Posted by: Naomi Baltuck | November 29, 2012

Turkey Bones, Garbage Night, and the Celestial Ring Toss

At Thanksgiving we naturally pause to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives.  Family, friends, food on the table, a roof overhead.  But in the wake of the holiday, I have many more things to be thankful for.  I am thankful that no one in my house cares if it takes three days to wash up the last sink full of odd dishes left over from the feast.

I am thankful that, after we put my sister and daughter on the airplane for home and school, I had a huge writing project to dive into so I wouldn’t miss them too much. Oh, yes, and for a long weekend to spend in my pajamas finishing up that one last revision on my manuscript.

I am also really really really thankful that I remembered last night was Garbage Night, so I don’t have to live with the last earthly remains of that unfortunate turkey for another week.  I didn’t mind that it was midnight, and crispy cold; I was just thankful the rain had finally stopped.  As I was wheeling our recycling out, still wearing my PJs, I looked up and saw an icy ring all around the moon, the nighttime equivalent of catching a shining rainbow as it bridges the sky.

It reminded me of playing Ring Toss with the moon, and of what a ring-toss life can be.  Have you ever been to a carnival and tried your hand at it?  It’s not as easy as it looks.  (You can tell by the size of the prize.)   I’ve read that the secret is to put a good spin on the ring, or to toss it in a high arch so it drops down onto the neck of the peg, or even to send it flying end over end.

So many possibilities for success…and for failure.  Think about all the chances we take every day, the energy we expend, the goals we all strive for, big and little, long term and short term.  It’s hard, and there are no guarantees.  My advice is to save your dollar, forget the ring, and the ring toss, too.  In Africa, the Maprusi people say, “If you see an old woman chasing after a rabbit, you can be fairly certain she has already caught more than one.”

 I want to be like that old woman.  Only instead of rabbits, I have my eye on the moon, and I’m reaching for it with all my might.

You just never know…I might even catch it!

All words and images c2012 Naomi Baltuck

Click here for other interpretations of The Weekly Photo Challenge: Thankful


  1. “I didn’t mind that it was midnight, and crispy cold; I was just thankful the rain had finally stopped.” I love this line!

    • You are so kind! Thank you for visiting, and sharing your generous thoughts.

  2. George lassos the moon…it’s a wonderful life, for sure!

  3. So beautiful. And thanks a lot. I’d just sat down when you reminded me that it is garbage night and there is still turkey and stuffing in the fridge. Yeah, thanks pal!

  4. Lovely post!

  5. I enjoyed reading your post on thankfulness – very nice!

    Remember to update your gravatar. I clicked on your photo in my blog and it took to your old blog.


    • I tried to fix it, but couldn’t figure out how to do it. I have so many things to tune up on my blog. My darling daughter Bea helped me set it up, and I’ve learned to do a few things by fiddling with it. I still don’t even know how to post an award in the sidebar. But I WILL get to it. Thank you for the reminder, though, Nancy.

  6. I would have come over and helped with those dishes!

    • Dear Sue,

      You are such an angel. We got the house put back together and most of the dishes done that night and the next morning. This was just fiddly stuff that builds up, like the tupperware containers for leftovers. But now even that is all taken care of.

      Thanks so much for sharing the day with us!

  7. Oops I forgot to be thankful for the dirty dishes [still] in my sink 🙂

    • No, no, no! You can be thankful that you can leave the dirty dishes in the sink as long as you like. And if you are really lucky, you can be thankful that, while you are doing more important things, someone else will make them go away!

      • 🙂

  8. Funny! Love the photos, too. Glad to hear your Thanksgiving had a bit of magic to it…that’s the best kind of holiday 😉

    • Hi Kathy,
      It was a sweet day, and the day after was pretty darn good too! Thanks for stopping by, and taking the time to comment.

  9. haha what a marvelous story and I love the photos, that bunch of rag tag dishes look like my sink did until yesterday morning, then hubs just put it all in the trash not the china or silver just the plastic stuff. LOL thank you for sharing your holiday leftovers!!

    • Hay, Len, thanks for stopping by! It si always good to hear from you! Are you feeling better?

