George Winston's Thanksgiving

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Nov 282009

Here is a live performance by George Winston of his song Thanksgiving. Another of the beautiful pieces from his December Album. These are always a joy to pull out and listen to during this time of year. I can see the bright red, gold and brown of leaves raining down, and blowing along beside a road. I can hear this and smell a fire burning in a fireplace somewhere as I walk outside in the brisk air. The photos in the video are outstanding.


George Winston’s Thanksgiving

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Nov 282009

Here is a live performance by George Winston of his song Thanksgiving. Another of the beautiful pieces from his December Album. These are always a joy to pull out and listen to during this time of year. I can see the bright red, gold and brown of leaves raining down, and blowing along beside a road. I can hear this and smell a fire burning in a fireplace somewhere as I walk outside in the brisk air. The photos in the video are outstanding.

Johnny and Doc Discuss Thanksgiving

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Nov 272009

Circa 1979. This spontaneous dialogue between Johnny and Doc is perhaps one of the funniest television moments ever. This clip was recorded from the 18th Anniversary Show, which turned out to be the only time this exchange was featured in it’s entirety. Just a little something to give you a laugh on black Friday.


We Gather Together

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Nov 262009

I didn’t make it home to North Carolina this year for Thanksgiving, so I am feeling a little sad as I think about not “gathering together” with the family. However, this is still a beautiful hymn, and I can just imagine how it would sound on a crisp Thanksgiving morning ringing out from the carillon.  This 16th century Dutch melody is played by David Christensen on the carillon at the University of California, Riverside. I hope you have an outstanding Thanksgiving, and my wish is that you have even more to be thankful for next year.



Thanksgiving 2009

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Nov 262009

So here we are at Thanksgiving already, and what a year it’s been. I can’t say it has been my best year, but given the state of the world, I definitely have a lot for which to be thankful.

I’m not home in North Carolina this year, and I really wish I was. I wasn’t feeling at all well Monday night/Tuesday morning, so I didn’t make the drive. Given that more people were expected to travel this year, I certainly didn’t want to try it Wednesday, but now I wish I had. I haven’t missed many Thanksgivings at home.

We saw the economy crash down at the end of last year, and many people have lost their jobs over the course of the year. For me, a lot didn’t go as expected this year so every single bill isn’t getting paid right now, but I still have a job, I still have my house, the lights are own, and for all of that, I am thankful. These are often things we take for granted, but this year has helped me realize how blessed I’ve been.

Everyone in the family is more or less healthy. My brother-in-law had a recent hospital stay due to some sort of infection, but in the scheme of things, that wasn’t too bad. Lay finally got his Citizenship after a bit of a scare, and he received his Firefighter Certification. Now if he can just find a job to put it to use.

I remain thankful for the handful of friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin over the years. I hope each of you are blessed with friends such as the ones I’m privileged to have.

2009-Fire Academy-011 I think this year I am especially thankful for Dalla my niece on Lay’s side. She can certainly be a bit of brat sometimes, but she reminds me how a ride around the backyard in a wagon can be a great expedition, how eating Cool Whip can be an adventure, and how if one hides under a sheet while sitting on the couch, one becomes invisible to everyone else…so long as you are “vwery-vwery quiet.”

I guess I would characterize this year as being a quiet year, a year mostly about surviving and just trying to make it to whatever is next. That journey has been much easier for me than for many. I am thankful for that blessing, and pray earnestly for help, comfort and relief for those not nearly so lucky. I am thankful that sometimes I can help, and I pray for more opportunities to do for others.

So here’s a glass raised to each of us, one and all, with hearty thanks for what we do have, as great or as little as it may be, and here’s to a 2010 Thanksgiving that offers even more for which to be thankful.

Thankful People Come

 Culture, Music  Comments Off on Thankful People Come
Nov 242009

Here’s a video of Come Ye Thankful People by the Presbyterian College Choirs and Orchestra in 2008.

