Monthly Archives: November 2014

Family Traditions #SundayBlogShare

A special thanks to @Suzie81Blog and @Sourcerer for the #SundayBlogShare

The holidays are here.  No denying it.  We had many traditions with my family growing up.  Each side of the family a bit different from the other.  Either way, the day usually started with travel.  An hour or two by car, depending on which set of grandparents we were visiting that year.  On my dad’s side, we would usually have ham, unless my uncle had bagged a turkey while hunting.  Mom’s side was usually turkey, although occasionally my papaw wanted ham because he was tired of turkey.  Both families would gather in the kitchen and then spill out into the living room or outside if it wasn’t too cold yet.  Someone would call us all together and we would quiet down for a minute. They would pray and give thanks and then it got noisy again while everyone was getting food and chatting all throughout the meal. The day ended with everyone pitching into clean up, put away the extra chairs, card tables and saying our goodbyes.

Christmas brings another set of traditions.  We would go out into the woods behind my grandparents house and find the perfect cedar tree.  Not too big, just the right size to go in our living room. This happens right after Thanksgiving.  We  cut the tree and tie it to the top of the old Rambler station wagon. Of course as soon as we get it home, it’s got to go in water and get decorated. The ornaments were always an odd assortment including several hand-made ornaments from each child.  The stockings were hung by the chimney with care – sorry couldn’t resist 🙂 Mom would always make gingerbread cookies. We’d go to Christmas Eve service and then the kids could open one present before going to bed. Get up at the crack of dawn or maybe before and wake the parents. Build up the fire and open presents.  Mom would be making bacon and waffles or sometimes blueberry pancakes. If we did not stay home, we went to visit the grandparents.  It was very similar at the grandparents, except they tried to feed you more.

Dad was into photography, so everything had to be photographed. Family gatherings, decorating for Christmas, raking leaves, camping, hiking, you name it, he photographed it.  I’ll get around to digitizing some of those old pictures.  Hmm, that’s probably a couple of hundred blog entries right there.  And maybe a therapy session or two 🙂

What are your family traditions?  I would love to hear yours, so please leave a comment below.

inequality in the skies

I’m on a plane right now, flying from Sacramento back to Albany. And sitting here I’m reminded of how air travel itself reflects the growing inequality of society in a trivial, but suggestive, way. Planes have always had first-class and passenger cabins, at least as far as I know. If the Titanic had this distinction, […]

Thanksgiving, are you thankful?

As I sit here in the hospital with dad, I am thankful for the 91 years he has had so far. He moved from ICU to a private room this afternoon. I’m thankful that I don’t have to get a visitors pass to see him. He is resting after dinner. Things are getting better. He is harassing the nurses, so I know he’s beginning to feel a little better. I started thinking about all the changes that dad saw over the last 9 decades.  Mass production of the automobile, phone service, computers, transition from film to digital photography, color movies, television, men on the moon, nuclear bombs, nuclear power, and the list goes on and on.  I can tell you that he is not thankful for television.  He doesn’t even own one. We had one growing up.  It was my grandparents old black and white that they gave to us when they got their first color one. That could be a whole topic of its own.  Dad has seen a lot of changes, some good, some questionable. During his navy days at the end of World War 2, he saw the A-bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. Check out the You Tube video here I’m thankful this didn’t affect my dad as it did so many others  exposed to radiation.  I’m thankful that we camped, traveled, hiked and spent time together.  I’m thankful for the hospital staff that is giving dad treatment and maybe a few more years.  I’m thankful we had food for family and friends to stop by for dinner.  I’m thankful for the internet that let’s me blog from wherever I am. I’m thankful for the capability to travel and visit my dad while he is recovering. I’m thankful for my two kids.  I’m not always happy with them, but I’m always thankful.  Parents, you know what I mean here. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.  I prefer to have a  spirit of thankfulness.  Are you thankful?  Tell me one thing for which you are thankful.