Occupy Thanksgiving: The Five Senses of Thanks

Warning, today’s post is a somewhat rambling journey into nostalgia brought on by the five senses.

The delicious aroma of my Mom’s recipe for stuffing permeated the house last night, making me want to dive into its comforting flavor-filled memory. I admit that I conducted a taste test to be sure it was perfect, which it was.


Thanksgiving has always been my favorite non-religious holiday. I used to love rushing down to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade back when the parade itself seemed longer than the commercials (now, sadly, the opposite is true). I am determined to make it to New York one of these years to see the parade live and without commercial interruptions.

For some strange reason (perhaps because I have been spending the week trying to OCCUPY Thanksgiving) the build up to Thanksgiving this week has been filled with moments of nostalgia and flashes of memory brought on by the power of my senses and some strange moments of serendipity.

 Today the house will fill with other scintillating smells,  as well as the delicious flavors that lead to overindulgence and (hopefully) create fabulous memories for my daughter, as  we have a family Thanksgiving.

While our family Thanksgivings have become more about a decadent meal than anything else for the past few years, I am still thankful for the memories of Thanksgivings past–memories that are carried in the scents and flavors of our traditional Thanksgiving meal.

Part of the joy of Thanksgiving was the rush home the day before after a half-day of school. The cool but crisp autumn air making me walk more quickly to get inside the warmth of the place called home. Yesterday, Sarah rushed in with excitement and energy, partially incited by the thrill of a homework assignment (believe it or not) where she is asked to interview a family member about his/her life as a third grader and Thanksgivings past. It should be fun hearing the stories, and I might encourage her to interview everyone not just one person.

Yesterday evening we decided to head to the movies to watch The Muppets which added to my feelings of nostalgia with the songs, sounds, and beloved characters of my youth. I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the movie (once I got over the slight disappointment of character voices that weren’t quite right. Frank Oz was not part of this movie, and Fozzy Bear suffered for his lack). I found myself singing along to songs old and new, with a flashback to a favorite childhood performance of mine as I joined the muppets in a moving rendition of “Rainbow Connection.”

Yesterday, as I wrote my post in honor of Anne McCaffrey, I had an instant memory of a story I wrote for my class in sixth grade. Actually, it was a collection of stories and poems that I wrote and copied precisely into a hard covered dark green book with a gold pattern on the front and a red ribbon bookmark attached. Each story or poem has illustrations, also made by me.  I have that book somewhere and had hoped to copy the pages of the dragon story inspired by my reading of McCaffrey into my post, but we cannot find the book as it is lost in some of the boxes yet to find a place.  It is amazing how I can still picture the writing and the smell of that book and even the feel of the smooth pages in that book. I even remember the feeling in my hand as I cautiously drew light pencil lines on the blank pages, followed by penciled in letters, followed by tracing each letter in black marker before adding the illustrations.

The creation of my first book.

In a bizarre twist of nostalgic fate, just last night, Mrs. Jorgenson, the fabulous teacher who assigned the project to me accepted a friend request on Facebook that I had sent long ago. Coincidence or a reminder that we should be thankful for all of our past experiences, and all of the amazing teachers who have guided our hands along the way?

Finally, in the mail yesterday I received a book sent to me by someone who I have known since grade school at least, if not earlier. Milton has been following my blog (thanks for that)  and staying in touch via Facebook and he wrote me last week saying:

“I came across a book of quotes I thought you might like today and wanted to send it along. It’s called “The Quotable Woman”. My Sister in Law was giving it away and I thought you might get some use from it.”

As soon as I got it I started reading,  and of course my eyes were filled with wisdom and words from women of all types. Some you’ve heard before, some you haven’t, but all of them lend food for my thoughts about the power of women’s voices. So thank you, Milton, for this special little gift.   I have a feeling these quotes will be appearing in my posts for a while, starting withe these two found in the chapter called “Time and Change.”

“Memory is more indelible than ink. ” Anita Loos

“Sometimes I would almost rather have people take away years of my life than take away a moment.” Pearl Bailey

I leave you today wishing you all a wonderful day, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not. Take today and enjoy every moment with all of your senses.

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Taochild
    Nov 24, 2011 @ 08:51:22

    Great way to start the day! This moment of poetry brought to you by an awesome (yet again) post!!


  2. Kathryn McCullough
    Nov 24, 2011 @ 09:09:45

    I love what you did with this post–love this whole “occupy Thanksgiving” thing. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Nathan, Sarah, and the puppies–Steve, too. Sara and I send our love. I’m so thankful for you friendship, dear Lisa.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Nov 24, 2011 @ 09:38:16

      I just had a big Thanksgiving celebration with all my special blogging friends. Wouldn’t that be cool. Happy Thanksgiving to you and Sara and the puppies as well.



  3. thelifeofjamie
    Nov 24, 2011 @ 09:48:44

    Love it! Glad a little occupying gave you the chance to reflect!


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Nov 24, 2011 @ 09:52:17

      Thank you for motivating me to Occupy. It’s funny how Occupy has taken on all new meanings already.


  4. Elizabeth Harper
    Nov 24, 2011 @ 09:56:19

    Lovely post! Hope your Thanksgiving is filled with delicious memory making opportunities.


  5. LittleMissVix
    Nov 24, 2011 @ 10:23:37

    Have a lovely Thanksgiving!


  6. thepetalpusher
    Nov 24, 2011 @ 11:12:38

    I am enjoying your Occupy Thanksgiving theme, Lisa. Thanksgiving does provide a lot of precious memories (non-commercial, non-materialistic) that warm the heart. Thanks for sharing yours. I can’t wait to see your collection of poems and stories from 6th-grade!


  7. Rose
    Nov 24, 2011 @ 11:55:35

    I think here I’m most excited by Sarah’s assignment. That sounds like a great idea, and I’m glad she’s excited too! Happiest of Thanksgivings. I’ll just enjoy my Thursday 😀


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Nov 24, 2011 @ 12:08:34

      It could be interesting, especially if we can get everyone to talk.

      You don’t need to have Thanksgiving to enjoy your day. I hope yours is happy and full of fabulous things to spark your senses.


  8. mzem
    Nov 25, 2011 @ 19:33:22

    What a delightful post. There are only a few Thanksgivings I can remember from my childhood. Most of my childhood is hidden away where I keep scary things.

    I’m glad that teachers can still enliven class activities that kids want to do homework. Good for Sarah’s teacher.


    • Lisa Wields Words
      Nov 26, 2011 @ 11:17:27

      I wish you had a memory full of delight rather than scariness. That makes me sad.

      I was impressed by this assignment and especially her excitement about doing it.


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