Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Holidays in Unusual Times

For many of us--limiting or cancelling things that take us from our homes and eliminating most social occasions--the days begin to blur and run together, one no different from the rest. Seasons change but traditional occasions go uncelebrated--no fireworks on the 4th of July, no parades on Labor Day. I find myself needing to check my phone to confirm what day it is.
I have decided that although no family or friends gather at our home to celebrate, it remains important to recognize special occasions as more than just another day.
My decorating began with Halloween, and although there were no trick-or-treaters, witches and pumpkins and crows assumed their customary places. The morning after Halloween, they went back into their boxes for another year, and Thanksgiving decorations took their places.
My grocery shopping list includes the ingredients for our favorite pumpkin cake, and the turkey awaits in the freezer. My mother's ceramic topiary stands atop the vent shelf over the range, a special memory not only of the artistic talent she shared in so many ways but also a memory of the many family Thanksgivings celebrated in this house over four generations. Isaac Werner's journal describes many holidays, most of which he celebrated alone. In 1887 times were particularly difficult for farmers on the Kansas prairie. On Thanksgiving Day, he wrote: "Everybody busy with their work, little thanking for short crops and hard times, going ahead with the hay' [haying?] more promises ahead to accomplish something."
Isaac's journal entry for Thanksgiving 1888 was more encouraging. On November 29, 1888, he wrote: "Fair like day to work, very favorable to prepare for winter and gathering corn, and make one feel thankful for it [even] if he can't afford a Thanksgiving turkey. At night dance to be at Garvin's barn. Last Saturday he bought and shipped bulk of loose fat hogs in neighborhood shipped from Macksville, bringing a little cash to many needy ones." The sadness brought by Covid-19 is severe, but it is important to remind ourselves of the things we have for which to be thankful. As Isaac wrote, even if we can't afford a turkey, there is still reason to dance!


The Blog Fodder said...

The longer the covidiots live like nothing is happening, the longer the rest of us will be stuck in isolation. We are seeing the same thing in Ukraine.
Stay safe, my friend.

Grace Grits and Gardening said...

Love this! When does your book come out? I can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

I had to reread your post and then read Isaac’s words. I finally realized the COVID 9 you spoke of was really a misprint and it should have been COVID 19. Thought, at first, that we were having a repeat performance Geez.