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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

 
 
Thanksgiving is a a special holiday for me because for the last 25 years, except for last year, I've hosted family and friends from Vermont, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington.  My favorite part is setting the table with dishes that were my mother's, silver that was her mother's, depression glass that was a gift to my mother from one of my father's sisters, was given to my eldest sister who gave it to me, a cow-shaped creamer that was my grandfather's, mother's, brother's and upon his death, mine, stemware that was a gift from my youngest (still older than me!) sister, a silly Italian nut dish with a three dimensional squirrel sitting on the edge, a gift from the former owners of our current house with the words, "this was always our Thanksgiving nut dish."   I treasure touching these things each year and feeling connected to those I love but see no longer, and those still living that may not be able to be present each year. It's not necessarily the kind of table setting that Martha would rave about or Inna would feature on her show but it warms my heart to share the stories and see the youngest members of the family touching the long line of love represented at each place at the table.
 
My mother's family lived in Vermont for centuries (some still do!) She sometimes missed her New England home and family.   This time of year, my heart sometimes travels to the small Alaskan town in which I grew up and the many love-filled holidays spent there.  Found this little plate on sale recently and thought it needed to be added to the traditional pieces.  Perfect size for fudge..
 
Where does your heart travel on Thanksgiving? 
 
O.K. enough of that.  Here's something for which I'm thankful:  Although it's bloomed prolifically for 14 years now, this is the first time that  my Magnolia macrophylla  has produced seeds. 
 
 
 
 It's a special thing because the fruits are so cool looking!

"Although it may look like a cone, it is actually an aggregate fruit that is woody. This flowering structure has changed little over millions of years. Magnolias are some of the most primitive of all flowering plants, but the seeds are enclosed in the fruit during their development, and therefore they must be classified as angiosperms, not as gymnosperms-the group to which conifers belong. As the fruit matures, scale-like areas on it split apart and the seeds, covered in a red fleshy aril, are exposed as they are in gymnosperms."    -From the U.S. National Arboretum website   
 Yes, I'm thankful for lots of other gifts from my garden, many of which you'll see tomorrow in my end of the month View post.

Wherever you find yourself today, my wish is that you'll feel surrounded by love and filled with gratitude for your many blessings!  Or at least not be too horribly bitter. 

23 comments:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving, Peter...have a good one :-)

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  2. Fascinating up-close and personal look at magnolia seed heads! A plant that changed little over millions of years gets my respect.
    Among other things, this year I'm thankful for finding your blog. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

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  3. Happy T-day to you and Tom, have a lovely day!

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  4. Happy Thanksgiving Peter! One of the things I'm most thankful for this year was meeting and getting to know you.

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    1. Oh Alison, what a sweet thing to say; I 'm very thankful for meeting and getting to know you, too! Hope your day was special!

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  5. I would so much rather be at your table than Martha or Ina's (though I suspect Ina's pretty fun). What a wonderful history you have at your table. And those seeds are so cool! Happy thanksgiving!

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  6. Happy Thanksgiving Peter! I think your table settings sound perfect, exactly what a true gathering of friends and family should be about and surrounded by cherished things.

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  7. "Not be too horribly bitter" - I like it, more realistic for many! Good-looking autumnal magnolia seed cones, and may they not volunteer and choke out Cascadia.

    And have a great T-giving Day, from the land of sunshine, sand and spikes!

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  8. I love your description of your holiday tableware! Best wishes for the happiest of Thanksgiving with family and friends, Peter!

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  9. The table setting you describe appeals to the child in all of us. It's the kind of thing I remember from childhood much more than the food. After the feast, all us kids would gather in a back bedroom with the lights out and tell scary stories. Your Thanksgiving plans sound marvelous...Enjoy!

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  10. Happy Thanksgiving, Peter. I hope it's as special as ever!

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  11. I loved reading about the items on your Thanksgiving table! What treasures!

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  12. Happy Thanksgiving! I love how you talk about the table setting. It's a beautiful thing when you can feel that sense of connectedness. There's so much to be joyful and thankful about in that. I hope you have a most wonderful of weekends. Enjoy those magnolia pods, they sure are cool!!!

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  13. :You will plant some of the Magnolia seeds? The pods make good decors, too.

    Your Thanksgiving celebration and description of it encouraged me. I have all the dishes and handed-down treasures, I just don't have the will to go through cooking and doing for a big crowd any more. My late son told me once that I expected too much. I don't know if it's my own shortcomings that annoy me so but I started coping by giving it up.

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    1. Hadn't thought about planting the seeds but since the seed scatterer herself has suggested it, I will.

      I couldn't do all that I do for the whole crowd without the help of my partner and other family helping. Also, I now do a little bit all week to prepare so that on the day all I have to do is cook the bird, potatoes, gravy, corn and throw all the other sides in the oven while I form the rolls and let them rise. It's still a lot of work and I've toyed with the idea of letting everyone bring something but I turn into Leona Helmsley when it comes to entertaining. (Because that's the way I like it!)

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  14. What a nice recollection of your such great family, Peter! Taking every dish or glass or cup you know who gave you this gift, this memory about member of your family. It's so wonderful to know that after years any young relative will say: this one was Peter's. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  15. Thank you all so much for your well wishes and comments! We all had a wonderful time and there were lots of special surprises about which I'll write sometime. We're still putting dishes (30 of everything!) away today which prolongs the sweet memories. I hope your day was enjoyable!

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  16. Belated Happy Thanksgiving! Sounds like you had a good one. I have almost finished off the dirty dishes.

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    1. Fortunately my sisters did most of our dishes yesterday but now the dining room table is full of stuff to be put away.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.