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Some thoughts on Thanksgiving

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  1. 1. Thanksgiving
  2. 2. Preface / IntroductionThe LAST Time I Made This OFFER I was BURIED in calls so I am limiting this to the NEXT 5PEOPLE ONLY CALL ME NOW - dont miss out! CALL ME NOW for your FREE Internetmarketing consultation. $100 value. Let an expert show you RIGHT NOW how to profit onlineevery single day without leaving home. CALL ME -- Elizabeth English -- NOW, (315) 668-1591.LIVE 24/7/365. YOUR SUCCESS GUARANTEED. Im waiting for your call RIGHT NOW! Skype- lizenglish18 24/7 Support
  3. 3. Table of Contents1. Of apples, apple cider, cider doughnuts. Edible autumn in New England.2. My most memorable Thanksgiving... and oh the memories!3. Not in the mood for Thanksgiving? Then be grateful for what you dont have!
  4. 4. ThanksgivingOf apples, apple cider, cider doughnuts. Edible autumn inNew England.By Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. The bounty of New Englands small family farms is now available at roadstands throughout the region. The weather, despite the wallop of Hurricane Irene, has beenbeneficial and the crops are ample. There is, therefore, enough for all.I love this time of the year, and my neighbors do, too. We, though we abide in the regions cities,make a point of leaving our urban condominiums and walk-up apartments, glad for the opportunityto taste autumn. This is a yearly ritual which none of us wants to miss, for it calls us, if only for amoment, back to the land which is a part of all of us and which recalls us to a past which is for all ofus at some point agrarian.We are all of the land... and the farms and gardens, so picturesque in October, remind us where wehave been... and of our forefathers... who kept faith with this land... tending it... nurturing it...protecting it... so that the land and their descendants might prosper together. Each rock that theyused to build the fences that make good neighbors reminds us of our own families and the constantwork that the land necessitates. The land demands... and we obey the land... for this is the way of theimmemorial land and richness that comes forth if we but do our part. Apples are part of this land andthis richness... and now is the high season of these apples.Apples must be picked.Each apple that you see has been picked. Its something we urban dwellers never think about andwhich industrious apple growers must never forget... for apples on a tree are useless to all but thebirds which well know how to get their sweet juices.In his poem "After Apple-Picking" (published in 1915) Robert Frost reminds us just how laborious itis to pick the apples. On his tiny New Hampshire farm, Frost tells us that in apple-picking time thefarm and the needs of the crop determine all. Everything else must be put aside for now; this is theway of the insistent land, the demanding land, the land that dictates that which humans who desirethe bounty of this land must do:"And I keep hearing from the cellar bin The rumbling sound Of load on load of apples coming in.For I have had too much Of apple-picking: I am overtired Of the great harvest I myself desired."Apples must be packed and promptly moved.Apples, like every fruit of the farm, must be moved, for we buyers and eaters of apples are slothfuland must be waited on. We will go on a yearly ritual of pilgrimage to the apples... praising farmer,land and crop.. .but we demand on all other occasions that the apples we so desire be brought closeto us.The apples I buy, for instance, come from Kimball Fruit Farm in Pepperell, Massachusetts. It is a fartrek from Cambridge and so Carl and his helpers bring the apples to me in a local farmers market,held each Sunday in Harvard Square until Thanksgiving. There after 10 a.m. (the strict opening time,not a minute earlier permitted)... I can fuss over the multitude of varieties, rejecting most, selectingjust the most attractive, aromatic, and (I trust) delicious.Even after his many other customers purchase (for Carl and Kimball have a following), the piles ofapples are still heaping; each and every one must be re-packed, taken back to Pepperell, to bepacked again tomorrow, moved again, scrutinized again, and so on until at last all the apples are Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 4 of 12
