Thursday, November 26, 2015

Three Little Birds...and a squirrel, if you look real close

It is early on Thanksgiving morning. Just me and the cat...and a 13 pound turkey which is just beginning to sizzle in the oven. Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like sticking your hand up the freezing cold body cavity of a 13 pound semi-flightless fowl. 

Not quite done yet...

Thanksgiving has long been my favorite of the winter holidays. And Thanksgiving morning is one of my favorite mornings. I am usually the only human up early, the rest taking a few extra hours to rest up for the big food and Home Alone marathon.
The quiet gives me a chance to reflect on all those things I have to be thankful for: home, health, family.
Yada Yada Yada

This year, however, while still thankful for these things, recent events have put a new spin on them, at least in my head.

My 'home' has always been the Midwest. I grew up in a farming community surrounded by men in overalls and feed caps and women who simultaneously baked pies and crocheted tablecloths. These men and women also called the Midwest home. But for many of their parents Cornfield, Illinois was not the first 'home' they knew. In my case, Germany and France and England's Ireland were home. Those people made the decision to leave lands where their families remained, where the language was familiar, to make the difficult crossing by sea, some with infants and small children, to an unknown country with only the promises made on a copper and iron statue.
I do not know if they left because they were under persecution, feared for the lives of their children. I can only assume that they took that frightening voyage after much deliberation in hopes of providing a better life.
They came here, worked hard, settled into and became part of permanent communities and now their descendants call this land home.
Thank you, not only to those who took that brave step, but to those who welcomed them.
These guys are not all that Thankful. In fact, they are rethinking the whole immigration policy.

I work in healthcare. So in a way, I have to feel thankful for everyone's health...or lack thereof. Every day I work, I care for people experiencing health events which I mentally add to the list of things I NEVER want to experience myself.
Thank you?
This motivation to avoid tubes sticking out of natural and man made orifices has led me, most days, to eat better and exercise.
Not today of course.
But tomorrow...

Today my immediate family will be gathering at our house for dinner. We are missing a few very loved members, who thankfully are safe and sound with family elsewhere. But this is not the family I am speaking of today.
Today I am speaking to my work family – you know who you are. If you break it down, some weeks we spend more time with work people than with blood relations. And just like blood relations, work people are fun, annoying, aggravating and wonderful. They can be broken down into little brother, big sister, weird aunt and creepy uncle status.
We have differing opinions and different working styles.
But when things go south we are there for one another. And over the nearly 10 years I have worked with this family things have gone south, really south quite a few times.

And things went south one morning this past week. Like nearly South Pole South. I can't really go into the actual event except to say that at present everyone is okay and this is one of those things that is HIGH on my list of THINGS I NEVER WANT TO HAPPEN TO ME.
And as often happens, it is when things are truly bad that you see the best in people. The outpouring of support for my work family has been overwhelming.
We are all guilty of gripping about work, not wanting to go, not wanting to stay, wishing we were anywhere else.
But damn it.
Now I don't think I could go anywhere else.

Thank you. 
One of my peaceful places. Sure, there are actually four little birds here, but there is also a squirrel. It is really difficult to rhyme anything with 'squirrel' which is why Mr. Marley most likely stuck with the simpler 'three little birds' concept.

I chose to call this post Three Little Birds. It is one of my favorite songs and even though it is a simple concept, it is a powerful one.
From the Coast of Illinois
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. 

Come back next week for a new installment of


  1. Beautifully stated. Not to take away from blood family, but work family can also be just as precious :-)

    1. so true Mona. unfortunately, my work family has had a fair number of tragedies but they have only brought us closer.

  2. A squirrel may whirl while trying to access the bird feeder. This usually ends in a swirl to the ground...but only if you have the right kind of feeder. I grew up in Chicago for the most part, but prefer New England. So glad to have escaped from the south where I was born. Hope you had a bountiful Thanksgiving. Cheers

    1. this is why I keep my bird feeders non-denominational!! the squirrels work so very hard for what I can only assume is my personal enjoyment!!

  3. I'm very grateful for my work family as I know those kind of connections aren't easily made. I learned something...I've always called that Bob Marley song the don't worry song. Love the message too. Silly me, I never knew it was actually called Three Little Birds. Haha. Anyway hope all is well and don't worry.

    1. Doesn't it drive you a little crazy when you learn the actual title to a song???? I have to blame my sudden increase in Marley knowledge to Margaritaville radio on XM!!
      and ps- everything and everyone is good. ;)

  4. Hi Laura! Hope Thanksgiving was wonderful!

    1. Thank you bonnie. It was nice and quiet. Hope yours was good too.


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