  1. Come, ye thankful people, come,
    raise the song of harvest home;
    all is safely gathered in,
    ere the winter storms begin.
    God our Maker doth provide
    for our wants to be supplied;
    come to God’s own temple, come,
    raise the song of harvest home.
  2. All the world is God’s own field,
    fruit as praise to God we yield;
    wheat and tares together sown
    are to joy or sorrow grown;
    first the blade and then the ear,
    then the full corn shall appear;
    Lord of harvest, grant that we
    wholesome grain and pure may be.
  3. For the Lord our God shall come,
    and shall take the harvest home;
    from the field shall in that day
    all offenses purge away,
    giving angels charge at last
    in the fire the tares to cast;
    but the fruitful ears to store
    in the garner evermore.
  4. Even so, Lord, quickly come,
    bring thy final harvest home;
    gather thou thy people in,
    free from sorrow, free from sin,
    there, forever purified,
    in thy presence to abide;
    come, with all thine angels, come,
    raise the glorious harvest home.

Thanksgiving Summary

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Dec 022007

I know it’s a bit late, but I thought I’d write an update from our Thanksgiving trip to North Carolina.

We couldn’t leave until Wednesday morning because of Lay’s work schedule. We did get away at 7 am, but just about an hour north of Tampa, we came to a dead stop for an overturned car. This put us a tad later getting to Atlanta, so traffic was heavy by the time we got to the north side.

Frying the Bird Thursday we had a great dinner. We tried a turducken roll and a fried turkey. We decided the fried turkey was better than baked, and while an interesting taste, we agreed the turducken wasn’t as good as the fried turkey.

Friday we made our annual trip to Boone / Blowing Rock to meet up with my friend Glenda. Mom even felt good enough to go along this year. It was cold, and actually snowed very lightly that morning when we first arrived. This was Lay’s first time actually seeing snow fall. It was so lite it never layed, but it was fun to see.

We drove home Saturday, and it was a disaster. We were making very good time with only one of the usual delays south of Atlanta, but there we kept moving. Then at Forsyth, GA, a tire blew out. It took nearly an hour for AAA to get someone there. Then we got to Gainesville just as the Florida-Florida State game was letting out. That combined with an accident really set us back. We took nearly two hours to go 1 1/2 miles. We had left about 9am, but didn’t get home until 1:3o Sunday morning.

Cold In Tampa

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Nov 172007

It remains dry, but it’s been very cool the past few nights, getting into the 40’s. There could be some frost tonight north of here and inland. It’s definitely given things an Autumn feel. Looking at the web cams earlier today, I see that Appalachian Ski Mountain is already making snow like crazy, as has Sugar Mountain. There was a light dusting of snow up in the North Carolina mountains, but it sounds like it will be a bit warmer when we are up there Friday.

Lay’s nephews are over to spend the night, as two of them have birthday’s next week. We won’t be here. Lay and I will be traveling to North Carolina. While I’m taking the whole week off, Lay will be working Monday and Tuesday, so unfortunately, we’ll be on the road Wednesday. I am not looking forward to that.

Soon, I’ve got to take some time off that doesn’t involve travel, family obligations or anything else.  I just need some quiet downtime…next to impossible to get when Lay is also off. While the work load at work is down some, overall stress in my life in general remains a bit high, and I’m just really worn to a frazzle due the lack of vacation over the past couple years, and most especially this past year.

Hopefully, I can find some time to continue catching up on my blogging Sunday and early next week.

Nov 272006

We had a pretty typical Thanksgiving. As I’ve already reported, I drove to North Carolina last Monday, and then met friends up in Boone/Blowing Rock on Tuesday. Wednesday I stuck close to home and spent the day with Mom, and had dinner with her and some of her friends. It was overcast and rainy most of the day Wednesday.

Lay flew up Thursday morning, and my sister Robin and her husband came over Thursday night for dinner. We had all the usual Thanksgiving fare with Turkey, cornbread stuffing and some sausage stuffing. Mom made Lay a sweet potato casserole, and we had the classic pumpkin and pecan pie. Robin had some sort of pumpkin roll. This was a sheet caked rolled with an icing in it. It was great.