  5. 5. Thanksgivinggone. Carl, like Frost, gets overtired, too.But apples are the pride of Kimball Fruit Farm... and their website boasts of over 40 varieties.... howmany could you name? Baldwin, Blushing Golden, Brock, Burgundy, Cameo, Chesnut, CrabCortland, Elstar... the list goes on an on, each one a pledge by Proprietor Carl that the land will be socherished so that each of these apples will flourish in years to come, including one of the mostbeautiful apples of all: the Spencers which I crave. And so it has been going on for the thousands ofyears apples have been amongst us, starting in Western Asia, where the apples wild ancestor, theAlma, can still be found today.There are more than 7,500 known cultivars, resulting in a wide range of desired characteristics. Sodesirable are these characteristics that 55 million tonnes of apples were grown in 2005, with a valueof about $10 billion. China produced some 35 percent of this total; the United States was secondwith more than 7.5 percent of world production. Iran is third, followed by Turkey, Russia, Italy, andIndia.Many of these apples are eaten raw... but many are also transformed into that silky mixture calledapple cider. I buy mine from Allens Cider Mill in West Brookfield, Mass. The reason I initiallybought from this stand at the farmers market was that the fellow tending it looked so sad. I felt gladto lift his load just a smidgeon, but in truth I liked the product... and got in the habit of buying fromhim, though he is laconic to a degree and has never smiled in my presence or ever said a friendlygreeting. I notice such things. A teen-aged boy of 15 or so helps the man out; its probably his father.They look alike. I notice he never smiles either and that makes me wonder at the ways of geneticsand family farms.The label makes it clear that this cider must be refrigerated at below 40 degrees Farenheit and wantsyou to know, too, that it has been ultra light treated for my safety... no preservatives... no additives...and is made of "washed sound ripe apples." I have never bothered with such cider labels before, butI am grateful for their care and practical concern, though Id still like a friendly greeting, a smile, anda chipper query asking me how I like the cider, since I keep returning for it... and for the ciderdoughnuts, too, which I first sampled at this stand...I was in a relaxed and friendly disposition the day I saw the hand-written sign about cider doughnutsand asked what they were. The answer was worthy of Silent Cal, Vermonts only president. "Madewith cider, instead of water," he said, as if each word was a treasure to be hoarded, not shared evenfor commercial gain. They were 50 cents each; I got one, the minimum risk... The next week I got4... and devoured them at record speed, a new taste of fall... topped off with cinnamon and sugar. Itis a delicacy indeed, and I can bear even the lack of amiability so long as there are cider doughnutsnear at hand... and great, grand Spencer apples, too... and the smoothness of apple cider. For all ofthese together, and each distinct, is truly the apple of my eye... deserving of high praise, no waiting,please, for I have no patience, none at all.But I do have a song to accompany so many delicacies. Its by the Four Lovers, "Youre the apple ofmy eye." (released 1956). Go to any search engine to find it now... and enjoy. For you are "done withapple-picking now" and must take a moment to eat, savor, and thank. For apples and everythingabout them are a great joy and benediction. As you and I have known for a lifetime, havent we? Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 5 of 12
  6. 6. ThanksgivingMy most memorable Thanksgiving... and oh the memories!by Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. Quick can you name your favorite Thanksgiving song? Unless its "Over theriver and through the woods" (1844), you probably dont have one. But I do. Its called "Turkey inthe straw", and it is a traditional American folk song from the 1820s. And though strictly speaking itwas not written for Thanksgiving, youll have to forego its strict history in favor of the elasticmeaning I shall give the tune and its use. I am sure, in due time, you will forgive me. In any event,start by going to any search engine, find the tune, and put on your dancing shoes... because thisThanksgiving youll be dancing, not just filling out your embonpoint, and belching.What my family usually did for Thanksgiving... celebrated, sanctified, dull.I was brought up in an Illinois family which, like all our neighbors, believed in the verities of God,country, and family. These were the bedrocks on which we built our homes, our communities andour nation. And these three essential parts of American life came sharply together at Thanksgiving,an event which had to be arranged and celebrated in the grand manner... best china, best crystal, bestsilver and food that was quite simply awesome, no stinting contemplated, allowed, or accepted. Wewere Americans, part of the great heartland of the nation, and if we didnt have much to be thankfulfor, then who did?Still, this holiday (and Christmas, too) always raised the issue of where to celebrate, for we were partof large extended families with matriarchs in various branches who made it clear their feelingswould be hurt if we didnt grace their Thanksgiving Day tables, though why they wanted my sisterwith her tendency to scream while eating (admittedly she was only in pre-school) and my brother(but that is another story), I as eldest son and eldest grandson (on both sides) could neverunderstand. I knew why they wanted me... "let me count the ways...."The solution to this problem of venue was solved in most years by the simple expedient of appearingat two (or even more) holiday