Thanksgiving Day in America, 2013



A determination to practice the habit of finding the good in our lives. A decision of the heart to set aside at least one day in which we can step back to let the True, the Good, and the Beautiful take center stage in an increasingly dysphoric world.

Those three qualities are hardwired into our human make-up. Despite the many setbacks we are witness to, we continue to hold out hope for the triumph of good over evil. We can only work on our small part of the world, but that is work enough.

There are many versions of this Harvest Hymn (Purcell’s music). I chose this one for the Baron, just because the scenes are from his home during his high school years. It was obviously a bountiful season for Harrogate’s Annual Autumn Flower Show:

There is much to be thankful for this year at Schloss Bodissey. Here are just the recent highlights — our own personal perspective:

  • The Baron’s sight is improving and it appears likely not to progress any further because of the treatments;
  • His retinal surgeon referred him to a private foundation that pays for the (expensive) medication used in those needles-in-the-eye. I see now why the doctor wanted this: it’s very effective and the procedures needn’t be done as frequently as they were with the first medicine;
  • We’re both thankful the future Baron is coming for Thanksgiving dinner (and even more thankfully, will take the leftovers home with him since we mostly aren’t supposed to eat a lot of what’s traditionally on an American menu on Turkey day);
  • It’s not snowing or icing up at all. I remember snowy Thanksgivings, so we’re grateful for a Thanksgiving without power interruptions;
  • Gates of Vienna’s most successful fundraiser to date is now wrapped up and put away with the others — hooray and halleluiah for the generosity of our donors;
  • it appears that Diana West’s courageous push-back will prevent her book from disappearing down the memory hole. The Baron’s months of hard work have helped — as he says, he was part of the Army of Midgets that took on the Bigs. It would appear that the truth will prevail over the received narrative. In a Time of Lies, our participation in small victories heartens us;
  • Our roof is safe enough until the warm weather will permit the roofers to climb up there and replace the old one;
  • My own annoying disorder, fibromyalgia, hasn’t progressed. It hasn’t improved, either, but I do get breaks from it sometimes. I know people in far worse shape than I am. Thus, I am grateful to be well enough to cook for those I love. Or at least some of them…

If any of our readers would like to add their own gratitudes and thanksgivings in the comments, we’d love to hear them.

Happy Thanksgiving, all — even and especially our readers from Everywhere Else, where’s it’s not Thanksgiving yet, or where your observations have already passed.

8 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Day in America, 2013

  1. I am grateful for Baron and Dymphna; that God has kept them as healthy as possible, so that they can continue the hard and important work.

    May they remain healthy and in good spirits. May they know how much they are loved and respected.

      • Elisabeth, you beat me to it. I second what you said.

        I can add much more to that.

        *I and some loved ones in fragile condition are still alive and doing quite well, which seems to me to be against the odds as of some time ago.

        *God continues to grant us also the financial means to pursue alternative healing methods that have yielded good results and which we could not afford without help from a generous relative, and that is why I am still present on this forum.

        *We made it through a Thanksgiving without any discord among family members, which has not always been the case.

        I’ll leave it at that. Thanks for the invitation to share, Dymphna. May God bless you and the Baron and all those you love. And may God bless you, Elisabeth, and all those you love. And may God bless everyone who reads this. (Belated) Happy Thanksgiving

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks for your giving, Baron and Dymphna, which is so bracing to us all strewn across Big State’s domain and within its tight squeeze.

    Which reminds me to add, particularly for the benefit of the non-American readers here, that the main thanks are or should be for freedom, not for the fowl and tubers, just like Christmas is not about the tree and the presents. Myron Magnet had a Thanksgiving essay in the WSJ yesterday (now behind wall) in which he wrote:

    “Americans have had an almost physical thirst for liberty, as people do who truly know its opposite, like Eastern Europeans who once lived under communist tyranny… That thirst for liberty led the Founders to revolt when they thought that George III was squeezing upon them the tyranny that had crushed their forebears. It also led them to hedge their new government with every safeguard to keep them free….

    To protect life, liberty and property from [snip] the depravity of human nature— the Founders knew they needed some kind of government armed with power. But since the officials who wield such power have the same fallen human nature as everyone else, who can be sure that they won’t use it to oppress others? The Constitution they wrote in the summer of 1787 explicitly limited government’s powers to what they deemed absolutely essential. They divided and subdivided power, and they made each branch of government a watchdog over the others…”

    He concluded: “It’s that culture of liberty we nourish by recalling that our forebears came to these shores in search of freedom—and by giving thanks that they found it.”

    Here I take exception. Yes, they found it. But do we still find it in our daily lives? And if we don’t, shouldn’t the mourning for that lost liberty and determination to regain it be a part of Thanksgiving too? And what about our European cousins? Don’t they have the same natural right to liberty as we do? Isn’t there an important lesson they can draw from this part of the American culture rather than from the river of bilge coming out of Los Angeles, New York and Washington?

    • Myron Magnet – great name – is editor emeritus, or some such title meaning he ran it for a long time – of City Journal, my favorite magazine.

      It is on line, but the physical magazine itself is the most aesthetically pleasing one I know. I am not a keeper – by nature I throw things out (the Baron is the opposite). But I keep these. Many of the essays are worth re-reading, especially Magnet’s ongoing series on our early leaders.

      The writers are exceptionally good, even the ones I don’t always agree with. Heather McDonald’s has been reporting on policing methods for years; she also writes about crime.

      • City Jurnal now has a California edition, a gem in itself. And McDonald, a despairing ex-Californian and disgusted ex-PhD candidate like me, is a heroine; she has reported not only on the topics you mention but — devastatingly and with a surfeit of facts and figures — on the disastrous effects of the demographic and cultural “Hispanization” of the U.S. Which is perhaps another fitting subject of Thanksgiving reflection — after all, religious refugees though the Pilgrims were, they had a definite ethnic and cultural identity, and one that served America very well for 300 years until the great unraveling started in the 1960s…

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