      • Yes I am better thank you for asking I just didn’t know COPD could get worse I thought as long as I had quit smoking all would be well didn’t know it grew. Hmm figure that! ahh well what ever the good Lord gives me will be sufficient. Hope all is well with you and yours. Hows the writing?

      • I just sent my manuscript off to two agents and an editor who all requested a full. I like them all very much. If this doesn’t work out, I still have my eye on the moon! Thank you, Len, for asking! I’ll let folks know if something happens.

      • awesome! you have more courage than I do I have three in the works, sure I will never finsh for fear of having to do something with them like send them out.LOL Good Luck!

      • Never give up. Len! The worst that could happen is that one person will say ‘no thank you.’ It is often just a matter of finding the right agent or editor. And when someone makes a suggestion, I can tell whether it rings true or not, and I make revisions accordingly. I always want to book to be the best that it can be.

      • Thanks for the words of encouragement:) It is an ongoing process that is for sure.God bless

  10. This is a wonderful post. I too am glad no one cares about an immediate clean up of dishes, that there is work to do to ease the pain of missing loved ones, and that life in its everydayness is essentially a delight.

    Glad you had a pleasant Thanksgiving. Good luck with the latest writing projects.


    • Thanks, Jamie. You too! By the way, I love your new photo.

  11. What a lovely, encouraging yet witty take on being “thankful” and a reminder that it IS the little things in life that sometimes mean sooo much! (I am especially fond of the “ring toss with the moon” as I am an avid “moon watcher” but haven’t attempted to catch it lol)!

    • I wasn’t even thinking about it until you said so, but one of the characters in my historical novel, The Keeper of the Crystal Spring, is named Edwin MoonCatcher! He is the ancient head of the MoonCatcher clan in a little Saxon town in post-Conquest England. He broke his leg as a boy, trying to climb a tree and catch the moon, which he thought was caught in the branches. Everyone in that family is a bit quirky, but in a good way!

      • …..and loookie there I’ve learned something new!! Perhaps I can evolve from moon ‘watcher’ to moon ‘catcher’ with a little time and a wild imagination lol! Thanks again for sharing!

  12. I love your author cup. Just looking at it excites me. 🙂

    • Thank you! I won that in a raffle basket, along with the registration to the Pacific Northwest Writers Conference next summer. Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves of who we are and what we are doing!

  13. Very nice post, there is so much we forget to thank. Things we use daily, and we can’t do without. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you so much for your visit, and for taking the time to share your thoughts!

  14. Dear Naomi, this is so beautifully written and I love your photos of the moon with you “catching” it! There are so many things to be grateful for in life, big and small – and all of them so important –

    and this is what I realize when reading your post. Thanks for it 🙂

    OK – it’s pouring today, just like it did the past few days. Not really nice weather. But I’m actually grateful that all the water does not come down as snow (which would make our way to work slippery and dangerous) and that we live in a region where the weather usually is “calm” if compared with other countries ..

    and there are so many other things in this world to be thankful for. Realizing that makes my life more intense..

    Greetings from Southern Germany,

    • Dear Ocean,
      I am also thankful for the magical internet that can connect me with a new friend all the way across the ocean in the blink of an eye. I don’t know if it seems more like science fiction or the wave of a magic wand, but it seems like a miracle in either case! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and your story!
      Warm wishes from cold and soggy Seattle!

  15. Lovely moon shot! I remember being super excited as a child to see that ring. Thank you for sharing that, and your dishes 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing your comments, and for the follow. I look forward to following your blog too!

  16. Your moon shot reminded me of that brave rabbit in the moon. Saw it clear as anything last night – ours was a warm November dark. Isn’t it wonderful how we share the same moon, all over the world.
    Always good to connect and read your posts, Naomi. Smiles from Meg

    • Dear Meg,
      I”ve been thinking about you, and wondering how you are. It is so good to hear from you! It gives me pleasure to think that we are both looking at the same moon–and seeing the rabbit, and green cheese, and Hina, and the Magician of Krakow…Thank you for stopping by and sharing your wonderful perspective. It is always good to hear from you. Love, Naomi

  17. Thanks for reminding me to appreciate the beauty and little things around me. Been a tough week and this post hit home.