tables groaning under the weight of families who had done well... andstuffing ourselves to sickness accordingly. It is no wonder they felt queasy by days end. Personally Ialways saved room (if at all possible) for the desserts... for here amidst so many culinaryachievements... was sweet perfection in so many alluring ways. Pies of every kind (pumpkin derigueur of course), cobblers, cookies with holiday themes... strudel (we were of Germanic stock andproud)... and the cakes... but enough. Suffice it to say there was no thought of mere sufficiency. Itwas all about excess... in so many ways so that no one could ever say anything else, or even suggestit.Time -- and holiday arrangements -- marches on.Sadly, over time things changed and my father and mother were significant reasons why themulti-mealed Thanksgiving came to an end. Specifically, we moved from Illinois when I was just 16to California, where family (as Charles Manson and hippies from Haight-Ashbury proved) had analtogether different meaning. And so, unless my father decided (and my mother concurred), forfathers sister and his wife did not love each other, unless, that is, we were going to our Cartercousins ranch in Bakersfield, we stayed home... and invited people we liked, who were neverrelated. In short, we went from the traditional Thanksgiving of too much of this, too much of that,people we "had" to like because we were related, to Thanksgivings we invented... and, as wediscovered later when sociologists explored American migrations, most other people were doing thesame thing. And thats why my mother, Shirley de Lauing Lant Phelps de Barlais y de Kesoun, and Iwere in the port of San Pedro, California en route to Baja California for Thanksgiving, 1985. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 6 of 12
  7. 7. ThanksgivingFourth book, second Thanksgiving out of America.I have always been of an industrious nature and my breakneck pace through 1985 made clear that Iwas a man on a mission, going places, meeting people. I had my fourth book underway, a publishingcompany to oversee, an international consulting business, a multitude of lectures nationwide, and anationally syndicated program on the Business Radio Network. Managing time was of the essence..and this precluded vacations and other ways of wasting time, including voyaging to a part of theworld in which I had absolutely no interest. But, then, my mother did... and she was a veryformidable woman. She named the destination, I ponied up for the tickets, and so we boarded one ofthe floating restaurants and bars they call cruise ships, where eating and lassitude are the order of theday, every day.We were booked as Dr. and Mrs. Lant, which while absolutely accurate was also the seed for amemorable (and oh so wrong) deduction... because, you see, on this ship, as on all such vessels, theladies of a certain age always out number the gents... and so the hopefulness which alwaysaccompanies these ladies on board always quickly wilts.My mother was a stylish and youthful looking woman and made a point of so appearing, to bestadvantage. I was, as usual, slovenly, a demolisher of clothes, even those from the best shops inBoston and England. Still, as Agatha Christie once observed, old clothes properly cut are alwayssuitable attire for a gentleman. My mother strenuously disagreed, but here her jeremiads fell on memorable evening, a woman of the purple-haired ilk sidled up to POM (Poor OldMother) and asked how long wed been married... and how shed managed it; (no doubt wantinginstructions on how to secure as willing mate one as young, winsome, and obviously God-favored asI.) Freud must have had a conniption.And that was just the beginning of the memorable holiday voyage.My mother and I worked as a team; she was admiral, I cadet. The moment after we arrived on board,she took a page of her cream colored stationary as Baroness de Barlais y de Kesoun, gold coronetablaze at the top, and sent a charming message (of which she was past mistress) to the Captain,advising him a celebrated author was on board whom shed like to present. That "celebrated author"would have been me. That note she delivered post haste to the purser along with a First Edition ofmy book "Our Harvard," suitably autographed by that self-same author. She always traveled with afew copies...The next day I sat in a deck chair, enveloped in a plaid blanket, hands chilled, writing the currentbook, "The Unabashed Self-Promoters Guide: What every man, woman, child and organization inAmerica needs to know about getting ahead by exploiting the media." For all that I had to be thawedout each evening, I was making lickety-split progress... and could still dance attendance on HerLadyship, my mother. It was a model that worked...The Captain requests...In due course, of course, the Captain responded... not just with an invitation to the table at dinnerwhere he held court but to cocktails in his luxurious private quarters. We dressed accordingly; (myHarvard blazer was wrinkled but its insignia buttons were solid gold.) When we discovered he wasGreek, we should have recalled the old maxim "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts..."He was a man of charm, information, and what we Midwesterners call schmaltz. As such he wasvery good company, paying every courtesy to the Double B (as we termed the double Baroness, inher own right, too). But there was something not quite right... which became instantly apparentwhen, in paying my mother an exaggerated farewell he tickled the inside of my hand, in a manner Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 7 of 12
