A Thanksgiving Misconception

I was surprised the other day to learn that (some) public schoolers were taught the reason for the first Thanksgiving celebration was to thank the Indian's for their assistance in helping them to grow food. In actuality, this is only a minor reason, though I am sure they were immensely grateful to them.

Do you know the real reason? Do you know why the Pilgrims made the huge decision to leave their homes and friends and families and life that was familiar to them to travel miles across the sea to a place none of them had seen?

This is very important, and as Americans we have a responsibility to know the truth about our country's origin.

Now I don't intend to give a history lesson, though personally, that would be fun. No, I want to plainly state why we celebrate Thanksgiving each year.

Times were getting tough for Christians in England and they found more and more of their religious freedom being take away from them. Instead of compromise their beliefs, they decided to stand by their values and take desperate measures. Many would lose their lives because of this decision, and I'm sure they knew this was a possibility. But losing your life for what you believe in was more important to them then a comfortable life of compromise. Can we say the same?

The trip over the sea was rife with disaster and trial. The devil surely did not want this group of believers succeeding in their godly mission. But God brought them to the land they sought.

We can't comprehend how difficult it was for them that first year struggling to survive. Not with our grocery stores only miles away and the internet at our fingertips, our civilization and convenient living where anything you want you can buy. Try imagining living somewhere where there was no hospital, no stores, no lumber yard or construction workers for building homes. It's not a pleasant thought.

When the Indians offered to help the Pilgrims were grateful students. But they knew that the source of their success was God and God alone. He protected this remnant of His people in the same way He did for the Israelites centuries before. Because they loved Him and pledged to serve Him, but mostly because He loved them.

The decision to have a grand feast in celebration was an overflow of their grateful hearts for the One who had made it possible. They invited the Indians to share with them not only the food they had but the truth they had as well. That God made us all with His perfect love, and sacrificed Himself for our eternal security.

The Thanksgiving "story" is about God's ability to create something amazing from a few willing followers. He promises to bless those who trust Him. Imagine what He could do in our lives if we surrendered completely!

When we get together each year for another feast reminiscent of the first we are saying as the Pilgrims did, "We have come this far not on our own, but because of God's blessing!"

We are blessed! It's worth remembering.

In My Backyard - Issue #16 - Mockingbird Attitude

Have you ever wondered why mockingbirds do what they do?

Mockingbirds can be described as obnoxious, noisy, and aggressive, among other things, and oftentimes these descriptions are deserved. They are known to chase other birds and any other animal, or human, that may get in their way, although this is usually the case when a nest is involved. Cats are their favorite punch bags. It's common for us to see one of our cats being continually attacked during such seasons only for them to respond by sitting under the tree and popping their tails.

Personally, I find them amusing. The other day I had the perfect opportunity to watch two Mockingbirds challenging each other. Humanly speaking, what was the point? But to a Mockingbird it was a matter of self-respect. Watch the video below to see what I mean.

And they went on! I believe the only reason they stopped when they did was because the car disturbed them. Otherwise, who knows how long they might have gone on!

About 1:26 into the video you see the bird on the left pick up a bit of grass, hop a bit more, and then drop it. I've seen dogs do something of the same order when in the heat of the moment. Do they get carried away? Like a fighter who beats his fists in anticipation of the next punch? I must say, I was thoroughly amused.

It fascinates me to watch animals. I love wondering why they do the things they do. There has to be a reason in most cases. God-given instinct, for one. If you've never wondered about these things, I would highly recommend you take a minute and look at nature. There is so much for us to learn!

The Corliss Skirt

It's no secret that I like vintage fashion. The elegant cut of the waistline, full skirts, and crisp blouses. There was pride in the way a person dressed, back in the days when people had self-respect. Dressing up was something you did when you went shopping or had company over. I need not say how far we have back-slidden from those days of personal consideration. Now people barely dress up for weddings. It's a shame, but it reflects our society.

I know there are some that would agree when I say I believe we should dress a little more the way they used to. No period in history is without its faults, so I do not propose that this was a perfect era. But speaking in terms of fashion, it was superior to this era by far.

For Instance

The 1945 movie Kiss and Tell is a great comedy with Shirley Temple. Full of side-splitting laughs, Corliss (Temple) attempts to cover for her friends forbidden marriage and gets involved in rumours and gossip as only the flirty girl could. If you watch it, be sure to watch its sequel, A Kiss for Corliss (also called Almost a Bride).

Mrs. Archer enters the room with a nearly finished skirt to try on her daughter. The days of sewing your own clothes are gone. It's sad that so many people today do not, or have never had the chance to sew. It's really an incredibly satisfying thing to be able to make your own clothes.

She wraps it around Corliss' waist and begins pinning it in the back while Corliss throws the straps over her shoulders and attaches a clip at the center of her waist. You can see that the dress she has on already is of a similar design.

It's pretty basic; I would like to think I could remake it fairly well if I had a chance. Unfortunately, I'm still looking for a good sewing machine. Recommendations?

The material appears to be floral, which is a popular pattern of the time and hasn't really gone out of style. The waistband is beautifully wide and comes up to the waist (what a novel idea!), while the length comes to her knees. The broad straps most likely button in the back. 

Despite the fact that this seemed to be a style the younger generation (at the time) would wear, I'm sure the same style instituted today could be worn by women of any age. There's something about it that speaks of femininity and gentleness, as well as giving an air of quaint simplicity to your wardrobe. Paired with a lovely blouse, famous 40's pumps, and a curly hairstyle, and you'll have a great look for today inspired by yesterday.

Have I finished gushing over 40's fashion? Momentarily. But be sure to keep on the lookout for more. Check out my A Look At Fashion page for a list of more posts on the subject. Let me know what you think!