Archive for the ‘ Afterwits ’ Category

Apologies to 2017

We had plans, you and I, 2017.

We were going to lose 20 pounds together; 35 to go!

We really meant to get the book published, honest we talked about it all year.

Does cutting my day lilies down to the ground count as dividing them?

De-clutter the garage, didn’t happen.

Was this too far to dream?

And what about that cabinet under the sink?  You gave me no encouragement.

And those pants that no longer fit. (See diet promise above.)

I know I told you I’d cull my library, but we both knew that was lie from the start.

Yes, 2017, I had plans for you…I failed you. Mea Culpa.

Tomorrow Is Thanksgiving!

It’s a truly American Holiday; not that only Americans are thankful.  But with a few exceptions it is an annual holiday only in the USofA.

Virginia claims the first Thanksgiving; they hold fast to the tradition and stick by the narrative.  They claim their celebration was held on December 4, 1619, and it may well have been, but it was celebration of Thanksgiving in a religious sense. They even made a proclamation;

“We ordaine that the day of our ships arrival at the place assigned for plantacion in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

Prayer may have been on the menu, but a feast of venison, cranberries, and corn such as the Pilgrims of Massachusetts would have a few years later were not.

There was no pumpkin pie, turkey, or mashed potatoes on the menu that day in Massachusetts.  Potatoes had not been introduced to  the region, turkeys were deemed foul fowl, and there was no wheat for flour to make a pie.

What we deem the first Thanksgiving and what we learned in school was the three day festival of Thanksgiving held in the Bay State, er colony of Massachusetts.

The celebration was in honor of the first harvest the folks had, and supposedly, they shared their good fortune with the indigenous folks nearby.

Maybe, maybe not.  I wasn’t there.

This is the Thanksgiving from which we get our lore and to which we trace our roots as a thankful nation.  It was held at Plymouth Plantation, and there was a feast.

The celebration consisted of three days of food, hunting, games, and fun in general.

Squanto, a Patuxet Indian who had been captured by Virginian, John Smith in the Indian slave trade and then escaped or was released (no one is sure) and somehow wound UP in Newfoundland, made his way to New England and taught the Pilgrims how to catch eel and grow corn.

No matter what the details, it was “big doins” and you know how we like to hold on to our traditions.

The First President to declare a day of National Thanksgiving was The First President, George Washington.  John Adams and James Madison would follow suit, but neither of those days were to celebrate harvest, they were celebrations of freedom, victory, and the American nation.

President Lincoln declared a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1863 on the last Thursday of November in the midst of the Civil War.

They celebrated what we do not know, but can only imagine survival was on the list.  Soldiers stopping to give thanks when they were never sure if a bullet was headed their way is a sobering and humbling thought.

That day stuck for a while until the Depression when FDR changed it to the 3rd Thursday in November to help retailers extend the Christmas shopping season.

The change was met with outrage by most. Some of his detractors called it “Franksgiving.”

Burn.

A little later FDR issued a proclamation declaring the 4th Thursday as Thanksgiving forever. Congress not wanting to cede power passed a joint resolution on October 6, 1941 declaring the last Thursday of November as the holiday beginning in 1942.

But in December of that same year, the Senate came back and passed an amendment to the resolution that required the holiday to be celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November.  Subtle difference, but impactful nonetheless.

The amendment passed the House, the President signed the bill and voila! Now you have a National holiday when all government offices are closed.

Some states ignored the 4th Thursday rule and continued with the last Thursday.  Texas was the last holdout, acquiescing in 1956.

Hey, don’t mess with Texas, right?

Nowadays, its a day when we reflect on the things with which we been blessed over the year, eat too much, watch college football, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

And of course, start Christmas shopping!

This year, I’m thankful for much and could take UP pages with the blessings I’ve received.

But I’ll leave it at this.

I’m thankful for all of you who take time from your busy days to read my ramblings and ravings and I’m thankful that you chime in from time to time.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Repeat, Nah, Probably Not!

On September 29, 1789, the first United States Congress adjourned.

The met in New York City’s Federal Hall; the Capitol wasn’t even constructed, heck, Washington D.C. wasn’t even there!

In that first session, the boys did the following… On April 1, they had a quorum and elected officers.  Five days later, the Senate did the same thing! That same day, the House and the Senate, in a joint session, counted the votes of the Electoral College and certified that George Washington had indeed been elected the first President of the United States and second runner UP, John Adams was VEEP!

On April 30, GW took the oath of office in New York City at Federal Hall.

Martha was so proud she posted a picture of the proceedings on Instagram.  It got lots of s!

When they got together back in March, the gang got busy.  The regulated time and manner of oaths of office, created the Tariff of 1789, created the first Cabinet Department, the Department of Foreign Affairs, which was aptly named as Thomas Jefferson was the first Secretary of State, and boy did he have affairs!

In July, Collection of Duties was regulated when they established the Customs Service.  In August they created the Department of War (later PCed down to the Department  of Defense.) The Department of the Treasury and a Judiciary Act came in September which established the federal judiciary and the office of the Attorney General.

That same month before taking off for home, the boys approved 12 amendments to the US Constitution and guaranteed us freedoms and rights, set clear limitations on governmental power, and sent them to the States for ratification.

Of course the states pussy-footed around and it took longer than anyone had hoped!

North Carolina became the 12th state to ratify the Constitution and joined the Union.  There were Tarheel parties everywhere!

Then the boys took off for home, vacation, checking out things at the plantation, kissed a few babies, raised some cash, and basked in the glow and praise of their constituents who were thrilled at all they had accomplished.

Wonder if that’ll happen this year?

Nah, they’d have to accomplish something first!

In light of the impending nuclear holocaust everyone is fretting about, many on Social Media sites such as Facebook were framing their profile pictures with a peace themed dove and flowers motif.

Jack, a friend from childhood did so, and being the person I am and having the lifelong relationship with him that I do, I commented, “I spent hours looking for the I’m For Nuclear Winter frame.”

I didn’t, really, I promise.

It was a joke.

But, I knew Jack would get it!

And Jack, being the type of person he is (and I’ll not take the time to define that right now) made one for me.

Needless to say I was thrilled, moved, touched even.

So, of course I made it my profile picture.

The response was mixed.

People were unsure.

So, let me explain.

It.Was.A.Joke.

I am not anticipating a nuclear winter; I do not want a nuclear winter.

Just in case it’s not clear, a nuclear winter is the theoretical result of 100 or more cities being struck with a nuclear bomb allowing for such a great amount of fallout in the air that it would block the Sun’s rays to earth causing a significant drop in the earth’s temperature.

Really folks, I don’t want that.

I don’t anticipate that.

There are some who may fear the fat man on the Asian peninsula of Korea seems hell-bent on the world’s destruction, but I do not.

He’s crazy for sure, but he knows that should he strike first, he’s gone, his country’s gone, and most of the Korean peninsula is gone.

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

So, rest assured, I’m still the same World Peace loving guy I always was – I realize everyone wants peace, I just thought the frames were overkill.

Have a great Monday!

And remember, Duck and Cover, and now might be a good time to read Alas, Babylon if you haven’t!