With it being Thanksgiving week and people anticipating turkey, dressing and all the other trimmings of this day, I feel it is time for another installment of "Puppy Day" on David's Musings. It has been four months since the last Puppy Day. That is far too long. As I have stated many times, I feel the joy of a puppy can cure a lot of ills people may have. They are the cure for loneliness, sadness and grief. But, during this time of year, people buy their children puppies because they are so "cute." With the ownership of a puppy comes responsibility of taking care of them. Kids being kids can be cruel to animals. It is not their fault. I blame the parents for not teaching them. So, when or if you to get a puppy during this holiday season, please take care of the little fellas and gals. They are depending on you to care for them. That out of the way, as always, click on the images to expand them.
Many times people dwell on the good times they have had during the holidays. Many think of Thanksgiving at their grandparents house. Many think of Christmas with loved ones and the great times they have had. But, there is always that one holiday that sticks out in your mind as worst ever. My worst ever Thanksgiving happened when I was about 16 years old. We were living in Florida at the time. Mama had gathered all the turkey, dressing mix and so forth she would need. Mama would start cooking at about 5AM Thanksgiving Day. She would put the turkey on, the dressing, the gravy and so forth. She usually did this without any help. But, on this one particular Thanksgiving, the power went out about 9AM. The turkey was only about half done, the dressing was not yet put in the oven. In short, my mother was at the mid-way point of cooking Thanksgiving Dinner when the power went out. Since it was an electric stove, she had no choice but to wait for the lights to come back on that morning. We anticipated about a 5 minute wait, maybe 30 minutes if something was really bad at the power company. After 10AM, Mama called the power company. She got a recording. That's never a good sign. Noon came and went. Still no power. Mama was desperate now. She considered taking the turkey out of the oven and putting it on the grill. But, it was so wet and rainy outside, she felt it would be impossible.
It was now 4PM Thanksgiving Day. We were hungry since we had not eaten any breakfast in anticipation of Turkey and all the trimmings. People around the neighborhood were gathering at street corners now. We were not the only folks upset with the power company. The "not knowing" what was wrong and when the power was coming back on is what was driving us all crazy. It was now 6PM and it was dark. We had eaten sandwiches and soup for our Thanksgiving dinner. We all thought it was funny except our mother. Mama did not know what to do with the turkey. She decided to put it in the refrigerator. But, she could not find enough space. So, as she was taking things out of the fridge, the power came on just after 7PM. The power had been out for over 10 hours on Thanksgiving Day. Mama decided to put the turkey and dressing in the oven and stay up until it was done. She finished up Thanksgiving dinner about 11:30PM that night. We ate our turkey and dressing the day after Thanksgiving. It was delicious as always. But, it simply wasn't the same. We bragged on Mama for all the hard work she did to have the meal ready for us, albeit a day late. It didn't seem like Thanksgiving because we weren't able to have turkey and dressing on Thanksgiving Thursday.
The reason for the power outage? A cat, trying to get out of the rain and cold, got into a substation and shorted out the entire grid to about 5,000 customers on Thanksgiving Day. As bad as our Thanksgiving Day was, it was much worse for a cat that used up all 9 of his lives on Thanksgiving Day many years ago.
We have Thanksgiving coming up in about 10 days from the date of this post. People will be running here and there in preparation for relatives coming over for Thanksgiving dinner. It's this time of the year when the criminal element of society preys on those who are oblivious to their surroundings due to their single-minded approach toward the holidays. Now, people are busy going to the supermarket getting everything they need for Thanksgiving dinner. The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, is a day like no other. When November rolls around on your calendar, criminals lick their chops in preparation for their own "Thanksgiving" and their own "Christmas gifts." You are the focus of their plans for this time of year. This time of year all kinds of scams are going forth. I heard about one where some people are pretending to be workers for the Salvation Army and are going door to door to collect for the poor so they can have Thanksgiving dinner at their homes. Ladies and gentlemen, the Salvation Army doesn't come to your house unless you invite them. Even then, it is to pick up old furniture, clothing, blankets, etc. They are in front of department stores to collect for the poor. They don't go door to door, at least in my area. It is a scam that is going around. So, please beware. There are other scams such as people posing to be representing some obscure charity. Never give anything to these people unless they have a badge identifying themselves. Most charities have to be licensed by your city. Use your common sense when dealing with these people.
During the holidays, people are in such a hurry they don't pay attention to their surroundings. Criminals have got their eyes on you, particularly women who are alone or the elderly. Park as close to the front of the store as possible. If that is not possible, try to go another time of the day (early in the morning, for example) or go to a store with parking lot security. Criminals are watching you in these stores looking for a weakness to exploit. Just be wary during the holiday season. There is no reason why you can't have an enjoyable holiday season. But, just know there are those around who don't care about you or your holiday enjoyment.
