|Volume 4, Issue 4||
November 1, 2001
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1726 – 1799
Before the Revolution an Englishman came to Boston and engaged in trade. He belonged to an aristocratic family in England and was successful in business. In time he married a widow with three children. Two children, a boy and a girl, were born unto them. When these two children, who were named Christopher and Anna, were eight and ten years of age, the Englishman, whose name was Curwen, fell heir to a large estate in England by the death of an elder brother. Thereupon he sold out in Boston, took the three children of his wife, and left the two children of his own and returned to England. Why he abandoned any of the children, or took those of his wife, does not appear. What became of the boy is not known.
A man in Lexington by the name of Issac Stone, a well-to-do farmer, took much of his produce to market at Boston, especially milk. In his rounds he saw this girl Anna, and as she was a bright, intelligent girl about 13 years old, and he having no children, informally adopted her as his daughter. She then was called Anna Stone. She soon became a favorite in the family. She was a charming girl, naturally attractive, and modest and graceful in her manner. She and Amos Parker became well acquainted at school, and as her home was not far from his, he learned to appreciate her worth. She has a most charming voice and would sing to the great delight of the family and friends. But when urged to sing in the choir it was to no avail, as she felt it would make jealousy in the end, and she closely guarded against it when at Church. The Stones had no children of their own and so at first they opposed the marriage between Anna and Amos, as in this arrangement their rainbow of sunshine, that she was, would be gone from them. But as Anna insisted they joined Mr. Parker and gave them a grand wedding for the time.
They went on to have 10 children, 7 boys and 3 girls. Out of the 10 children, nine grew to maturity, the oldest and youngest being daughters, while all of the seven sons were in the Revolutionary War.
Shortly before her death she traveled horseback from Shrewsbury to Fitzwilliam, 60 miles, when at the age of 72. Anna was not only an angel in her family, industrious, careful and attentive, but was a blessing to her neighbors and the town. She war her and there, assisting, helping or comforting all who were needy or afflicted. She was reverenced by every person in Shrewsbury, and when her funeral occurred in December, 1799, on a warm Indian Summer’s day, the church held only a part of the great assemblage, a multitude escorted the body from the homestead to the church.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, we decided we would give you some food for thought. These two articles were recently in the journal from England.
THE MEANING OF LIFE
A philosophy professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, rocks about 2 inches in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was. So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was. The students laughed. The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
“Now,” said the professor, “I want you to recognize that this is your life. The rocks are the important things—your family, your partner, your health, your children—things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is
everything else. The small stuff."
“If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal. Take care of the rocks first—the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”
WHO IS POOR?
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”
“It was great, Dad,” said the son.
“Did you see how poor people live?” asked the father.
The son answered, “I saw that we have only one dog and they had
four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”
With this the boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, “Thanks, dad, for showing me how poor we are.”
Too many times we forget what we have and concentrate on what we don’t have. We have our family and our health most of all. We have friends and acquaintances, a roof over our heads, food for our tables, and a means of getting around. Most of us also have toys (grownup or children) to occupy our free time or things to look at that give us joy.
What is one person’s worthless object is another’s prize possession. It is all based on one’s perspective. Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for all the bounty we have instead of worrying about wanting more. Take joy and appreciate every single thing you have.
Our Thanksgiving holiday has its origin in the Puritan Thanks-givings of colonial New England. Both the Pilgrims of Plymouth and the Boston Puritans were strict Calvinist protestants who rejected the religious calendar of holidays that the English people inherited from the Middle Ages. They believed that Christmas, Easter and the Saints’ days were not part of a true Christian church, but man-made inventions which should be discarded. Instead, they observed only the three religious holidays for which they could find New Testament justification; the Sunday Sabbath, Days of Fasting and Humiliation and Days of Thanksgiving and Praise.
Thanksgiving was usually declared after the harvest in the autumn, but could be declared at any time by individual churches, towns or the colonial governments. There could be more than one in a single year or none at all. They were never on Sunday to avoid conflict with the Sabbath. They usually fell on the weekday regularly set aside as “Lecture Day,” which was Wednesday in Connecticut and Thursday in Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. Lecture Day was a mid-week church meeting when topical sermons were enjoyed by the colonists.