    • Thank you for your visit, and for taking the time to comment. I really hope your week improves. Best wishes, Naomi

  18. Looks like you had a busy, fun and joyful Thanksgiving. After being around family and friends, making great memories it is hard to go back to the usual routine and dealing with homesickness. Of realizing how much we miss them and how long it would take to see them again before the next holiday. Wishing you the wonderful blessings of the holidays ahead.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply. One thing that made goodbyes easier was knowing that my daughter would be home again in only three weeks for the winter break. The next goodbye will be harder. You have a long time before you need to think about that with your little guy, and you are making the most of your time together. I loved your Thanksgiving post!

  19. Such great wisdom… I love the rabbit saying… Might have to go catch some. 🙂

  20. A new take on the worship song “I’ve got the whole world in my hand”!

    • Funny! Thanks for stopping by, Sarah.

  21. What a lovely post, Naomi. Love that last pic. Very clever. 🙂 We all have so much to be thankful for, and you reminded me of that, so well. 🙂

  22. Beautiful post! Love the African saying about chasing the rabbit:-)

    • Thank you! I appreciate your taking the time to visit, and share your thoughts.

  23. hi Naomi,
    you touched my heart with:
    ” A VW bus always catches my eye, and especially red, blue, and
    orange ones, because those are the colors of the VW buses that my mom used to haul seven kids around this big country…”
    that’s a nice thanksgiving-statement for your mom!

    • Thank you, Frizz. I am looking forward to learning how the little orange VW found its way onto your desk. I love the photo of you as a young man,sitting on top of your VW bug.

  24. loved this…it’s time to go to bed but i said just one more blog and i’m glad it was yours…your blog never fails to inspire me…:-)

  25. I love your author cup and that you spend days in your pajamas, oh and the moon was pretty cool too 🙂

  26. I’m still full from Thanksgiving, literally and figuratively.

    That moon ring WAS awesome!

    • We have finally finished up the leftovers, and the dishes piled up on our sink are from subsequent feasting. Thank you for your visit. P.S. I hope you are going to record your New Year’s Eve gig and play it for your blogging buddies.

      • I’m TOTALLY up for recording eventually and posting something, but we’ve got a lot of work to do to get ready.

        Fun work, though!


      • I’m looking forward to watching the show. Best of luck, and take care of that carpal tunnel.

  27. I adore this post. I know where you’re coming from regarding three days to clean up after family get togethers. Ugh.

    • Dear Tess,
      Thank you! I think it takes a mom to really get this! So nice to hear from you, as always.
      Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday and a bright New Year.

  28. I love people who don’t feel compelled to wash the dishes right away and would rather continue their visits with family and friend.

    Keep your eye on the moon, Naomi, for certainly it is already yours.

    • … and yes! I did purposely enjoy this the second time around: the sign of a good write, eh?

  29. LOL. I love what you are thankful for. Garbage night was on Thanksgiving for us so we forgot to put it out and did indeed live with the remains of that week for another week. Mom kept saying just don’t make garbage. I kept laughing at the silliness of that statement. Love the moon ring photos. So beautiful. 🙂

  30. Loved every word Naomi! And the moon images. Wouldn’t be surprised if you caught the moon someday….didn’t one of your sisters discover a planet? 😀 Good luck with the manuscript.

    • Thank you, Madhu. I have my fingers crossed!

  31. Hello! I’ve been following your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the good work!

  32. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate the visit, and your taking the time to comment. So nice to meet you!

  33. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you?
    Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. thanks

    • Hi Katrice,
      Thanks for the visit, and generous response to my blog. There are templates offered by WordPress from which you can choose. I wanted to use my own photos for the header, and there are a few designs that allow you to do that. I can’t remember what the design is called, but it was one of the free ones–you can recognize it by the border. My teenaged daughter helped me get started, bless the lass. But I’m sure you are much more able than I was. I have IPhoto, and once she taught me how to use Photobucket, I was set. WordPress is very easy to use, and with this design and plan, it is also free.
      Let me know when you’ve set it up, and I’ll come by to say hello.
      Best of luck!

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