special day to remind her to be thankful. So far as I know none of my mother’s people made a special day of the fourth Thursday of November.