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

Lucky Ducks and Bright Spots

 

Thanksgiving is in the air.  No, not the spicy fragrance of pumpkin pie.  ‘Tis heartier fare I speak of, more refreshing than a double shot of espresso to a caffeine addict marooned on a desert isle.  I’m talking about Bright Spots.

IMG_0469.JPG

My mother, widowed with seven children, taught me to recognize them, from a distance, in passing, and in disguise.

IMG_3978.JPG

It’s like bird watching. Flashy red cardinals and blue jays naturally draw the eye, and you can’t miss the shiny green pate of a male Mallard.  But look among the mottled brown feathers of a female Mallard, and you can see the lucky lady sports a striking patch of iridescent blue feathers on each wing that would make a peacock proud.

IMG_2559.JPG

Each night when I tucked my kids in, we looked back on the day and counted our blessings.  I had proof this lesson ‘took’ when I took my daughter Bea to England.  We spent our first day at Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, Hever Castle, and our first night in ‘Heaver Hell.’  Bea got sick all over her bed.  When I put her in mine so I could clean up hers, she barfed on my bed too.  In the wee hours of the morning, after the 10th upheaval, Bea flashed me a weak smile and said, “At least now I can brag that I’m into the double digits.”   That’s what I call looking at the bright side!

Bea at Bodiam Castle, feeling MUCH better!

All words and images ©2016Naomi Baltuck

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Travel Theme.