Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lesson 195: Thank the Lord

It's Thanksgiving!
Thank the Lord!

Here are two shots of the sun coming up over the frosted vineyards.  They were taken last weekend on one of my first days out, after a two week bout of shingles.  The chicken pox virus the second time around was as no fun as it was the first time.  Round one was when I was in  fourth grade, and missed Trick or Treating as a result.  Round two was virus versus Adult Eloise and it kicked my @$$.  Caution to virus:  I look sweet, but beware.  I can kick back. Hard. Six week healing period?  No, thank you.

Eloise set her mind to getting better.  I prayed a lot.  Thank you, Lord.  I drank a ton of smoothies.  Thank you, Tracy Southern.  I tried to rest.  I kept thinking just make it to Thanksgiving and things will be better.....  They are.  Much better.  Although I still have some healing to do.

The Single Shingle as I've so named the cold sore-like blister on the side of my nose, is a barometer for my health.  Until it is completely gone, the virus is still active.  Every time I try to do more, or push it too much, it glows red and Eloise looks like Rudolph with his nose offset.  It is a lovely shade of amber today.

I've got some fun things planned, 188 Dr. Seuss tests to grade (we studied him first quarter), and my Mom List is growing by one or two bullets by the hour.  Still, I plan to try to rest and finish healing all of the way.  I am thankful for the time off. Thank you, Lord.

I'm also thankful for the beautiful vineyard across the street from the Lamp Post.
I caught a ray of light the other morning.  

I was thankful for that.

I'm most thankful to be spending time with them:

We experienced some really nice weather in my Lake Erie region today.  As of this writing (Wednesday afternoon) it's 51 and sunny and I'm headed out for a very slow trot soon.  Maybe I can sweat this sucker out of me.  Thank you, Lord.

Ellen and Sam played catch all afternoon, and Eloise had some peace to clean up my house.
Thank you, Lord.

Ellen got to use sidewalk chalk in the driveway today instead of a snow shovel.
Thank you, Lord.

The boys gathered in my backyard for a game of football.

Sam made a macaroni turkey. 

Natalie couldn't wait to paint.

A little down time is good for everyone.  Readers, I hope you all get at least one day of rest over the holiday.  That is one hard lesson that I learned.  Rest is important.

Sometimes the only rest I get, is to get away from the Lamp Post as there is always someONE or someTHING than needs my attention.  A good escape for Eloise is a movie.  A two hour confined place for me to sit down for a little bit and watch something for enjoyment.  I only like to go to movies during the winter months though; from Thanksgiving through about March.  After that, I can't stand to be cooped up inside.  

This weekend I have several to choose from:

My girls and my two friends Tracy--Northern & Southern can't wait to see how Stephenie Meyer ends this saga.

Sam has his eyes set fists set on this one:

I'd kind of like to see the one about this man:

That is Abraham Lincoln, Slovenians.  He was the sixteenth president of the United States.  Lincoln was our best president in Eloise's opinion.  He governed when the strength of our union experienced its most severe test.  A movie has been made of his life and opened on November 9th.  

The movie stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, and Sally Field--all fantastic at their craft.  It looks to be a good one.  

I love my presidents.  I read about them all the time.  Most of my energy goes to the presidents in my lifetime--from Nixon through Obama.  Jimmy Carter is my favorite person who was ever president---a real and honest individual.  He's written a multitude of books and when I read them I can almost hear his southern drawl.  I'd like to get to Plains, Georgia soon while he is still living.  I'd love to get the chance to meet him.  In all honesty, if given the choice, I'd choose a backstage pass to meet Jimmy Carter over Tim McGraw, if you can believe that!  

I got into Lincoln again because the sixth grade in my daughter's school studied the Civil War.  She was bringing home tons of research material and books on the subject and many an evening the two of us leafed through them and talked history.  Lincoln is most famous for his image on our penny and the five dollar bill.  He's hailed for holding our nation together through the Civil War.  

What I almost forgot about, but was reminded of this fall, was that it was President Lincoln who declared the first national day of Thanksgiving in 1863.  However, we don't have Abe Lincoln to thank for that.  Thank her:  

This is Sarah Hale.  

Sarah knew the power of the pen.  She was a magazine editor.