When things were going well, or some special dispensation occurred such as the arrival of a
crucial supply ship, a successful harvest or victory in war, New Englanders declared a day of Thanksgiving. Everyone gathered at the meetinghouse where they gave thanks to God for their blessings, and then went home to a celebratory dinner which might involve just the family, or be a community event including their friends and neighbors, as well.
The Puritans disputed whether only the unique or impressive acts of Providence could be acknowledged with Thanksgivings, or should the “generals,” - God’s continuing care for His people in providing them with the necessities of life, be celebrated as well. While thanks were given on a regular basis at Sabbath services and in family prayers and graces, many people thought it suitable that the community as a whole set some time aside to thank God for these mundane considerations. It was in this spirit that the annually occurring autumn Thanksgiving evolved. Once the harvest was over and the year drawing to a close, the need to bring the community together in some sort of celebratory recognitions of the year’s blessings became crucial.
The custom of annually occurring autumnal Thanksgivings was established throughout New England by the mid-17th century. In 1777, the Continental Congress declared the first national American Thanksgiving following
the providential victory at Saratoga. The day was still officially a religious observance in recognition of God’s Providence, and, as on the Sabbath, both work and amusements were forbidden. Yet beneath these stern sentiments, the old Puritan fervor had declined to the extent that Thanks-giving was beginning to be less of a religious and more of a secular celebration. The focus was shifting from the religious service to the family gathering.
National Thanksgivings were proclaimed annually by Congress from 177 to 1783 which, except for 1782, were all celebrated in December. After a five year hiatus, the practice was revived by President Washington in 1789 and 1795. James Madison declared the holiday twice in 1815. After 1815, there were no further national Thanksgivings until the Civil War. If the federal government neglected the tradition, however, the individual states did not.
By the 1840s when the Puritan holy day had largely given way to the Yankee holiday, Thanksgiving was usually depicted in a family setting with dinner as the central event. Abraham Lincoln declared the first of our modern series of annual Thanksgiving holidays for the last Thursday in November. 1863. In 1941 Roosevelt signed a bill that established the fourth Thursday in November as the national Thanksgiving holiday.
Rolled Stuffed Steak
Preparation: Mix green onions, 3 cloves garlic and parsley with bread crumbs, eggs, ground meat, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Put stuffing on steak, roll and tie. Dampen roast with oil, sprinkle flour on the roast and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Dice onions, garlic and celery and put on top of roast. Add 1 quart water to baking pan. Put back in oven at 350 degrees and bake 1 hour. Remove and serve. Serves 4-6.
Adelia Theresa Burt
Born March 19, 1844 in New York
Died October 13, 1923 Keeler, Michigan
Married January 22, 1868 to Amos Irish
Does anyone know her parents names? Please let us know if you do.
1 boneless pork roast, 3-4 lb.
Roast should be slit from one end to the other to form pocket in middle. Season the roast well, inside and out, with salt, red and black pepper, and garlic salt. Mix dry ingredients together for the stuffing. Add the melted butter. Add equal parts of water and wine or sherry until the stuffing is a dressing consistency. Stuff as much of the mixture as possible into the hole cut through the roast. Next, tear two long pieces of foil and lay them out in a cross pattern. Place the roast in center of cross. Dot top with a few pieces of butter, pour a little water and wine on top, and completely close up the roast in the foil. Using a long roaster with a rack on the bottom, place the covered roast on the rack. Add a small amount of water (so dripping won’t stick on the bottom) cover, and cook for three –four hours in a 325 degree oven. Serves 8 –10.
Soak raisins in wine overnight. Cook bacon till crisp and remove to drain. Sauté onion, garlic, shallots in bacon fat. Add rice, broth, bay leaves, raisins in wine. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Sauté almonds in butter. Add almonds and bacon to rice after done and mix. Serve with pickled peaches and crabapples as garnish. Serves 8.