My other sister and her family had gone out of town, as they did last year. I must admit to being a bit perturbed about that, as Lay’s never even seen the new baby, and I’ve only seen her once a couple of months ago. And then my sister acted aggravated that we even came by. I’m not sure what’s up with her, but she’s certainly gotten uppity lately.

Thursday was a nice day weather-wise and the temperatures got warmer as the week wore on. We did a little shopping Friday, and put flowers on my Dad’s grave up in Boiling Springs. Friday night, Lay and I went to see the movie Bobby. I’ll post my review of that later. Suffice it to say, we were disappointed.

We drove home Saturday, and made pretty good time. At first Lay wanted to drive as straight through as possible, just eating drive thru’s. But then he wanted for a bigger late lunch. So, it took us about 11 hours, but we really didn’t hit any major traffic backups. Often we’ve run into problems on the return trip south of Atlanta, but I think I found a way around most of that.

Sunday, our friends Mike and Jeff called to go with them for lunch at Hurricane’s in St. Pete Beach. We went over there and it was a gorgeous day over on the beach. We also drove to Treasure Island beach. It’s still considered something of the gay beach. I was wearing an Appalachian State Univ. t-shirt, and a guy at the beach came up asking if I was from North Carolina. As it turns out, he lived in Greensboro, not too far from where I lived. He now lives in Temple Terrace (north Tampa).

I took a few pictures with the camera in the phone while over at the beach. You can click on the photo here to see them all. That is probably the only thing I have a real problem with on this phone. The camera sucks…but then again, it’s a phone…not a camera.

Speaking of cameras. The battery in my digital would run down after eight or ten shots, so we did stop Friday for a replacement. That was $40. I hope it is just the battery.

Anyway, we’re home, and back that the usual grind.

Thanks And Giving

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Nov 272005

Forever on Thanksgiving Day the heart will find the pathway home. -Wilbur D. Nesbit

I suppose it is almost obligatory to write something about Thanksgiving around this time. Like many of you, I traveled over the holiday. I drove up to Kings Mountain, NC Tuesday to spend the holiday with my mother and sisters. We returned to Tampa Friday in an effort to miss traffic.

This is a time of reflecting and “giving thanks” for our blessings and one of the things I’m most thankful for is that my immediate family remains intact, and that I still have a home and hometown to which I can return. The parents’ of an old high school friend of mine died some years ago. He now lives in Asheville, NC and his sister in Charlotte. He made a comment a few years ago about how sad he was that for the first time, he really had no reason to go to Kings Mountain for the holidays. Because of the tight relationship I have with my family, and the love for the small town in which I grew up, I thought that was very poignant, and that is not a feeling I want to experience any time soon. So I’m thankful for home and family.

Thursday night, Lay and I went out riding around, and I pointed out so many of the local landmarks that were part of my growing up years. Being that it’s a small town, I could tell him who (at least) used to live in nearly every house in town. Not coming from a small town, he doesn’t have the same frame of reference to understand that, for all the drawbacks of growing up in small town, there are many benefits to knowing nearly everyone in town.

With a twelve-hour drive home, I had ample time to reflect on Thanksgiving and what this time of year means. I personally have had an OK year. There are things in my life that I wish were different, but on the whole, I am very blessed. So it seems almost curmudgeonly to think about what a bad year it’s been from a societal perspective.

The first thing that leaps to mind is the storms of the Gulf Coast and destruction they wrought. Then there is my disagreement with the federal government position on so many social issues from Gay rights to funding for social programs…and there is the on-going conflict in Iraq.

But for all of that, most of us in America have much for which to be thankful, especially if you consider our situations as compared to so many around the world and here too.

So I think the “thanks” part of Thanksgiving is the easy part. It’s the “giving” part that is often a little more difficult.

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