Celebrating Non-Traditionally

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We didn’t know we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun!” ~ Unknown

Is there a Thanksgiving from your past that was


more memorable than any of the others?  I have several. They were all spent at the beach with our two first cousins, Joe & Hope, rather than at home in suburban Baltimore. Of course, my mother’s brother Uncle King, who was always the life of the party was in attendance along with our aunt Dot, whose good humor matched her life partner’s. Uncle King is one of several outstanding characters in my memoir Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.

These special turkey days were back in the 1960s before Ocean City, Maryland became a year-round beach resort. The place was empty, a good reason to visit during off-season. Friends and neighbors thought we were crazy spending the holiday on a bitter cold beach rather inside sheltered around our huge fireplace in the house.

As soon as we arrived at the beach cottage our Uncle King made us gather. He started itching to play cards and we’d play so many rounds of gin rummy throughout the weekend our eyes became bleary.

Walks on the beach and building sand castles were customary. Touch football on the shore was a challenge because of the strong fall gales, and running quickly is difficult to achieve when the surface beneath your feet is soft. But to young children the ocean breezes slapping at our faces added to the adventure. We’d start a bonfire on the beach, wrap-up in blankets and sleeping bags and anything else we could find to keep us warm and outside playing.

vintage-thanksgiving-turkey-with-pilgrims-family1A few days prior to Thanksgiving Day, we and our cousins planned for the traditional “Landing of the Pilgrims on the Beach.” The live theatre experience was always requested by our parents. The re-enactment involved lots of hilarity. Our lines got mixed up or forgotten and we’d have to ad-lib and try to remember what we said the year before.

Lots of hot cocoa for the children, and more potent libations for the adults along with a bounteous feast of food graced the table all weekend. We were squeezed like sardines into the rented little cottage but that added to the family togetherness.

Today I’d like to say thanks to my parents for insisting that sometimes we do things a little differently than the traditional holiday experience. They are a large part of why being a “Batton” was so much fun!

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Aired at the Farm, Refreshingly

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 “Feed your faith and starve your doubts.”Kenneth E. Hagin Sr.

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law, Grace, and I visited the Prigel Family Creamery http://www.prigelfamilycreamery.com/ in Glen Arm, Maryland to pick up some of their award-winning “Best of Baltimore” ice cream. The farm is located in horse country, near My Lady’s Manor, Maryland in Baltimore County, north of the city. It’s in the area of the state where the notable “steeple chases” take place every April. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, think fox and hound hunts. http://www.marylandsteeplechasing.com/main/mlm/datetime.htm

As we drove up to the farm, I was surprised by what I saw. A business that unabashedly shares their belief on a sign etched in stone right on the foundation of the building. You can’t miss it.

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“How refreshing is that?” I thought. So many businesses and individuals in this day and age would rather not display signs of the American values and principles that our country was founded upon – a sad state of affairs, I think, if I can be honest.

As everyone knows farming is one of the most difficult occupations there is. Hard work, unforeseeable challenges and the unrelenting task of finding ways to be a sustainable business is all part of the job. It also takes faith to be a farmer because they are constantly at the mercy of unpredictable weather!

Today during this week of gratefulness, I’d like to dedicate this blog on All Things Fulfilling to farmers and ranchers everywhere who keep us fed with fresh produce and other “fruits” of their labor and production – meat, eggs, grains, cheese, poultry, maple syrup and so much more. When we sit down to the Thanksgiving table on Thursday, let us remember where the food we eat comes from and those who produce it.

Here are a few more photos from my quick stop at Prigel’s, along the trail of my East Coast book tour, which I am so very grateful for.

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This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard. For information on her memoir, Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected, which has won three awards, please visit this site.http://amzn.to/1vDFUMt.

 


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Daylight Comes in Memories

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 “Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.” ~ Wayne Dyer 

Daylight savings time has arrived. For those people whose bodies are sensitive to light, perhaps the long season of diminished day light will provide an extra hour of sleep.

Spring, summer and fall are my seasons of choice. Here in mountain country, winter is literally experienced in the raw. The biting, blustery Arctic winds are a reminder of the nature’s less gentle ways with us. Moments of glory in winter come when the rays of sunshine peak out from behind the somber clouds of a raging snowstorm. Those rays carry a special splendor, far different and more dazzling, than the sunshine of summer days. I rely on extra moments of light and illumination from within during the dark season of winter. 

This year, my memories and photographs of our family’s October wedding by the Chesapeake Bay, will bring me pleasure in the bleak hours of a winter’s day. My niece’s engagement began with the husband-to-be creating a story that will long be remembered. The thoughts of the sparkle of the bride’s eyes on wedding day, the camaraderie of eight cousins brought together to share a special occasion, the budding new relationship of two strong families tied together through a marriage, and God’s grace in granting long, healthy lives to the bride’s Grandparents who were there to witness the scene, is enough to brighten even the longest winter. 

My Thanksgiving horn of plenty was filled early this year with the blessings of a family gathered. A nourishment of spirit comes with fulfilling thoughts of gratefulness for the abundance of a happy home and family. I need not a thing more.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.