The following message has been pre-recorded or at least pre-written. Many of the entries we will be posting on the journal were written some years ago. Although we feel that most of them are still interesting and relevant, we will try to give our readers some context especially if one seems particularly out of date. Additionally, we have decided to give you a twofer this Thanksgiving as it has been a particularly long and arduous year.
Thanksgiving entry (Part I)
What do you think of when I say Wild Turkey? Me too. In fact, I am enjoying one right now. I know, I know some of you are saying, “Well, Mr. Herbert, WE were thinking of the short fall turkey season set aside each year for those of us who, like the original pilgrims, want to actually hunt for our Thanksgiving dinners” (the wild turkey is not Alabama’s official game bird for nothing), and to all of you I offer my sincere apologies. Regardless of the context seeing this pre-historic looking animal majestically moving through the forests of our great state reminds me of fall’s beauty. And whether it is the lovely center piece of a meal that marks the gathering of friends and family, or children’s art that adorns classroom walls and refrigerator doors across Alabama like brightly colored leaves, turkeys always remind me of this season of thanks. So, raise a glass, raise your fork, or just raise your binoculars and give thanks for the wild turkey. Happy Thanksgiving from the yhtc.
Thanksgiving entry (Part II)
My wife and I have recently taken up yoga. Our virtual yogi, Lesley Fightmaster (yes, that is her real name) refers to what we do as a “practice.” In this context I believe that the word “practice” could mean three things. First, to be good at something requires practice, like piano practice or football practice. Second, a “practice” can refer to something that you build over time through dedication and commitment. Like a law or medical practice. Or thirdly, maybe it is simply something you commit to doing every day. Like your personal practice of brushing your teeth. I believe that the ideas we apply to the practice of yoga could just as easily be applied to the idea of giving thanks.
I have always had a problem sticking to things. The world seems to provide me with constant distractions so committing to a new practice of giving regular thanks will be as difficult for me as committing to our new-found practice of yoga. However, I am willing to give it a try. And not just repeating the General Thanksgiving on Sundays or saying grace at dinner, but putting some real thought into it.
That being said, I don’t have to tell you what a trying year we (and when I say we I mean the whole human race) have had. But for the most part Sam and I are pretty grateful. We both have been able to keep our jobs, we are still in our home and although we do know a few people that have contracted the coronavirus, we don’t know of anybody that has been seriously affected by it. Our children have dealt with some varying degree of hardship and disappointment. One was deprived of her senior year (yes, prom too), one is suffering through the less than adequate educational delivery system that our local schools have chosen as their online learning platform, and one, well, do you remember me mentioning that we knew some folks who had contracted the virus?
I am suffering from a fairly serious case of stir crazy, Sam is trying to teach college level design on-line, and we have experienced shortages in our local grocery store ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. I mean really, how much toilet paper does one need to use at one time. But all in all, we have not had it that bad. We re-painted the exterior of our house and have made exceptional strides in back yard landscaping and pernicious vine eradication. So, again, not so bad.
Unfortunately, we know that not everyone has been so lucky. Many people have lost their jobs, many people have lost or may be in jeopardy of losing their homes, and many people have suffered the greatest loss of all. That of a loved one. For you I have no glib Hallmark platitudes: simply my deepest and sincerest condolences. I know for some, finding reasons to be thankful may be difficult at best this year, but I encourage you to try anyway. As for me, I think I will start my new “practice” of daily thanks giving by giving thanks for the resiliency of the human spirit.