  8. 8. Thanksgivingwhich could not possibly have been misconstrued. I meant to tell her... she would have roared withlaugher and indignation. Which brings us to our unique Thanksgiving on the high seas.On board, one ate and participated in activities which could never quite obscure their purpose: to letair out of bloated stomachs. One of these activities was the time-honored "talent show" which wouldhave been anything but... except for POM. She had an idea to sweep the boards... she always did...and with her vision, energy, imagination and unparalleled ability to shame people into doing things,she generally succeeded. "The First Thanksgiving".POM dragooned one passenger after another into taking part in what was certain to be the winningentry: a sure-to-please musical rendition of the first Thanksgiving, with dialog by me and directionby... but you can guess who. Despite frequent (ever escalating) reminders that the script needed tobe written, yours truly did not write the script; instead falling victim to Demon Rum... and so whenPOM came to get me for dress rehearsal (a bare hour before the opening curtain) she found her boydrunk as the lord he was. No script. No excuse. No hope.But still the show went on, though I had to ad-lib every word, including musical cues to the band,which gamely played our game. Pilgrims said the silly things they would say... Indians (face-paintperfect) acted aboriginal... and "Turkey in the straw" rang out frequently as passenger Pilgrims andIndians ran about the stage capturing passenger turkeys. Then le tout ensemble sang "God BlessAmerica". Of course we were cheered to the echo, and I got the kind of hugs and kudos I expected...and she had deserved.My Thanksgiving this year will be dull indeed without her... for she is making friends and raisingcane in a better place, where she will know, for certain, I would write this article and remember....***** What are your favourite Thanksgiving memories? Let us know by posting your commentsbelow. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 8 of 12
  9. 9. Thanksgiving Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 9 of 12
  10. 10. ThanksgivingNot in the mood for Thanksgiving? Then be grateful for whatyou dont have!by Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. Rarely if ever have I seen my fellow countrymen so riled up... irritable,angry, rude epithets at the ready, bad behaviors endemic. Whats going on? Try these for openers...A rotten economic situation that just wont get better... and youre afraid it never will. And so youworry (for the umpteenth time) about just how secure your job is. Is there some guy in Mumbaiwholl be glad to do it at half what you get? Youve raised the subject with your boss... but hisanswer was not reassuring and now he wont look you in the eye.A president whose leadership style gives us no leadership... and nary a Republican presidentialcandidate who doesnt cause multitudes to hold their noses, gagging, and wonder why our mindboggling lengthy and expensive campaign produces candidates we cant stand or respect, much lessadmire.Sickening scandals like the one still unfolding at Penn State, scandals that make us wake up in themiddle of the night shouting, "What the...... is going on around here?". Sometimes we wonder, andnot just once either, whether anyone is honest, decent, and unarmed anymore... or whether its onlysuckers (you being one) who play by the rules.Every day we pick up the newspaper and read about another murder in the neighborhood, ourneighborhood. Are our neighbors only "good" because we dont know their secret lives and thehome truths that havent yet been disclosed?We read about some drug bust at the school down the street... and are horrified to see the policephoto and recognize our kids favorite teacher. We run upstairs and check the closet and dresserdrawer to see if this has touched us even closer. Youre fortunate today... nothing out of order... butthe word "yet" comes immediately to mind... since these days you expect something bad to happenany time now and arent particularly surprised when it does.We read about... and are as concerned as our busy lives will allow... another species declaredextinct... another Web sex scandal... another political official with a skill for theft and plausibledenial. You feel sure hell get off easy when his time in court comes up. Is that what the bandageover the eyes of the statue of Justice is supposed to mean?Youre concerned about Americas unending wars in countries whose names you cannot pronounce,much less find on a map, but which you are paying for. Youve got a friend whose young cousin,proud and handsome in his Marine Corps uniform, was killed by a sniper... a boy just 20 years old.The thought haunts you all day... You want to believe such early death helps the country in question,America, the world... but you dont. You see that boys eyes and feel them boring into you, askingone question over and over -- "Why?"