Those of you that read my ghost story at my grandma's house (Ghost Story: Summers at Grandma's House) will remember my grandma as a no nonsense kind of woman. My grandfather was equally a no nonsense type. But, he never tried to lock horns with grandma. As I said in that story, my grandma's house was an old two-story home they bought not long after WWII. My grandpa worked at a shipyard about 20 miles away. But, they also had a small farm that my grandparents worked as well. They both never lacked for money. They both had their own cars which was not a common thing to see in a home back in the 50s and 60s. Summers were great at my grandma's house. But, holidays were something special. Thanksgiving was a treat all into itself. Grandpa, who was normally cantankerous when we were there, seemed to always be on his best behavior during Thanksgiving. I suspect grandma read him the riot act before we arrived. That was what my father said anyway. Regardless, it was a very wonderful time of the year. Even though it was not Christmas, grandma had a present for each of us as we arrived at her home. It was usually a theme with Thanksgiving, such as small pumpkin flavored candy of some sort.
Thanksgiving dinner was usually served around 2PM that day. We would have a light breakfast of cereal or pancakes. So, we were sure to be hungry when it came time to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Grandma always had candles burning on the table. Grandpa didn't like that. But, he knew better than to say anything about it. Grandma knew how to cook, especially turkeys. It was never dry and it was cooked just right. The dressing was just out of this world good. It was Thanksgiving with all the trimmings as you can imagine. Everyone was expected to at least have second helpings. As grandma always said, "If I can get up at 6 in the morning to cook this and slave over that stove for four hours, you can eat second helpings." Everybody ate second helpings. No one wanted to offend grandma for any reason. Dressing always fills you up quick. So, we learned early not to eat much dressing even though it was delicious. Of course, there were the usual pecan pies, pumpkin pies and cake. After eating my share of that, I didn't think I could eat the next day. Thanksgiving leftovers seemed even better the next day. So, I still found a way to put away more turkey and dressing somehow. Of course, we would then retire to the living room, grandma would want us to tell her what we wanted Santa Claus to bring us for Christmas. My dad and grandpa tried to watch football on TV while this was going on, of course. It was always tough to leave the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Grandma would always cry and then we would cry also. We all loved our grandparents.
Holidays are never quite the same after you leave your childhood. I mean, I look forward to the holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. But, it's just not the same as a 63-year old man.
"Family Album" is another in a long list of series I started and stopped for different reasons. The main reason I stopped this one is I have never felt comfortable posting pics from my family album. I still feel that way. I intend to add a couple more chapters to this series before the 7th anniversary of this blog in April. As I've stated before, we are in the winding down stage of regular participation here. Oh, there will still be posts made on a weekly basis (for a few months anyway). But, few, very few will be from me. I'm ready to move on. Most of the posts made here will be on the supernatural/paranormal topic. Some staff members have stated they will post from time to time. But, enough of this....this is about someone from my family album. I will not post a picture of this individual. I will tell a brief story about her as was told to me.
The person I will tell about today is my Great-Aunt Susanna Mitchell. She was from my mothers side of the family. Unlike most on that side of the family, Aunt Susanna was highly educated and held high paying jobs during her working years. This was during the 1930s when women were looked upon suspiciously if they worked, especially highly educated women in positions of authority. Aunt Susanna was co-chair of a newspaper in the Midwest. She never rose higher than co-chairman (yes, back in those days they were not politically correct) of the newspaper. Aunt Susanna was wealthy, had two homes and actually owned an automobile in 1938 when most people couldn't even drive. My aunt dated lots of wealthy men and many were the suitor who courted her. However, Aunt Susanna never married. In the early part of the 20th century, it was considered downright strange if a woman didn't do her "duty" to get married and have children. Aunt Susanna never felt under any obligation to do so. She was too busy going to places like Paris, London and the Swiss Alps. She enjoyed her wealth and the pleasure it brought to her. Again, she never even discussed getting married to family members. It wasn't until after her death in 1960 of throat cancer as to why she never did marry.
From photos found in her diary, her own private albums and her security box at the bank, it was discovered that Aunt Susanna was a lesbian. Being gay (or homosexual as it was termed in that era) was something that was hushed up and never discussed under any circumstances. Few in the family ever suspected my aunt was gay. My grandmother (maternal) did say to several family members she felt Susanna was "homosexual." But, she was quickly dismissed as being absurd. Many just thought Aunt Susanna was eccentric and a member of the news media elite who basked in the limelight. As it turns out, grandma was right all along. I only met my great-aunt one time when I was 6 years old. I don't remember much about her except she pinched my cheek hard and kissed me on my forehead. Three years later she was dead. The "great family secret" was never really a secret. It was just that Aunt Susanna kept her private life....private. She kept it very private.
In her will, she requested that a certain amount of money would go to a woman living in Orlando, Florida. Initially, the family started to fight the will because of the woman. But, cooler heads prevailed and it was decided that Aunt Susanna's last request be granted. Her name is rarely mentioned because few remember her. I still have pics of her in my family album. She was a very attractive woman. But, the shock of her "secret life" still is the cause of discussion at family gatherings by those who still remember her.
I've been all over the world, albeit many years ago as a young sailor in the U.S. Navy. Recovering divorcee, new in the world of blogging. I do a little computer maintenance on the side to make myself some extra money since my retirement from the federal work force. I'm now exploring the "writer" in me that wanted to come out when I graduated from high school. Alas, there was this war in Southeast Asia and...