Harvest and Thanksgiving

It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn. — B.C. Forbes

My kitchen is filled with the sweet aroma of apple sauce simmering on the stove.   The apples are a gift from a friend of ours.  Each year he carefully cultivates his trees and generously shares the produce with his neighbours and friends.  It’s just what he does.

My counter is loaded with an assortment of fruits and vegetables, all acquired from a local orchard farm we visit frequently. They also make the best fruit laden pies you have ever tasted.  I will be stocking up some more over the next week before the owners close their roadside shop for the season.

October is harvest time and as I look around at all my provisions, I give a silent thanks to the earth, to the farmers, to the pickers and sellers of the food. It’s because of them that I’m able to make nourishing messes in my kitchen.

And next weekend is Thanksgiving in Canada – when we pause to recognize and give thanks to the richness of our lives, our family and friends.

“Sometimes we focus so much on what we don’t have that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have!”    — Jeff Dixon

My Hubby and I were searching for a weekend getaway years ago.  I remember the dismay on my husband’s face when he stepped into the basement of one of the houses and found a wall dedicated to water treatment systems including reverse osmosis, ultraviolet, special filters and a sophisticated water softening device. The water was supplied by a second well on the property; the first one had gone dry a few years before.

This certainly was an eye opener.  By living in an urban centre, our lives are enriched by so many services that many take for granted, often with quixotic expectations.  And the moment anything goes awry, all and sundry come out to vehemently complain and blame.  I don’t always understand why.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I for one believe it’s time we said thank you to the men and women who:

  • treat, disinfect, and monitor our water supplies, providing safe, clean, drinkable water directly into our homes and businesses.
  • work in the wastewater and sewage systems, disposing safely of all the liquid and stinky solid materials that we flush down the various drains and send into their pipes.
  • cart away our garbage. You guys are amazing.  I promise I will grumble less as I package and separate all my refuse.
  • work at hydro and insure our lights are on.   And the hydro crews are incredible, putting forth herculean efforts to restore power after outages.
  • drive and maintain our buses, trolley, subways, sky-trains and go-trains.
  • clear our main streets of winter ice and snow and show up to repair broken water mains in the dead of night.
  • are always there – any time, any hour – every day!  These are the 911 operators, the firemen, paramedics and police and in Canada the 811 nurses; the emergency room doctors, nurses and medical technicians on duty and on call.

Thank you.

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.  — W.T. Purkiser

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

10 thoughts on “Harvest and Thanksgiving

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  1. Having grown up with harvesting and canning, water wells and managing our own garbage, I have always equated Thanksgiving (stateside) with the reaping of all that was abundant in our growing season. It will always be my favorite holiday with my children because I love to make those same “nourishing messes” and Thanksgiving is the grandest of them all. This year, I’m so grateful that all four children are coming to northern Idaho and it will be the first time in years that we were all together. I’m grateful for sweet, clear clean well-water, for a place to take our garbage, for our electricity dams and cooperative that brings us light, and for what harvest I got this year. Happy belated Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can just see it, much like a scene out of heartwarming movie – the family all gathered around a large dining room table for Thanksgiving dinner. A huge turkey and a host of your nourishing additions from your garden. Your whole family coming to Idaho is a gift – I’m happy for you. I so agree, we have much to be grateful for. Thanks Charli.

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  2. I found I had to go look up Canadian Thanksgiving to see if it was anchored to the same myth of cooperation and harmony between settlers and indigenous people as ours is. Had not even noticed that it’s the same date as our Columbus Day (and now Indigenous People’s Day). I wonder if Martin Frobisher would be thankful to learn that global warming is creating a Northwest Passage that actually works. Of course a day of thanksgiving is a lovely and important thing no matter what its origins. But I’m so very aware of the interconnection between my gain and someone else’s loss these days. I need to figure out how to acknowledge this when I raise my glass.

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    1. When I was growing up, I don’t remember my mother ever having a summer break. Every day she was either harvesting something or preserving it. By mid October, one wall in our cellar was lined from floor to ceiling with jars – jars filled with jams and fruit. Our freezer was full of vegetables and meat that my parents had purchased from a farmer. Our garage held bushels of apples. These provisions would sustain our family through most of the winter months ahead. At Thanksgiving, my mother was the most grateful of all of us. I never heard her be thankful that the hard work was over. She was thankful to the family and all the people who had contributed to help us fill our pantry and cellar. She did not acknowledge our gain, but rather the people and events that helped us get there. Thanks Paula for your reply to my post. It made me reflect back to different times.

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  3. Love this. ❤ I wrote a gratitude post but am holding onto it for closer to the U.S. holiday. I don't know why. I've always felt that autumn (September/October) is harvest time. The time to be grateful for all that we have. (I mean, we should always be grateful but this time of year seems an appropriate time to "give thanks" out loud, you know?) Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sarah! I do like the Canadian Thanksgiving Dates. The weather is still perfect with just a little nip in the air and bright golden leaves everywhere. There are signs of harvest everywhere – all the different squashes, and apples, and carrots and yams – your right, you can’t help but feel grateful. But hey, now I know I have your post to look forward to in November. That’s a good thing. 🙂

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