Tag: Cornucopia of Thanks

Thanks for Friends and Family


As we enter the American winter holiday season, from Thanksgiving through New Years Day, thoughts turn to friends and family. Even for those bereft or apart from those who love or especially like them, the days on the calendar occasion strong emotional responses. Just ask a bartender about their business later on Thanksgiving and Christmas days. So it is fitting to pause, reflect, and give thanks for friends and family.


Thanks for Excellence


November 2020 offered two shining public examples of humans “being best:” one on a racecourse in Turkey, the other racing up from Cape Canaveral to meet the International Space Station. Formula 1 went racing in Turkey on Sunday, November 15, in the rain. The unworldly talent, Lewis Hamilton, started in sixth position and stayed there for much of the race. Then the unexpected happened, as might have been expected.

Closer to home, in all the ground clutter of Democrats trying to steal our republic, you might not have noticed that Space X Crew Dragon roared off the launch pad with four astronauts aboard on November 16. We can be thankful for the individuals and entire systems that produce such amazing achievements while noting that they are gravely endangered by the global leftist movement, to which they at least pay lip service.

Space history:

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(For anyone that hasn’t read this series before: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3) Mr. David Edwards was, by all accounts, an excellent music teacher. I had been watching him since he began at the little grammar school in Bethnal Green nine months ago. Were he in Westminster, or the City, there would have […]

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Gratitude…For My Hero


This year has been I think the second-worst in my 71-year life (the worst being 1999 when I had knee surgery, my mother died, and I had Coxsackievirus infection, all in the same three-month period). The government shutdown of society was and still is awful, and it cost me and Ray both our jobs. But the real worst part was finding out, in January, that Rush Limbaugh was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. We can get around the pandemic restrictions and job losses-there is something WE can do to better our situation. But my hero’s lung cancer; that’s something we can do absolutely nothing about. But, since then, I have given a great deal of thought to how much Rush has meant to me since I started listening to his radio show in 2001. This Thanksgiving, I will be saying mighty prayers for Rush to be able to continue his vital work.

I first was really introduced to Rush in 2001 by Ray. I had never actually listened to him before, and all I knew about him was what I had heard others say (the usual, he’s a blowhard, bigot, narcissist…). It only took about ten minutes listening in the car on the way out to dinner to get me hooked. I told Ray “This guy is really funny!” He made me laugh, and he said all the right things. I was only a budding conservative then, and he helped turn me into a rock-solid one. His analysis of current events was spot-on, and he helped make the complicated, understandable. He broke down the concepts and showed how conservative principles were the foundation of our great country. And he always said how much he loves this country, and hates to see how it is being torn down by the Left.

Group Writing: Giving Thanks, a Refusal to Budge


CornucopiaWell, here we go. A post in which I fully expect to be excoriated as a “Pollyanna.” As a person who refuses to acknowledge the Truth. A disbeliever in the “science” of what we (Conservatives) face at this particular crossroads. A deluded fool. And some sort of wrong-headed political animal who has no right to speak because, actually, She can’t even vote, so who cares what She thinks, anyway. Been there. Done that. And, frankly, it barely registers anymore.

So, being too oblivious, pig-headed, and determined (thanks, genetic inheritance) to do otherwise, I persist.

Here’s the thing.

Thanks to Mesa and the East Valley Veterans Parade Association


solo flightThe East Valley Veterans Parade Association and the City of Mesa refused to fail, honoring our veterans with a great parade, 11 November 2020. It was a reverse parade this year, with the parade entries positioned along a half-mile stretch of Center Street, in the northbound lane. Mesa Police Department controlled the whole area and controlled the release of cars out of several public parking staging areas at the top of the parade route. It took from 11:00 am, when the first car entered the parade route, until 2:50 pm, when the last vehicle exited the parade route, for all the cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks to drive the parade. Join me for a pictorial review of the parade, with a few remarks to keep us on the parade route.

Many of the parade audience became parade participants, as they decorated their vehicles with flags, streamers, and hand painted banners thanking veterans. There were enough kids and dogs to overcome any cute emergency. There was even a World War II veteran riding in the passenger seat of his son or grandson’s car, just there to see the parade and be part of the event.

Model A

Thanks for RAF Cadet Memorial Service, 8 November 2020


I was very pleasantly surprised Sunday morning in Mesa, AZ. The Royal Air Force Cadet memorial service was held as it has been for the past three decades or so at the Mesa Cemetery. I bore witness to this as I feared it would be another remembrance cast aside on the pyre of our fearful reaction to a middling pandemic. Not so. While people wore the city council mandated face masks, the mayor of Mesa was there to speak, as he had in the preceding years. This annual memorial service is held the Sunday before Remembrance Day, our Veterans Day, and calls to mind the special relationship between our two countries and the service and sacrifice of those who have served.

