I like rocks. I’m good at rock-paper-scissors. And as a child, I was skilled with a hammer; not in its traditional sense. It was welding the ordinary claw hammer cracking Brazil nuts out of their shells on our brick hearth, and as a young geologist in my driveway searching for crystals hidden unpredictably inside its rocks. These “diamonds” were my treasures.

I also LOVE flowers! If I had frivolous monies, I would have a fresh, heavenly scented bouquet delivered weekly: Calla lilies with eucalyptus, and camellias in December, cheery daffodils in January, un-pansy pansies in February, Carolina jasmine in April, May’s Asian peonies and, to the most important, the Mayflower, of course.  

For this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the Mayflower departing Plymouth, England on September 6, 1620 with 102 passengers to land in the new world at my favorite rock (emeralds and diamonds aside), Plymouth Rock. Believing in their destiny with the hope for a better world, 102 brave pilgrims (travelers) courageously sacrificed security and comfort for the dream of independence and religious freedom.

A week or so after land was sighted (November 9th), they set foot on the new world. In Native graves they found baskets of maize and iron kettles. They reburied the maize for spring planting. They also found Native American homes with mats, implements, corn, and beans of all colors.

Although fifty percent died the first winter, there were fifty-three Pilgrims and ninety Native Americans who celebrated the first harvest in the new world the following fall, 1621. Squanto, who served as an interpreter (She learned English, probably as a slave, in England.) and taught the Pilgrims how to catch ell and grow corn, is credited for the Pilgrim’s success.

It was President Abraham Lincoln who in 1863 officially declared that the fourth Thursday in November be celebrated as a time of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

I second the emotion! Have a blessed holiday!

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