Friday, November 26, 2010

Poem for Friday and Thanksgiving in the Woods

Around Us
By Marvin Bell

We need some pines to assuage the darkness
when it blankets the mind,
we need a silvery stream that banks as smoothly
as a plane's wing, and a worn bed of
needles to pad the rumble that fills the mind,
and a blur or two of a wild thing
that sees and is not seen. We need these things
between appointments, after work,
and, if we keep them, then someone someday,
lying down after a walk
and supper, with the fire hole wet down,
the whole night sky set at a particular
time, without numbers or hours, will cause
a little sound of thanks--a zipper or a snap--
to close round the moment and the thought
of whatever good we did.


We had a fairly quiet Thanksgiving day, though it started early, since the cats had no intention of sleeping late (and having their breakfast delayed) just because we could. We watched all of the Macy's parade, which as always had some lovely moments and some embarrassing ones; I know its purpose is primarily commercial, but was it necessary for NBC to put everyone who's on any of their shows in front of a microphone for a gratuitous tie-in on top of the advertising sponsors for the floats that came later? I prefer the dancing penguins. Then we watched most of the Lions-Patriots game, the highlight of which was the feature before the kickoff about the death of Cincinnati Bengals player Chris Henry and the four people whose lives were saved when his mother donated his organs -- CBS anchors James Brown and Boomer Esiason (who has a child with cystic fibrosis, and a license plate encouraging organ donation) were both in tears afterward.

We decided to go hike a bit at Locust Grove since we knew we were going to eat a lot later. It was drizzly in the morning, but merely overcast by the time we went out, and we had the park pretty much to ourselves (no deer put in an appearance but we did see squirrels and a woodpecker). We had Thanksgiving dinner at my parents' with my sister Nicole and her family; all the kids were fairly rambunctious, particularly while many of the adults were trying to watch the terrific Saints-Cowboys game, but my mother had a treasure hunt and pinata for them with cash prizes, so everyone behaved for that. Adam and I ate tofurkey plus all the usual side dishes (sweet potatoes, carrot souffle, spinach pie, cranberry sauce) while everyone else had turkey. There were two cakes for dessert but I was too full to have more than a bite of either one! Now we're watching the Bengals-Jets game and pondering places we can go tomorrow as far from stores as possible. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and good luck if you're planning an early morning shopping run!

Locust Grove's nature center was closed but had its holiday lights on for Thanksgiving.

The trees were looking pretty bare...

...but there was still some color in the woods.

The creek is pretty in every season.

And some of the fall leaves persistently clung to their trees.

The sky remained gray, though, and we're supposed to get rain and lower temperatures the next couple of days.

This is the Native American-style canoe created and displayed near the nature center.

And this is Paul's annual cookie cake. Previous cakes: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.

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