Monday, October 10, 2011

Some thoughts on Thanksgiving

Here in Canada it is Thanksgiving weekend, and I find myself with many things to be thankful for.

I am  thankful for employment that allows me to enjoy creativity, and lets me feel that I make a difference in the lives of young children.

We made "handprint turkeys", and then taped them to toilet paper rolls, they could be a finger puppet, or a table centerpiece.

I dried orange and lemon slices in a dehydrator, this week, strung them on fishing line, and hung them from a tree branch, in the room I work in at the day care center - to create a natural window hanging, which looks pretty with the light shining through.

I am thankful for the city workers who plant our city's trees. We are on the prairie, and almost all our trees were planted. This is very amazing to consider because our city does have many beautiful park areas, and LOTS of trees.

I walk past the city conservatory daily on my way to work. This fall I've passed several trucks carrying tree seedlings ready to be planted.

I am thankful for new friends I've found since blogging. I love this medium, and the chance to meet people all over our world.

I'm thankful for new friends met, when I researched some of my family roots, this past winter.

This is Mechtild, and her son Michael. Michael is the great, great, great grandson of Cuthbert Grant, a famous Metis leader in Manitoba. He founded the town Granttown, later renamed St. Francis Xavier. I learned that I am a great, great, great, great, great grandchild of Cuthbert Grant, on my Mom's side. Michael is an aspiring graphic novelist, and film maker. This year he made a film on First Nations veterans of the Korean war. Michael is also abit of a "gentle giant". :)

Michael and Mechtild were our guests yesterday for a Thanksgiving meal. Michael showed me how to use the time function on the camera to take this photo. That's me, and Herbert beside Mechtild. (Both Michael, and Mechtild said at the same time when seeing this - "steps") . We ate Vietnamese take out, and homemade apple crisp with ice cream for our meal. I'm not really a traditionalist. :)

I am thankful for the mystery of my grandmother's past. My Grandma Irene, (on my father's side - his mom), was adopted and we never knew much about her early years. I've started writing a story about her possibly background - all fictional of course.

I sketched this from a very old photo, which I found in my grandmother's things. It's from 1928, and was cut off with the person she was presumably walking with removed.  Yet this was the only picture I found so must have had importance to her. In the photo she looks happy, and full of optimism for the future.  

I am thankful for the beauty of nature - the sound of the geese, and crows, the colours of fall.

I am thankful for the peace I live in. I moved here last year, and I think it was a good decision. Sometimes I miss the spaciousness of my old house, and I do miss my old neighbours. But it was time to move on, and I was tired of the huge yard and it's maintenance.

This is the front entrance of the small condo building I live in - when I moved in last year, I learned that we cut the grass, and maintain all aspects of the building to keep the condo fees low. I helped repaint this entrance over a period of several weekends with two of my neighbours. It was actually fun, and I volunteered for it. Since then I've learned to consider my neighbours as friends. Last week my downstairs neighbour, Dorothy, taught me her way to make cabbage rolls. they were good!
For me  being at home, most often involves curling up with a book - my most favourite author is Charles Dickens, I've reread these books many times.

My two cats, Herbert and Arthur are always happy to say hello when I come home     

I made this sketch with pastel crayons many years ago from a photo when Paul was just a few weeks old.
Mom was a genuinely good and gracious person. She believed in treating people well and fairly, and I believe passed this down to her children. However I always regretted that I did not inherit her looks. :)
I'm thankful for my son Paul, who is always ready to help me with my computer questions, and likes to go for coffee with me weekends. And I am so thankful for my Mom, Evelyn, for everything she was, and for what I learned from her.

For anyone who has persevered in following along with me in this post, many thanks, and wishing you peace where you live.Happy Thanksgiving!


The Boston Lady said...

Brenda, Happy Thanksgiving to you!! I enjoyed very much reading your entire post as it touched me in many areas.

First those handprint turkeys remind me of my children's pre-school days and I'm sure I must have at least one of those tucked away somewhere.

Your citrus window dressing is beautiful in it's simplicity and how the light shines through it. How long will it last?

I am fascinated by Mechtild's name. How is it pronounced? And what is a Metis? How wonderful to have this connection - especially with tech saavy Michael who will help out with camera issues.

Of course I love Herbert and Arthur. I've always wanted an orange cat and Herbert looks like he is good company. Surely Arthur must be a bit vain as he is so beautiful (kidding - not about being beautiful).

Your mom's picture shows her external beauty and reflects what a good and gracious person she was. When I saw your picture with M & M and then your mother's I can definitely see a resemblance. Most importantly you have inherited her generous spirit, I think and surely she must have loved books as you do.

I am thankful to have "met" you Brenda! Who knew that a former Canadian living in Orlando would be in touch with a talented, generous woman in the prairies of Manitoba!

Also love the fact that you and your neighbors pitch in with tasks to keep condo costs down - that's the way it should work!

One of my best American Thanksgivings was when I went to the Florida Keys with my parents and ate at a Chinese restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner.


Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Well thanks for reading all the way through, and for your kind comments.

Yes, it is so great that we have the opportunity to meet through blogging, as we would not likely have known one another otherwise. And I love that we have our connection of Canada.

The Metis people are basically a mixed race of people from parents who were First Nations, and another race, generally in the past it was French or Scottish/Irish.My ancestor was a scottish/ first nations man who worked originally as a fur trader and traveled by canoe. He had also been an educated man, both in Scotland, and Montreal. He spoke French, Scottish, English, and Cree, and possibly some other First Nation languages. He had also studied medicine, and was known as a healer.He made the first flour mill in Manitoba, and there is a museum in Winnipeg now, where you can see the actual mill.

My Mom's father had both French/ Metis, and the Scottish/Metis in his grandparents, and her maiden name was Leveille which is French. As far as I had known her family was French, but I think due to the political troubles, they chose not to talk about the Metis side, at the time.I feel sure Mom would have been interested to learn and have enjoyed this part as well.

I love your description of having Chinese food for Thanksgiving with your parents!

Thanks for your kind words about my mom, she was a nice, generous person.

Have a super week, and I hope it stays dry and sunny for you!

Geraldine said...

Your mom was so beautiful Brenda, as an older woman and in this photo too. So graceful and pretty. And you, you haven't changed a bit!!!! This was a lovely post to read. We do have a lot to be thankful for, good reminders. Somedays, I know I need reminding. Life is so short, we've got to make the most of and be grateful for all the good things and people along the way.

Happy Week and Headbonks from the Chedster to your kitties. Ched's got some posts coming up soon, you might want to let them know. G :<)

Teri C said...

Such a beautiful post Brenda! You make me realize all the things in life that I am thankful for. All the important things, the things we love.
I am also tha kful for calling you a friend!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Thanks to you Geraldine, and Teri, for your kind comments.

I am thankful for your friendship!

Have a great week!

Headbonks and love to the Ched from H and A!


Mr. Cheddar said...

Sending a personal headbonk to both of the cats. You dudes are looking so tough in that photo and I mean that in a gooooooooooood way!

Headbonks and laters, The Ched

Celebrity Blogger but alas I must share blogs with my Meowmie for now.

Mullin Avenue Workshop said...

Hey, Chedster,
We may look pretty tough. but you rule!
Really Ched, not many of our kind get to be Celebrity Bloggers!
Headbonks to you as well,
Catch you next time!