Mix shrimp, egg and mashed potato in bowl. Clean and chop all seasoning finely. Mix well. Add flour to hold mixture together. Shape into balls or cakes. Drop in hot grease by tablespoonful. (Fry one ball first to test if ball holds together). Add more flour to mixture if necessary. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
1. Buy papier-mâché or plastic deer, fruit shapes, bells, or whatever shape you desire. Prepare your desired covering. You can use crushed parsley, oregano, or other spices for a spicy scent or use your favorite potpourri for a variety of color and scents. Brush on tacky glue over a small area of shape. Apply a handful of covering and press into glue. Shake of excess. Repeat the process until shape is covered. Let glue dry.
Shapes can be covered with one item or a variety of items. For example: use crushed parsley on a deer’s antlers, tail, hoofs and the inside of the ears. Let the glue dry. Then use oregano over the rest of the body. This gives a mixture of scents and colors besides adding more dimension to the figure. Then tie a ribbon around the deer’s neck and add a couple of sprigs of pine and berries to the bow.
For more texture try using dried peas, beans, lentils or dried un-popped corn. These can also be glued to Styrofoam shapes. Shapes can be done all one color so they look like textured fruit or try using a variety of beans on a single shape. Create designs on a ball (such as stripes, stars, etc.) and the shapes will look like textured ornaments. Place in a bowl with a couple sprigs of evergreen or add a ribbon to the top and they can be hung on your Christmas tree.
2. Another decorative idea is to place glitter-tipped pinecones in a pretty bowl. To make, collect the desired amount of pinecones. Using fabric paint in glitter colors, outline all of the edges on one side of the pinecone. Let paint dry, then repeat on the opposite side. Try a variety of colors like green, red, silver, and gold. Arrange in the bowl.
3. Make a candle holder to match and you have a nice table decoration. Use wire cutters to snip out the 3 topmost rows of scales of a 4-1/2” pinecone. Apply a finishing spray to the cone. Use a tacky glue or hot glue to secure the base of the cone to a 4” diameter candle saucer. Squeeze hot glue into top of cone. Immediately insert the base of a 1/4”D x 5”L gilded taper candle into glue. Hold candle vertically until glue cools. Glue 3 evenly spaced clusters of mini holly with berries to base of cone.
Do you have a favorite fabric, appliqué, or picture you would like to share for the holidays (or any occasion). Here are some ideas.
1. Apply an iron-on adhesive (available at fabric stores) to the back of the fabric following the instructions for the adhesive. Let cool. Peal off paper backing and place fabric on card stock. Iron on fabric. Let cool. Trim to card size with decorative scissors (zig zag, wavy, etc.). Fold and write your greetings inside.
2. Have a fabric you love? Put it on a scanner and scan the image of the fabric into your computer. Create a holiday card using the scanned image as the background. Then print. Your card will appear as if it was made out of your favorite fabric.
Leaves: Love the colors of the fall leaves?
1. Pick some fresh leaves (so they don’t crumble on your scanner) of various colors and assort them on your scanner into a design you like. Scan them into your computer and use the picture as a background for your card.
2. Pick some fresh leaves of various colors, layer them in paper and put some weights on top (such as books) to press the leaves flat. Leave until the leaves are dry. Arrange the dried leaves into a design on some card stock and glue into place. Paint over the top of the leaves with decoupage and let dry. Cut to card size, and write your greetings inside.
The above ideas can be used for any occasion with various items such as lace, garland, photos, kids drawings, etc. For a little twist, print design on a full sheet of regular paper and use for wrapping paper, then print a small matching name card.
For a holiday tablecloth that will bring back memories for years to come, try this idea. Place a plain white cotton tablecloth on your table for Thanksgiving. Get some fabric pens (available at fabric & craft stores) and each year have everybody (including children) sign and date the tablecloth. Even better yet, also have them write what they are thankful for, a greeting, or any other message. Over the years as the signatures and messages accumulate, it will continue to bring back memories and be a great conversation piece. Just think what it would be like to read something you wrote 5 or 10 years ago, or after a teenager has become an adult.
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