Publisher’s Letter: The Holidays This Year

Blaine and his sons on their annual tree gathering outing in 2018 (Photo by Blaine Howerton)
By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

The other day on the radio, the morning show hosts were talking about the sounds cranberries from a can make when they drop to the plate. They were talking about how much they enjoyed canned cranberries, even over homemade versions. I was near appalled — eating out of a can, especially for Thanksgiving, isn’t something that’s exciting to me.

Fresh cranberries before they turn into sauce (Photo by Blaine Howerton)

I love to cook. Unfortunately, this year, my annual Turkey Fry extravaganza is on hold. I haven’t tried using an electric turkey fryer on a solar battery system, and something tells me — it’s just not going to work. And, I don’t even have an oven — yet. But when there’s a will, there’s a way — in the future, I will make it happen!

Turkey ready to fry (Photo by Blaine Howerton)

Ah, this year, I will miss having my own bird and fresh cranberries. But I’m not sad, (just a little wistful.) I’m already looking forward to Thanksgiving 2022!

In previous letters, I have written about “the glass is half full approach.” I could look at missing the cooking for my annual Thanksgiving Feast in a negative light, but honestly, when it happens again it’s going to be a blast. And for now, I am focusing on spending time with family at their house. Last year, with Covid-19, it was just too risky to visit my dad.

Every year around Thanksgiving, I have a tradition with my sons. For the past 5 years, we have picked out and cut a Christmas tree from our property. And then as soon as it’s warm enough, we plant 2 or 3 more baby trees. Every year not only do we look forward to selecting that special holiday tree, but we get to watch the baby trees grow through the coming year. And maybe 1 or 2 of those will be our future Christmas trees! Not many can say they grew their own Christmas tree!

Back before I got so lucky as to have a mountain property, we used to go on Christmas Tree Cutting events in the National Forest.

I have a couple of “fond” memories of hiking out more than a mile with a tree on my back, because the snow was too deep, or there wasn’t a road next to the “perfect” tree. One year, I got my truck stuck at a Christmas Tree cutting event, and then got 2 more people stuck trying to get me out! That’s a story to remember — for 3 separate families. I learned that year that GOOD tires are key.

Recently, I have talked to a few people who seem to dislike the holidays. It seems they have found something about them that reminds them of something negative. For me, the holidays are a great time to focus on something positive, one with memories. And, for us, that’s a tradition that’s stuck — one that, hopefully, we will participate in for years to come.

I have also talked to folks who love the Ugly Sweater tradition. I don’t participate in that but it’s fun and it’s a way for those who do participate to talk to others about their choices.

Happy Thanksgiving!



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