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« Poets Do Thanksgiving, 2008-2010, A Look Back | Main | Happy Thanksgiving! (Posted by Bruce Covey) »

November 24, 2011


What a beautiful post, Laura. And that poem by Marilyn Nelson is a wonder.

I've been thinking about my list of gratitudes over the last few days as I've readied our old house for Thanksgiving. It was built in 1749, along with a simple barn and a stone corral (with six-foot walls so the sheep couldn't escape, I've been told) in a part of rural CT that was once Pequot Indian land. The Mashantucket tribe here owns much of the surrounding acres, including Foxwoods casino a couple of miles away. The woods that now surround our house were rolling fields only 80 years ago. Like much of New England, it's regrown its forest, re-covering itself in both ways. I often walk into the woods thinking of the image of Mother Earth having pulled her hair over her downturned face in an effort to shade the violence that happened here.

My husband and I have loved this house and have shepherded it into the 21st century, adding a new kitchen, a woodstove in the keeping room (whose fires were kept burning all winter in order to keep the enormous stone fireplace at the house's core warm)and building bookcases and closets true to the colonial period. But here, even the colonial period seems recent. This is an old, old place, like every place is, but moreso.

I'm grateful for chances to start over. And I'm grateful for forgiveness, from whatever quarter it comes.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friend. And to David and Stacey wherever they are today.

Thanks, Leslie. Your house is like you - warm and inviting and full of good things.

What a treasure, Laura. And how wonderful to see into Leslie's home through you..You bring so many of us together.I'm glad for dusty you.

Sometimes life is just a matter of getting through the next half hour. I drove to my parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner, bringing a covered Pyrex dish of steamed brussel sprouts. At some point, I made a sharp turn and the Pyrex dish slid right off the leather seat onto everything I had carefully placed "out of harm's way" on the floor of the car. (Note to self: Pyrex + leather is a greased skid.) So, my Thanksgiving gratitude was an extremely practical thanks for the lid that did NOT come off the Pyrex dish. Whew. After I calmed down, I remembered to give thanks for dogs; wonderful, talented (and pretty) friends; and poets and poetry.

I totally agree with you about gratitude for all things great and small. A ritual we've instituted as part of keeping in touch with my mother is what we call The Gratefuls. Many a bedtime, my daughter, myself, and my mother via Skype take turns listing what we're grateful for as part of that particular day. Sometimes we name the big'uns like health, some days the color of the sky, and most always the simple fact of experiencing each other. I like that ye ol' Einstein quote: "“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

Great quote, Heidi! Thanks for posting!

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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