The patriotic month of November
By Margaret Melloy Guziak -
All year we celebrate that we live in the best country on earth, the United States of America, where we can enjoy our freedoms that were won for us by those who were willing to fight and defend our country in times of battle. But November is a particularly patriotic month, for a lot of reasons, including the parades and Veterans Day celebrations.
Every four years in November, we are free to vote in a general election for the person whom we judge should lead our country as President. Unlike other countries, we do not resort to violence and conduct a coup to overthrow the current government. In Syria, President Assad has recently been quoted saying he will not leave Syria and his title of President, in spite of most of his citizens wanting him out. Other foreign dictators duplicate his actions in their own torn-up countries.
Whenever we watch TV newsreels of rioting in the streets overseas, the blowing up of cars and bombed-out homes and damaged, lurching hotels, while skinny, little children and frightened, veiled women cower in dark doorways amidst the madness of massive, threatening crowds surrounding them shouting and storming their Government buildings, we are very thankful for the fact that we reside in America.
Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address – Nov. 19, 1863
Through the magic of the Internet, you can listen to a recreation of an actor’s recitation of “The Gettysburg Address”. Google “Gettysburg Address” read the Wikipedia version and listen to the recitation of Lincoln’s speech. That day in 1863, the main speaker and famous orator, Edward Everett, gave the main speech. President Lincoln was invited to add his comments at the cemetery dedication. Mr. Everett spoke for two hours; President Lincoln spoke for only two minutes.
The two-minute speech is the one that became an important part of history. You can listen to it on the Net: “Four score and seven years ago…” (Ask your kids what that phrase means. If they don’t know, explain that 1 score equals 20, so 4 score is 20 x 4 =80 years + 7 years = 87 years, from the signing in Philadelphia of the Declaration of Independence in 1776).
Steven Spielberg’s new movie, “Lincoln” will hit the theaters this month. Critics who have seen previews praise the film and predict an Oscar for actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his outstanding portrayal of Lincoln.
Many remember the deep voice and controlled actions of the late Raymond Massey’s portrayal in the old movie, “Abe Lincoln in Illinois”, which covers an earlier period of Lincoln’s life. Massey made his movie after playing Lincoln in Sherwood’s Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway play. Turner Classic Movies has a 2:32 minute Movie Trailer on the Internet. Google “Raymond Massey as Lincoln” But after watching the new Spielberg film, we may gain a new concept of Abraham Lincoln, the man.
The assassination of President Kennedy – Nov. 22, 1963
It happened during a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963. If you ask people who were living at the time, where they were when they heard the news that the President had been shot, the majority of people will give you an instant answer. They may not remember the exact date, but they will remember where they were that day and the emotional roller coaster everybody felt as TV film after film repeated the violent act of murder on that fatal day. Try it. Ask them.
Thanksgiving – Nov. 22
Lots of families have long-standing traditions that they love. But with any tradition we have to be willing to let go when circumstances change. Perhaps a person cannot be with you this year because of illness or death, or some family living arrangements or situations change. The holidays are an emotional time of year anyway, and although it can be hard, we have to be willing and able to let go and perhaps start a new tradition, while still honoring the past and the good memories of past days. That’s easy to say, but we can all try.
One-day shopping extravaganza
Black Friday, a relatively new shopping day invented by merchants to boost their Christmas sales, is the day after Thanksgiving. Lots of gals love it and plan for it every year. Gathering in groups at a coffee shop or restaurant in the wee hours of the morning, women plot their shopping strategy based on the latest newspaper ads, trying to find the perfect gifts at the lowest price. I know lots of you like to do it. Getting up and going out before sunrise to shop isn’t for me. I’m a night person, so early daylight just isn’t my thing! But, go for it and have fun out there finding those bargains!
Everywhere you look, writers have compiled various lists for doing tasks, i.e. “Top 10 ways to de-clutter,” Top eight waysto lose weight,” or “Top six ways to do almost anything.”
Here is my own numbered list for the season:
5 ways to stretch your dollar this holiday season
No. 1 Home decorations: Start at the Fruita Thrift Store to find a variety of candlesticks. Wash, polish or paint them. Then put “buy new candles” on your shopping list to purchase at any retail store. Try grouping three on a small mirror. Garnish the grouping with some greenery or mini-pinecones. Place on your table. When lit in the evening, the candlelight will reflect, creating a holiday mood that can carry you through New Years Day.
No. 2 Gifts for Teachers, hostesses and special friends: Make your gifts personal. Again, start at the Fruita Thrift Store. They have an abundance of nice holiday tins, platters, mugs and dishes for you and your children to wash, dry and fill with homemade candy and/or cookies. You can wrap them in clear plastic wrap. Decorate with bows and Christmas seals. Let the kids make and write their own gift cards. Get out your cookbooks or keep it simple. Purchase the rolls of cookie dough and follow the directions on the label.
No. 3 Gifts for family that do not have to be mailed: Don’t use boxes. That’s boring. Purchase a variety of different sized baskets at the Fruita Thrift Store. At any hardware store or Fruita Co-op, buy some silver and gold spray paint cans. Do the painting as a single project and let them hang to dry. Don’t wait until the last minute to paint. Of course, you may decide you like the natural color.
How to decorate, fill and personalize each one will be in next week’s column. Nos. 4 and 5 suggestions to be continued next week, too.
New art galleries in downtown Fruita and the artists.
What are the “Giving Trees” at local churches? What and where is AGAPE in Fruita and how can you help? What buildings will be changing hands on Aspen Street?