Sunday morning in my neck of the woods, it was down to 21*! Y'all, that's pretty cold for the first of November. But, like they say, "If you don't like it, wait 15 minutes for the next weather change, it'll be more to your likin'." And it is, it's a balmy 63* this morning. The wind blew over the weekend some, not a lot, but just enough to bring the leaves off the trees in the woods behind us up to blanket our back yard and most of the front with a beautiful quilt of fall colored leaves. It really looks like each one was hand placed, and I guess one could say they were hand placed by God. God is such a fine decorator and He knows so much about color placement. After all, the original color pallet is His! Thank You God, for all the colors of Fall that we love so much!
When November rolls around each year, it always stirs the memories of days gone by. I don't actually know why it has that effect on me, but it does. And this November is no different. I have so much swirling around in my head and some would say that's just muddy water, and most of the time I would agree. hahaha But, I thought I would try to get my thoughts down before I forgot them. It may be God's way of reminding me that I have now and always have had a lot to be thankful for. God is good like that, in helping us to remember the good stuff. So, I'm just gonna start with the first thing that came to mind here back.
November is the time of year around here when everyone starts thinking about the Christmas Parades. Here in my county, there will be no less than four Christmas Parades later on in the month and maybe early in December. When I think of these Parades, I'm automatically transported back to the days of going to the Parade in my hometown many years ago. Just the festivities of it, and remembering it now will bring tears to my eyes for more reasons than one. Just the nostalgia of those days for me was fun. One of those years, my next to the youngest older brother had been crowned Senior Homecoming King and there was a Queen also of our school. So, they ushered the Parade in by sitting in a convertible with their crowns on and waving to the crowd. Now a days, we would say he was a "cutie pie". And he was a cutie pie then, too. But he knew better than to bring that "kingly" attitude home and try to "lord" it over the rest of us common folk though. hahaha
Another thing I vividly remember is that each year Santa Claus came riding in to the Parade on a "coal powered steam engine". It was a fascinating piece of machinery. This man in our community owned the steam engine. He kept it painted candy apple red, polished and shined till the sun shining off it would just about blind you. Everyone, children and adults alike, loved to see this thing come down the road, chug chug chugging along down main street, with Santa riding in it and waving and doing the "Ho Ho Ho" thing, all the while tossing out hands full of hard candy to the crowd.
This one particular year I was really close to where the steam engine was coming down the road, I had a bulls-eye view of it and was just taking the sight of it in. Santa was "Ho Ho Ho-ing" and tossing out hands full of candy. I was oblivious to the candy, just looking at the steam engine. All of a sudden, my eyes caught sight of a piece of candy coming right at me and I was frozen. I could not move a muscle and that piece of candy hit me right smack dab between the eyes with the force of being shot out of a canon and knocked me down, and out for a bit!!!!! Well, needless to say Santa Claus is NOT at the top of my list anymore!!!!! How come Santa Claus tried to kill me? That was several years before the days of "Grandma got run over by a Reindeer" too! I think there just might be a song in this story somewhere. Now, I was in the 8th grade. I wore a little makeup, but let me tell you, there wasn't enough makeup in the state of Ky to cover this knot as big as a golf ball and bruise on my forehead, right between the eyes!!!!!! You know, if I had been that bad that year, he could have just left me some coal in my stocking, he didn't have to bring it down to such a personal level and try to take me out singlehandedly with a piece of candy!!!!! hahahaha I'm telling you, no one could have taken aim for me and hit me spot on between the eyes, better than Santa Claus did!!!! I think I still hold the honor of being the only person ever in my little town, to get hit between the eyes with a piece of HARD candy, thrown by Santa Claus!!!!! And, needless to say, as much as I love Parades today, that was the last one I ever went too!!!!!! And if anyone ever talks me into going to another one, I will have a helmet on with a face shield!!!!!! You just can't trust anyone in a stuffed red suit throwing candy, shouting "HO HO HO!!!!!! Santa Claus is still on my mud list for that, by the way!!!! hahaha
Another thing that I remember is my mom baking turkeys!!! She was and still is one of the best cooks in the world in my book. She always had the knack of taking a little and making it feed 8 and having leftovers to boot. There wasn't anything she couldn't cook and there still isn't anything that she can't cook!!!! But, back then, when they went for the turkey, she always opted for the largest turkey in the store. She always tried to get between a 25 and 30 pounder. My dad and brothers always hunted wild game to supplement the groceries. In the fall, they would bird hunt and with them all getting their quotas each day, there was a lot to go in the freezers. I remember this one year when mom was cooking the turkey and getting everything ready for the Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, and she put a bunch of quail around the turkey as it was cooking and that is what we got to eat for supper on Wednesday night. They were absolutely delicious!!!!! I will never forget Mom raising the lid off the turkey cooker and seeing all those little quails placed around the turkey. It was kinda funny looking. This massive turkey with all those little birds around it! There was probably 20 or more of those quail cooked around the turkey. It was a fun way for mom to cook the quail. And, remember the brother I mentioned as being the "king" back up earlier? Well, he loved the whole pulley bones.
Some of you may not know what a pulley bone is, but it is above the breast, where the neck comes down and is joined to the bird. (A human beings counterpart to the pulley bone would be our collar bone.) The way chickens are processed now, you don't ever get a pulley bone. It you want to have the pulley bone, you have to dress a chicken yourself and then cut that front part of the upper breast off and it will have that bone in it with a really nice piece of white meat on that bone. Whoever got the pulley bone was "lucky" and got to break the pulley bone with another person. The person who had the biggest piece of bone after making a wish and pulling it apart, that person's wish was supposed to come true. The turkey always has a pulley bone, because they are still whole, but most people get rid of it as soon as the bird is cooked and sliced.
