In Thanksgiving

Written by Tara Scott Westin

“Sometimes the road that twists and turns
And winds and bends, in the end
Is the road that leads you home
You’re not out there on your own” *

In the novel, “You Can’t Go Home Again”, by Thomas Wolfe, a fledgling writer has authored a successful novel of his hometown and his family. Instead of being lauded for the success of his novel, George Webber, the fledgling writer, finds himself a subject of outrage and hatred. The townsfolk feel betrayed and portrayed in an unflattering light. Wolfe had a wide-ranging discussion with fellow writer, Ella Winter, in which she remarked, “Don’t you know you can’t go home again.” Wolfe then asked her if he could use the phrase as the title of the manuscript he was working on. The Webber character finds he cannot go home again after the passage of time and resume his place in his family and his boyhood town.

While there is some measure of truth in the Wolfe novel, it runs counter to the sense of belonging attached to Thanksgiving, and other family celebrations that ties home and hearth together. Growing up, mom said, “Don’t you ever think the door to my house, our house, is ever closed. You are my daughter, whom I will always love.” When mom married David, he said the same before their wedding. “You are my daughter, Deborah and Elizabeth your sisters, Andrea, your other loving mom.”

Simply, we are a blended family. One bound by our love and faith in one another, and in God. We believe in one another, always and forever.

And, yes, we can go home.

May you have a truly blessed Thanksgiving.

Note

* From the song, “I Made A Promise”, by Charles Fox and Allan Rich, performed by Crystal Gayle and Eddie Rabbitt. The video may be seen here.

About the author

Tara Scott Westin graduated, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs in May 2017 with a BS in Biology (Microbiology).

A highly decorated rider with the Rustler Riding Club, Tara has won multiple blue ribbons and other placement ribbons with her horses, Brie, Cameron and Candace (Happy Girl). In 2006, she was named Comeback Rider of the Year – the only non-competitive rider in Rustler Riding Club history to win this award.

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Día de Muertos

It is the holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the central and southern regions, and by people of Mexican ancestry in other places, especially in the United States. The multi-day holiday brings the family and friends together to pray for and remember friends and family who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. The Aztec influence in Día de Muertos is substantial, beginning as a festival dedicated to Mictecacihuatl, the Aztec goddess of the underworld. After Spanish colonization, the holiday became associated with All Saints’ Eve (Halloween/Oct 31), All Saints’ Day (Nov 1) and All Souls’ Day (Nov 2).

With the spread of the holiday, it has been absorbed into other practices of honoring the dead. In northern Mexico, Día de Muertos, was unknown, with the people having separate traditions and where the Aztec influence was minimal. It wasn’t widely celebrated until the Mexican federal government declared Día de Muertos a national holiday. The opening sequence of the James Bond film, Spectre, features a Día de Muertos parade in Mexico City.

In Colorado, Día de Muertos celebrations are fairly rare, though some of the costuming is widely seen. Halloween remains firmly entrenched, and in the realm of the spooky and ghostly tales.

Whether celebrated as Día de Muertos or Halloween, enjoy your celebrations.

Background information from Wikipedia.
Photo: Deborah in full make-up for a Halloween party when she was a high school senior several years ago.

Anniversary

It is a quieter day than usual. Cold weather has a way of doing that. Today would have been my parents’ 64th wedding anniversary. Within our family, it remains an important date to celebrate. Mom, who has been gone for more than a year and a half, would have appreciated our taking time to remember this day.

A lover of chocolate, undoubtedly, mom would have loved these chocolate cupcakes topped with a chocolate mousse and chocolate shavings.

Our resident chocolatier, Laurie, worked on these cupcakes late into the night, Sunday evening. One cupcake that did not turn out well became the one and only sample. They will be served after dinner, later this evening.

We toast them for their long marriage.

Happy Anniversary!

xoxo

Pebbles: Rainbow Bridge Day

It is the twelfth anniversary of her Rainbow Bridge Day. Pebbles is very memorable, quickly bringing a smile as we remember her. A beautiful girl, she was happy, a close confidante and loyal littermate. With Pebbles, you knew she was in charge – not only of all things feline, but of all things.

meezer kittens: Pebbles squeezing into the box with Dino (Mar 1990)

kitchen cabinet high ground: Pebbles surveying her kingdom (Jul 1991)

summer is easy: lounging under the tree (May 1992)

fashion: Pebbles with her leopard-print, leather handbag (Oct 1999)

patio comfort: relaxing on a summer’s eve (Aug 2002)

Pebbles at eleven (Jun 2000)

We were most privileged to have our Siamese girl for more than 16 years. Every day was a good one with her. We miss you much.

Love you always,

mom and dad
xoxo

Photos are from the Two Cats Two archives. They were taken using a Canon FTb 35 mm SLR using Kodak Gold (ASA 200) film.

National Pancake Day

Made from scratch, or made from a mix. Breakfast, lunch or dinner.

on the griddle: Andrea making breakfast

Of course, the cook may exercise their privilege of having the best made pancakes unto themselves.

plated and served: with butter and drenched in Log Cabin syrup (Andrea’s plate)

Already had breakfast? Other serving options include lunch or dinner.

Have a great National Pancake Day!

Photo credit: Andrea Kanakredes camera: Blackberry Classic

September 11th: Forgotten Stories

It seems like yesterday when so much had changed.

Many of us had seen the images. Each were horrific. The falling man. The falling woman. The collapsing towers. Black smoke pouring from the Pentagon. A smoldering Pennsylvania field. They were all seared into our memory.

In the years since, those images and the countless stories are slowly fading away. It is normal to let the painful memories fade. And, soon they will be forgotten stories though we’ll say, “I will never forget”. The time will come when the only remembering will be done by those families that suffered the losses directly.

These stories need not be forgotten if we choose to remember. To remember the horror. To remember the falling man and the falling woman. To remember the many that perished that day.

Yet in the tragedy of the day, we saw America at her absolute best. We need to remember the countless rescues. To remember the arduous and somber recovery effort at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. To remember the building of the Freedom Tower (1 WTC) and the rebuilding at the Pentagon. While some would call the many actions of the day heroic, to a man, to a woman, they would say, “No, it wasn’t. I was simply doing my job when it counted.”

Why we should remember? It was our worst day. It was our best day.

A pair of stories of why we should remember, and why it matters.