Saturday, November 12, 2011


NOVEMBER, the month for giving THANKS.

  Let me start by thanking the MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. (Yes, I know there are only 6 people in this photo, my sister went missing for a minute)

One year ago, on Halloween, I moved to the house I presently occupy with my small herd of feathered and four-footed "children".

   The move was one of necessity rather than true desire, and without family and friends, I don't think it would have been possible. 
    There were those who stood by at the new destination holding down the fort and preparing for our arrival, a stranger who offered to personally move the animals and hay, friends that put up fencing and unloaded said animals and hay, and new neighbors who came over with good cheer and welcome. 


    In a world filled with so much sadness, strife, suffering and  intolerance, what a joy to be surrounded by your kindness and glowing spirits.


   November is also the month of the traditional Thanksgiving holiday. Most of us know how the first one started, but the story of how it became a national holiday is also an interesting aside.

When you sit down to dinner on that Thursday, give a toast to Sarah Josepha Hale.

Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, born October 24, 1788, was an American writer and an influential editor. She is the author of the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb".

She seemed to have a rather bipolar approach to women’s rights. Respected as an arbiter of taste for middle-class women in matters of fashion, cooking, literature, and morality, she also reinforced stereotypical gender roles, celebrating the "separate sphere" for women while casually trying to expand on it. She did not support women's suffrage and instead believed in the "secret, silent influence of women" to sway men voters

     Hale is credited as the individual most responsible for making Thanksgiving a national holiday. Previously it had been celebrated only in New England. Each state scheduled its own holiday, some as early as October and others as late as January; it was largely unknown in the American South.

   Her advocacy for the national holiday began in 1846 and lasted 17 years before it was successful, during which time she wrote letters to five Presidents -- Zachary Taylor, Millard Filmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, and Abraham Lincoln. Her initial letters failed to persuade, but the letter she wrote to Lincoln did convince him to support legislation establishing a national holiday of Thanksgiving in 1863.The new day of celebration was considered a unifying day after the stress of the American Civil War.

   Prior to the addition of Thanksgiving, the only national holidays celebrated in the United States were Washington's Birthday and Independence Day.

    Hale retired from editorial duties in 1877 at the age of 89. The same year, Thomas Edison spoke the opening lines of "Mary's Lamb": the first ever recorded message on his newly invented phonograph.

Hale died at her home on April 30, 1879 and is buried in the Laurel Hill Cemetery, in Pennsylvania.

Thank you Sarah Hale….now please pass the dressing and mashed potatoes.

   Here at Compass Rose we sponsor a turkey each year rather than eating one. This 12 year old tradition especially makes the duck and goose happy.  This year's rescue is the lovely Victoria.