... and you just cant give a good answer. You feel increasinglyhelpless as the barrage of bad news, miseries, muddles, mayhem just wont quit. You want time offfrom it all... but these realities, details delivered to us faster than ever compliments of the Web,constitute the unceasing rhythm of our lives.And this is only the tip of the iceberg.We wonder if, after a lifetime of contributing, Social Security will be there when we need it... andwhether Medicare will provide the level of service well need. A gal from our office had that acutebreathing problem and was put on a respirator; the hospital didnt want to pay for it... and the matter Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 10 of 12
  11. 11. Thanksgivingnow resides in their legal department. We want care... we get lawyers. It makes us very, verynervous.... and sad.We wonder how some shady Greek and Italian politicians can have so much influence on our livesso far away. What kind of magic powers have they got that force us (however superficially) to payattention to what theyre doing... and doing... and doing, all of which threatens the stability andsatisfaction of our lives? You want to say its "unfair"... but you know no one cares what you thinkabout the matter... and you dont want people to think youre a wimp. So you stay quiet andunsatisfied... its just the way things are. And so the days pass...... until the calendar tells you its Thanksgiving, the official day, sanctioned by custom and dictatedby law, you get together with family and friends to eat too much and give thanks for your ability todo so. But this year, you just dont feel like it, though you wouldnt mind a piece or two of pumpkinpie. Whats a body to do?Ill share something that works for me... dont waste your time enumerating all the good thingsyouve got, especially when you realize most of them are flawed and superficial. Instead, focus onthe myriad of problems, inconveniences, woeful situations and debilitating malevolence you donthave... bullets you have dodged for another year. This will make you feel really thankful aboutthings that really matter. Heres how it works...Preparation and The ListThis year I attend my 64th Thanksgiving, so I consider myself a man with some experience in thematter. Put this experience to work by putting aside the usual falderals... dont just hold hands andask little Janie to say the blessing. Janie is probably too young to have much insight into the event...and will be unable to perform her helping role to perfection. Thus the end result will be unutterablybanal, like all the years before.Instead, seize this bull by the horns and brainstorm a long list of things you are thankful you donthave to do, think about, or consider in any way. Be brutally frank.Item: your boss got fired because of that restroom peccadillo, and you never have to see him again.That was huge!Item: your estranged cousin Herbie, bete noir of many years, has gone missing, no one knowswhere. If he never returns, that would be too soon.Item: Your darling daughter didnt marry the wild idealist who always played the zither and neverbathed. Delicious.Item: your neighbors noisome pooch Mickey, gifted with a piecing yelp and high decibel duration,ran away in pursuit of amorous freedom. He will of course be missed by someone... but not by you.Keep going! Dont stint! As you get into the task, you see that the things you dont have, that youwere afraid you would have and forever are the very things you always needed to make this holidaysing.Now type your list. You will never remember them all and since each adds its mite to the happyevent, do not rely on memory. Practice, too, reciting them. Read slowly.... with deliberate cadenceand gravitas in your voice.Having recited this list you will feel, perhaps for the first time in months, truly happy for you havediscovered for yourself and shown the world the ample bounty of happiness at your fingertips,Thanksgiving now and forever your favorite holiday. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 11 of 12
  12. 12. Thanksgiving** Your response to this article is requested. What do you think? Let us know by posting yourcomments below. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 12 of 12
  13. 13. ThanksgivingResourceAbout the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a widerange of online services for small and-home based businesses. Your response to this article isrequested. What do you think? Let us know by posting your comments below.Republished with authors permission by Elizabeth English Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 13 of 12