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“Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet sucker” ~Linus Van Pelt

Never jump into a pile of leaves with a wet suckerThanksgiving ranks higher than perhaps Valentine’s Day, but not as high as Easter on the kid holiday scale where Christmas sits firmly at the top. Maybe it would score higher if there were presents involved – perhaps cornucopias filled with toys. As it is, Thanksgiving, or “Christmas Lite”, will likely remain that peculiar attendant satellite to December 25, content to kick off the “official” start of the season that by then is probably a little bruised by so many stores kicking it since August. Still, Turkey Day holds its own special appeal and a long history in my book of memories.

Back on Elm Street in the 1970s, there were only a few times each year when we had our meals in the dining room, and these were always special occasions. I recall one particularly unfortunate birthday dinner for my brother Jamie consisting mainly of squirrel. Scratch that. I recall a pile of tiny gray “chicken legs” and spitting buckshot into my napkin.

Various birthdays and ancillary holidays that manifested throughout the year were celebrated in feast form in that dark dining room, and I enjoyed them all save for the one squirrel affair.

Unless you had some form of advance warning radar, the only way we kids knew something was going on was when a little plate of gerkins and olives would appear on the buffet in the dining room. Or you might be tipped off by the extra six pack of 7-up in the back of the pantry hidden under a brown A&P bag. Hidden in the sense that putting your paws over your head is an effective dog camouflage maneuver.

Pilfering gerkins or the occasional roll before dinner is a cherished part of my Thanksgiving experience, as is sipping 7-up from the special gold glasses that were shaped like goblets, and sitting on the back steps and breathing in the sublime aromas from my mother’s kitchen. That’s the definition of anticipation, and that’s possibly where we’ve gone off-kilter in the years since.

In our anticipation of Christmas we sort of skipped over Thanksgiving, unwilling to live in that moment of expectation, to savor that now and instead jump right into the biggest holiday there is. It seems like we’re cheating ourselves out of something important.

Like memories of a family feast where the idea is simply to gather together and say thank you. The plates and silverware that you only see three or four times a year. Burning candle wax. That mysterious Essence that fills the room more than just the people gathered around the table.

Buckshot in your napkin.

But Thanksgiving isn’t just dinner. I am thankful for lots more. It’s also football, parades, and playing outside in the leaves. Here are some pictures to remind you what that feels like.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pictures of dogs playing in a big pile of leaves

I once saw a subliminal advertising executive, but only for a second.

Wesley’s corn allergies caused some mild swelling, but he was convinced that the Chuck Wagon team was in there, and his parents just couldn’t keep him out of the Post Toasties.
In the 1950s, one was expected to be ready to feed and irrigate the crew at any moment including at the sinful hour of 12:00 midnight. This “Raiders of the Schlitzbox” shared a page with an Ace hardware sale ad for padlocks. On the opposite page, “Automatic rifles for fun and sport”.
These people look like they’re earnestly trying to convince each other of something. It’s almost as if their lives depend on it. Somewhere standing off-camera is a madman with a bomb strapped to his chest.

Frankenstein’s Boston Travelogue

Frankenstein in Salem, MA “Most of my treasured memories of travel are recollections of sitting.” ~Robert Thomas Allen

Sometimes you have to get away from all the pitchforks, the torch carrying mobs, that nutjob scientist who keeps trying to jump start his car off your electrodes.

Frankenstein on Boston HarborA trip to New England was just the ticket for our pal Frankenstein this past September. Except for the insane (and I mean completely lunatic) drivers and the unusually hot weather, Frank had a lovely vacation.

Click here for Frankenstein’s complete Boston travelogue with pictures and commentary

Proof that somebody loves you is in the existence of hotdog mummies

This is HalloweenAfter the frenzy that was Halloween, SpookyBlue.com feels like a carnival after everyone has gone home, nothing left but a few scraps of paper and the faint aroma of stale popcorn. You look to see what that something sticky is on the bottom of your shoe and listen to the last echos of dying laughter fade into the growing night.

Kirk once described the Enterprise in Star Trek III as a “house with all the children gone”. There is definitely that feeling in the air around here. Always hopeBut a nice bowl of chili and a couple of hotdog mummies help to chase away that depressing “Spock’s dead” feeling.

And don’t forget that in a few short weeks we’ll begin to see a new and miraculous transformation across the countryside. A festival of lights, red, gold, and green, will push back the dark veil. A new excitement flavoring an icy wind with a hint of cinnamon and peppermint. We’ll gather again to sing and play and say thanks. Faw who for-aze, dah who dor-aze!

And, come January, if we’re lucky and the wooly worms have any say in the matter, we’ll get buried in a huge snow storm. Sounds like a great way to kick off 2008. There’s always hope, whenever and wherever you are, don’t you agree?

SpookyBlue’s 2007 Halloween photo gallery
Halloween at Snug Harbor
Grave Robbers Ball
Spooky Hollow – Dark & Scary
Snug Harbor becomes Spooky Hollow