Sarah felt that the nation needed a national day of Thanksgiving.  This was a seventeen year long project for Sarah that began years before Lincoln's time in office.  She sent requests to four presidents prior to Lincoln:  Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, and Buchanan.  None considered a unifying day of thanks top administrative priority.  Then came Lincoln.

She sent President Lincoln her letter in September of 1863, right smack dab in the middle of the Civil War.  Part of Sarah's request was worded as follows, according to Abraham Lincoln Online--Speeches & Writing:

You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritative fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution."

In a war torn nation, it seemed very unlikely that such a request would be recognized.  Yet just a week later, President Lincoln read her letter and responded immediately.  Lincoln composed a written document that is known as The Thanksgiving Proclamation.  Google that, and you can read it in it's entirety in just a couple of clicks on line.  Lincoln had a passion for the pen.  His words are beautiful.  A good writer always impresses Eloise.  The document's language is somewhat difficult, so I broke the words up in phrases for you for easier reading.  I can't help it.  I'm a teacher.  

I also took the liberty of hi lighting my favorite words and phrases.  Words are cool, and old Abe really had a way with them.  

Some of the wording from Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 3, 1863:

By the President of the United States

A Proclamation

The year that is drawing to a close,
has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields
and healthful skies.

To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed
that we are prone to forget the source from which they come
others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, 
that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart
which is habitually insensible 
to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. 

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, 

Population has steadily increased, 
notwithstanding the waste that has been made in 
the camp, 
the siege 
and the battle-field; 
and the country, 
rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, 
is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. 

No human counsel hath devised 
nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. 
They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, 
who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, 
hath nevertheless remembered mercy. 

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, 
and gratefully acknowledged 
as with one heart and one voice 
by the whole American People. 

I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, 
and also those who are at sea 
and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, 
to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, 
as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. 

And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him
for such singular deliverances and blessings, 
they do also, with humble penitence 
for our national perverseness and disobedience, 
commend to His tender care all those who have become 
or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife 
in which we are unavoidably engaged, 

and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand 
to heal the wounds of the nation 
and to restore it as soon as may be consistent 
with the Divine purposes 
to the full enjoyment of 
and Union.

Done at the City of Washington, 
this Third day of October, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, 
and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

Impressive, wouldn't you say?

Here's another impressive fact:  4,000 are running our local Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning!

Erieites, don't look for me to be running under the name of a dead US President. I'm up to William Henry Harrison, but he won't be making an appearance.  Eloise will be at the Lamp Post enjoying a morning off.  Thank the Lord! I don't like crowds and am no good at math, but I know that means 4,000 runners to 6 port a potties does not make a favorable ratio.  No thanks.

To Kenyan, Northern, Doc, and all of my team mates--trot tough.  I'd lie and say something lame like I'll be with you in spirit, but Thanksgiving is a day declared by Honest Abe so I can't do that.  I won't even give you a second thought.  I'll be sipping my coffee in my pajama bottoms, watching the Macy's day parade.  Thank the Lord!

One of the things Eloise is most thankful for is Sam's smooth transition into our public school system in the Great State of Pennsylvania.  Eloise was worried.  He's a hard kid to channel, and I'll be the first to admit that.  My boy loves school though and is doing very well.  Thank the Lord.

Sam has been drawing these "sky scrapers" lately.
Sam's art intrigues me.  I am not sure why the building is rainbow striped,
or what exactly those USA things are on the sides.
He's made at least five of them this week.

Here is another example of a "sky scraper."
Read closely under Mom & Dad.
All Eloise has to say to that is Thank the Lord.  

And here is one final Thank You, Lord, meant very literally.  Thanks to the Erie Lord Manufacturing Plant for the nice tour on Tuesday.  My students and I enjoyed it.  You are proof that manufacturing can hold its northern roots strong.  We're glad you are staying with us, and best of luck in the transition to your new facility.  I brought you some smart ones.  You may have just had your first encounter with your future boss.

In your Thanksgiving prayers today, borrow some words from Abe Lincoln.  Remember to thank The Most High God for the bounties, healthful skies, and a day full of blessings.  To bless not only those around our tables, but also the widows, orphans, mourners, and sufferers, too.  To heal the wounds of our nation, and bring peace, tranquility, and unity to all people.  

Lincoln movie trailer is posted below.

Bountiful blessings,

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