Anyway, this brother loved the pulley bones, just for the bones themselves and he collected them all. If there was any fingernail polish around home, he would steal it (from my mom and me) and paint his pulley bones with it. (kings can get away with stealing! hahaha) And then he would put them in his car. He would use them to scare his girlfriends so he could put his arms around them and keep them safe! Yeah, RIGHT!!!!! (Bunch of ditzy girls!) hahaha He would make up some big tale about what they were and where he got them and they would believe him! (Bunch of ditzy girls!) hahaha
Another time I remember at Thanksgiving many years ago, my uncle and his son came down from Ohio just to go rabbit hunting with my grandfather and another cousin and my dad and five brothers. So, the grand total head count of hunters with guns that day was 10 people. Waaaaayyyyyy too many people in the woods with guns!!!!!! My dad and grandfather and uncle was really cautioning everyone about being careful and making sure the sight was clear before they fired their gun and all that. Well, guns was blazing going off here and going off there and they were bagging rabbits going and coming. The area they were hunting in had a small ravine in between two wooded hill sides. You could stand on one wooded hill side and see very easily over to the other wooded hill side. Rabbits being bagged, guns firing and all the sudden, my dad sees a rabbit on the hillside opposite him and took aim and fired. Just as he fired, my oldest brother stepped up behind the rabbit that dad had shot at. It happened so quickly that dad seen him in the sights, just AFTER he fired the gun. Down my brother went. I reckon dad started yelling for everyone else and started running down the hill he was on and up the other hill my brother was on. Dad got to him and he was ok!!! While all this was happening, I had went up to my other grandparents house who lived on the hill just above us and spent the evening with them. Mom was at home by herself, something that usually NEVER happened. Dad brought my brother home and got him inside. My mother had the "small" task of picking buckshot out of my brother. One went thru one of his ears. Another buckshot hit the middle of his forehead. Another one hit his throat. Could have been serious, but by the grace of God, it wasn't. Every place on the rest of his body had at least four or five layers of clothing under each buckshot. So, mom would have to pick out the shot and then all the layers of clothing. I was still up at my other grandparents house and didn't know anything had happened. My dad and one of my other brothers came up there. Remember the "king", it was him.
He had a serious problem when we were all growing up. If you heard him rolling with laughter, you better go check! Most of the time someone was seriously hurt!!!! Mom always knew if she heard him laughing uncontrollably, someone was in trouble.
So, anyway, dad and my brother came up to mamaw and papaw's house that evening. I just sensed that something wasn't quite right. Dad started telling what had happened and my brother was sitting on a stool in front of the window and he was just cracking up laughing!!! I jumped up, grabbed my coat and hit the door running and did not stop till I was inside our house and checking on my other brother and seeing if he was gonna be alright. Well, he was. None the worse for wear. Someone asked why he didn't go to the hospital. My brother said that he knew his mother wouldn't hurt him and she could do anything the doctor could do. That was high praises for my mother, and my brother was right. She had vested interest in her children, where the doctor didn't. Let me tell you, there was never 10 people in the woods hunting at one time again, ever! God is good! That situation had the potential to be really bad, but by His hand of protection, my brother was a-ok through that situation.
As I was thinking about all of this, something else came to mind. I had been out town shopping here while back and came in just at sunset. The street that I live on faces west. With that in mind, sometimes if I am out at the right time, I get to see a lovely sunset. This particular sunset was the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen!!!!! As I was coming down the street, I looked up and was just absolutely stunned by what I seen!!!! I have never seen as many beautiful colors all swirled together! I literally stopped in the middle of the street and just set there with my mouth open, staring in awe at what I was fortunate and blessed to be able to see with my own eyes!!!! I just said, "Thank You God, for allowing me to see such beauty!
I was making a card during this time I have been sick and all I kept seeing was the spectacular colors in this sunset. So, with that in mind, I tried to emulate the colors in that sunset on the card I was making. Believe it or not, I did and I wanted to share that with y'all today.
As we go into the holiday season, with Thanksgiving being the next major holiday on the calendar for us in the US, think about some of the memories that you have that you are thankful for. Whether it's fun, funny, or serious, see if you can see the hand of God in all of it. I'll bet if you look close enough you can find God there. Holding you close, helping you, and protecting you through all the days of your life. I know that God has been with me all the days of my life, the good days and the not so good days! I thank God every day for His active presence in my life. Then and now! With that in mind, I will share this Scripture with you: Psalms 69:30 "I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving."
Thank you God for your watch care and protection over me all the days of my life! You never blink, you never slumber, you never take your eyes off your own! I will praise you as long as there is breath in my body! Thank you for providing me a way to have a relationship with You through the blood of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior!
I hope you have had an awesome day Ladybug! I know you remember all the stuff I just told in this blog post. I hope it brought back some good memories for you. Sweetpea loves you!
I hope everyone of y'all have a treasure trove of fond memories that you can dig around in from time to time. I hope that you enjoyed some of the stuff that I dug up today. I hope and pray that God allows me to dig up some more good stuff in the days to come. The good stuff is worth remembering and sharing with those that you love. Do it, they will appreciate it.
Give God thanks this season and all year through. Remember, God loves y'all and so do I! hugs, Patty