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The Art of Living
During this time of the year when the air is crisp and cold,
frosty snow lays in some spots where the ground stays the
coldest, and brown leaves crunch beneath one's feet, I
regularly sing the old song, "Over the River".
It brings out the nostalgia in me, and prepares me for the
Thanksgiving day that is soon to come. If you are in the
neighborhood, drop in on this festive day, or call me
(402.991.9727) to join in share in the feast. I would love to
share our meal and conversation with you.
Peace and grace to you this week, and may you be abundantly
blessed as we are.
With loving hearts,
Maggie, Lily, Lizzie, Silver, and all the critters in our
The coming weeks of Thanksgiving bring excitement about the
feast, gathering of friends, a warm and gracious home, and a
time to reflect in gratitude of a blessed life. Inside she
jumps with glee and enthusiasm with all the planning that
remains to be done. She starts with a list of ingredients that
must be picked up at the market and orders her fresh turkey
from the local farm. So much to be done!
She recalls the Thanksgiving's spent at her grandmother's
modest post war brick bungalow. Mumuci had a tiny home,
probably no more than 1000 square feet, but as a child, it was
her palace because it was Mumuci's home that had a tiny "cold
room" filled with canned goods from her garden, smoked
Hungarian sausages and salami, onions, and garlic. Good thing
this cold room was in the basement because the smell was
The little boxy brown brick home had a cute little cupboard
painted a yellowish-cream that was a pass-through to the
outdoors. This is where the milkman would leave pints of whole
milk in tall clear glass bottles. As a little girl, she would
open and close the cupboard doors repeatedly throughout the
day to see if there was any milk left by the milkman.
Large gatherings were always downstairs around the old
mahogany table carved with ornate leaves and blossoms. She
loved this table because it was so old and heavy; it's deep
rich color made meals warm and inviting. Thanksgivings were
always best with Mumuci. Her deep love for her grandmother
always on her heart. She wanted the rest of her family to
follow her grandmother's candor, but that was not the way it
Long ago, she forgave each of her family members for their
unprincipled behavior, and opened her heart to welcome them
provided their choices and demeanor turned gracious minus the
lies, hate, and bitterness they carry toward people. All but
one chose to continue living dishonorable lifestyles. After
decades of not speaking, her authoritative father redeemed
himself by turning a bit softer. Still aloof, un-attentive, and
placing himself first, at least the conversations became
bearable so they could engage in normal conversations. He too,
would not be at the feast because of his choice and lack of
desire to make the effort. She shrugged it off. This has
become the norm. Not her choice, but she accepted the fact
that her family was not like most. By not accepting this
situation, these circumstances could potentially rob her of
any happiness during her lifetime. So it's best to shrug it
off, and free herself from the contentious thoughts.
Off she drives to the market; fresh flowers, yams, golden
potatoes, fresh deep-red cranberries, and plump oranges; she
buys what she needs and heads home to her one true love, her
daughter. When she arrives, she is greeted at the door by the
little helper who is interested only in the Pecan pie. She
finds the pie and the flowers, and her eyes shimmer as she
squeals with enthusiasm. Mom eager to unpack her purchases
asks for help and the little one, reluctantly agrees on the
condition she have one sliver of that richly sweet pie. Mom
quickly concedes and they both move about the kitchen putting
those things where they belong, in the fridge and pantry.
The day before the feast, she prepares for the Thanksgiving
day to come. This year, her Thanksgiving will be cold and wet,
making the indoors seem even more sumptuous and cozy. Her
clever and lovely daughter grateful and delighted that she
will have a five-day holiday from school. The thought of
sleeping in everyday makes her eyes dance with joy. Quite
honestly, even mom is looking forward to sleeping in and
hanging around the house lazily.
With the turkey in the roaster, homemade cranberry sauce and
stuffing made, there are minor tasks to be done. Music softly
echoes her favorite Bach concerto, the colorful flowers with
their sweet fragrance decorate her home, and the table is set
for a memorable gathering. This Thanksgiving day she will be
with her friends and they will share in the laughter and
chatter that brought them together to begin with. Best of all,
she will be with her dear sweet daughter, a special gift from
God. Her gratitude ever present toward her daughter; she tells
her how grateful she is to God for her. "I thank God for you",
she lovingly tells her child and kisses her forehead.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
In Britain and Canada, this poem still serves an integral
piece to their Remembrance Day. Lest we forget.
The Art of Living is ...
Inspiration from nature's beauty, simple living, love, and peace.