The air filled with the sound of bagpipes and bugles blew clear and true. Prayers, poems, and remembrances were offered. The roll of the honored dead was read. Mayor Giles spoke brief and appropriate words, as did the honorary British consul for Arizona. I thought the best remarks were offered by the young Royal Air Force officer, on assignment at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. More on that in a bit, but first the event in pictures:

Thanks for the Marines


245 years ago, on November 10, 1775, The Continental Congress authorized the creation of two battalions of Marines. The Marines were disbanded, along with the navy, after victory in the American Revolution, and re-established on 11 July 1798. So, for a century July 11 was celebrated as the Marine Corps birthday. The earlier date was adopted as the official birthday in 1923, placing the Marines properly in the context of our fight for independence.

The brief Continental Congress journal entry for the day reflected a serious group of legislators, of a sort we sorely need in these days. The day’s business was all about military preparations at the strategic level. The marine battalions were part of that preparation, creating needed force structure long before we formally declared independence. The members of Congress understood that there was not time to train from ground zero, so required “no persons be appointed to office, or insisted into said battalions, but such as are good seamen, or so acquainted with maritime affairs as to be able to serve to advantage by sea when required.”

A year later, the Continental Congress had a Marine Committee, which published regulations, including a uniform regulation distinguishing the Continental Marine battalions from the Continental Army with its blue coats:

Presence: Thanks For Being There


It was seven years ago today that my sister called me, just after 6 in the morning, to tell me that my father had died. We knew it was coming, but I hadn’t expected it just yet. The next few days were a blur as I packed my funeral suit (fortunately it still fit), headed down to Mom’s house, met with the funeral director, and agonized over exactly what I would say in the eulogy I had promised.

I’d been through this kind of thing before, most notably with my wife’s mother, so I already knew the surprising truth that sadness and happiness can coexist. The family gathered in grief, but there was also a lot of laughter as we shared memories of Dad. It wasn’t really until later that I started to think about what this was going to mean for my own life.

Loving Pain as Given: A Review of Heroes, a Dark Twist on the Grateful Acre


For B, and other youth whose grateful acres host, if not prairies, at least patchy meadows. And for Gary McVey.

It’s been a year since Will Arbery’s play, Heroes of the Fourth Turning, took the conservative Catholic blogosphere – or rather, that part able to see the play or a private script – by storm. Now the script is available to the public. I ordered my copy here. If you can afford to, read it. Theaters remain closed, but the theater of imagination richly rewards reading a play. Reading reveals motifs easy to miss when a play just happens to you in performance and you can’t revisit it. This review addresses unspoken pressures, like the prosperity gospel (which may not influence orthodox Christians’ theology, but can influence their social expectations), behind what conservatives speculate is Heroes’ demonic finale, the “We” who may, or may not be, Legion.

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Expressing gratitude, being thankful, giving thanks, is a matter of mental and moral hygiene. We all have an opportunity to do ourselves and each other some good. It is as simple as signing up for this month’s group writing theme: “Cornucopia of Thanks.” Follow the link and pick a day. It will do your heart […]

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A Cornucopia of Thanks Songs


 gramophone cornucopiaIn keeping with the approaching season, I offer an early post, a playlist of songs about thanks. Turn that frown upside down and let your toes start tapping through the madness of the moment. Feel free to add to the list in the comment section.

We start with a 1942 song from Holiday Inn. Bing Crosby sings “I’ve Got Plenty To Be Thankful For.”

Ты будешь моим другом?: Thanksgiving for Unlikely Musical Friends


The world of classical music, no matter the age, is not one that we think of as full of friendship. And with good reason; the tales of divas, rivalry, and compositional disputes are far more rife than any about peaceful partners and easily co-written sonatas. But when, once in a blue moon, a deep and abiding musical friendship occurs, then it almost always produces beauty that we can be thankful for. 

On the face of it, Mstislav Rostropovich and Benjamin Britten were unlikely candidates to be friends. There was a fourteen year age gap between the two men (Britten, born in 1913, was the elder), they came from entirely different, indeed opposing, societies, and knew nothing of each other up to the moment of meeting. In fact, right up until Dmitri Shostakovitch offered to set up a meeting, the Soviet cellist thought that Britten was centuries dead, a contemporary of Purcell. 

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From turkeys wearing pilgrim hats to pictures of Pilgrims and Native Americans having a feast together, Thanksgiving has many symbols. One of them is the cornucopia. “What’s a cornucopia?” you may ask. Well, most of the pictures we see of them look something like this: Preview Open

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Hey you! Yes, you. Each month, Ricochet members like you share a few thoughts, a bit of knowledge or creativity, playing off a theme. Sometimes it is no more than a concluding line or a throw-away to shoe horn their post into the theme. We are very casual about that. The whole point is for […]

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