Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Season of Advent - Christmastide or Christmas-tied?

Excerpts taken from "Just Thoughts of a Plain Country Woman" by Lucile Ellingwood Morrow published December 1, 1960 in The Collinsville News. 

". . . The word "advent" means the corning of the arrival.
In the Christian calendar, the period of Advent is that which includes the four Sundays just before Christmas, the time of the coming of Christ.
This year (1960) all of the Sundays will lead up to the last which is Christmas Day, itself. Advent is designed to bring us to Christmas "on our knees" and only by keeping it a true Advent can we know the true meaning of Christmas. . . .
The first thing to get ready for Christmas is our own hearts  -  we should always decide,
 . .  Christmas fills a large place in our lives. With each recurrence brings a wave of good feeling and friendship that makes the air softer and warmer and ;puts new happiness into our hearts. . . .
 You decide whether our Christmas will be Christmastide or Christmas-tied.  . . . "

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The "Grateful" Camp Giving Thanks this Thanksgiving

Excerpts takes from "Just Thoughts of a Plain Country Woman" by Lucile Ellingwood Morrow, published in The Collinsville News, November 22, 1951.  

Mrs. Morrow's son was in combat in Korea at the time of this writing. He had returned from WWII only to be called back in for military action in Korea.  

". . . .Thanksgiving time is here again and I think this year more than since the last war, folks in the United States are divided into . . .  camps:  the Thankful and the Worried.  

In the Thankful Camp are those whose hearts are full to bursting with gratitude and thanksgiving since we are blessed above all people on earth. Our cities are not being bombed, our crops have not been destroyed . . . 

In the Worried Camp are we whose dear ones are away at war again and we might well ask the question, "How can we have Thanksgiving this year when our country and the whole world is plunged so deep in another war . . . . 

". . . The Boy saw the last of  the Heartbreak Ridge and Bayonet Ridge actions and in a recent letter 
says, "We have our fox holes fixed up pretty well; we get two hot meals a day; we are as safe here behind these barbed wire entanglements as we are at home-well almost, anyway." . . .

So, as Thanksgiving comes on I am, at first thought, not very happy.  Then I console myself that he survived the active combat, that I have the health to go to that work every day. I live daily amid the beauty and blessings of our fruitful countryside now resting and peaceful. I have seen the trees arrayed in their frocks of rust, gold, red and brown. How lovely the harvest moon so clear and cold and the radiance of the stars that seem to hang lower than at any other time of the year! . . . 

As Thanksgiving Day comes on, it should make us all so humble and grateful! . . .There is nothing which sustains one more powerfully than the ability to recognize in one's every day life, the beauty of the commonplace."  

It Took a Woman to Make Thanksgiving "official"

Excerpt taken from "Just Thoughts of a Plain Country Woman" by Lucile Ellingwood Morrow, published in The Collinsville News, November 24, 1949.  

". . .  As years passed, the idea of an American Thanksgiving for harvests spread, however it was never held the on same day, nor even in the same month. There are nine recorded instances of the colonies declaring Thanksgiving holidays before the Revolutionary War; on eight occasions during the War, the Continental Congress set aside special days of Thanksgiving,  although these were in gratitude for victories won by the ragged, hungry American Army, not like the Pilgrim's holiday.
In 1789, however, Washington officially declared Thursday, November 26, as the a day of general Thanksgiving throughout the newly formed union. 
It took a woman, though, to put the final touch into making the day a national holiday. Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, editor of Ladies' Magazine, began her campaign later. as editor of Godey's Lady's Book, (Ladies' Home Journal to us) her insistence was rewarded by President Lincoln naming the fourth Thursday of November as the official time. . . ." 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Did you know about the five grains of corn for Thanksgiving?

Excerpt taken from "Just Thoughts of a Plain Country Woman" by Lucile Ellingwood Morrow, From The Collinsville News, November 24, 1949.  

". . . So we are thankful-traditionally; so we are thankful-sincerely.  . An early custom that would not be amiss even today was that of putting five grains of corn at each place around the table as a . .  . reminder that during the first bitter winter at Plymouth, the food of the Pilgrims was so depleted that only five grains of corn were rationed to each one at a time. Most of them were ill and half
of them died, yet when the Mayflower returned to England in the Spring, only the sailors were aboard. 
It meant something to be an American then. It stilI does to most of us . . ." 

Be Thankful this Thanksgiving! 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Initiative - What would you wish for if you were given three wishes?

Excerpts taken from "Just Thoughts of a Plain Country Woman" published January 14, 1960, in The Collinsville News, Collinsville, Ok.

". . . In the folklore of most people of the world we come across one version or another of the legend of the three wishes.

An aging couple, we are told, were presented with their choice of three wishes. Did they wish for youth, for health, or for security?
No, they wished for none of these things. The husband wished for a pudding. The wife, flushed, with anger at the thoughtlessness of such a wish, wished the pudding on her husband's nose. All
of this left them about where they started.

Most of us have three wishes that sound somewhat like this: one for rest, one for more time to meditate, and one for an opportunity for self improvement.  . . .

Given three wishes, I've just about decided they are best carried out every day instead of trying to reach for the stars and scorning or neglecting earthly daily things.

Given three wishes . . . I find that the initiative lies with me - that I must decide what I want--whether a pudding, a pudding on someone else' nose, or what. Then I must set about getting it -- daily, patiently and pleasantly.

Given three wishes, what would you wish for?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Your vote DOES make a difference!

Excerpts taken from "Just Thoughts of a Plain County Woman"  January 1, 1953.  The Collinsville News.

" . . .During the recent election, the individual was urged to get out and vote; the individual was stressed as being important;''a single vote was shown to have; thrown the majority to the winning
side on a few occasions, and that that single vote might be yours or mine.
It is hard for us to realize that we count as individuals-that there has never been before in the world's history a "you" or "me" and that never again will an exact "me" or "you" be born. Each person is unique. . . .
We may not any of us be "indispensable" but it is harder to say which little drop of water added to an already full bowl would make it overflow.  None is independent of the other and yet each is necessary to make up the whole. . . ."