One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Giving Thanks


badumGreetings, everyone, from Connecticut!  Yes, the Midnight Gardener has taken to the road to celebrate some Thanksgiving with family and friends.   You’ll forgive me not having posted in a few days, but there was much to be done before departing and well, you know, lots of fun to be had once I arrived, too.

You shouldn’t worry about my pal Badum, who has not made the trip.  Travel is not his favorite thing, so he’s stayed behind to keep the home fires burning at the Nest.  His Aunt Kathy will be stopping in to check on him, so I’m sure he’ll be having a great time.  Still, I do miss him and look forward to being back home with him again soon.

tollsThe cold weather of the weekend had faded into memory by my departure from the Cape on Tuesday.  Temperatures were climbing into the high 50s, and most of the trip was punctuated by heavy rain.  The forecast had nearly promised thunderstorms, as well, but those didn’t seem to have materialized.

By the time I’d reached Hartford and the Evening Rush…an ironic name for the time, as we were more or less standing still…the rains had stopped and there was even the glimmer of a nice sunset through breaking clouds.  And oh, how clean my windshield was after all the rain.

I arrived here at Mom and Dad’s new place in time for a late dinner.   So great to see them and to check out their new digs.  The house is terrific and by morning’s light, I was able to see that not only is a it a great house, but the location is terrific, as well, with some nice views of the surrounding Connecticut hills.

Mom and I had a nice “forensic” tour of the yard and gardens, to see what it was possible to identify at this late point in the season.  There’s certainly a terrific variety of things we could see, and who knows what all that we can’t.   No doubt it’s got some nice bones for the start of a garden, for sure!

birds-feedingDad keeps this bird feeder stocked up (one of those back yard views in the background here) and it is quite popular with the local birds.   Over coffee this morning, I spotted a blue jay or two, a female cardinal, a few titmice, and a great cloud of house sparrows, as well as the nuthatch and chickadee pictured here.  Mom proudly reports having also spotted a red-bellied woodpecker and a yellow-bellied sapsucker!

In addition to our visiting (and doing a few loads of laundry), we also did a bit of shopping this afternoon, as I began to get ready for Sara and Danny’s wedding, which I’ll be attending in a few short weeks.

daffodil-bearWhile we were driving around the city of Torrington, I spotted this bear statue outside a local hospice office.  I haven’t a clue what the story is behind him, but it’s not every day you see a  Bear decorated with Daffodils…and Dad was kind enough to turn the car around so I could go back and get a shot of him to share with you all.

[EDIT, 12/02/08:  My sister Sue tells me this was part of a big chamber of commerce campaign, The Bear Affair, in Northwest Connecticut in 2007.  The website link is there above.  If you have a moment, check out the amazing bears.  Incredible stuff…I’ll have to look for others as I make return trips in that direction.  Thanks, Sue.]

I like having a holiday called Thanksgiving.  It gives you a chance, hopefully, to think a little about the year that’s passed and what it is in your life that you do have to be grateful for.   For my part, I’ve come up with a few things and I thought I’d share them with you.  It’s by no means a complete list, but just a few things that came to mind while I was stuck in traffic the other day.

* I’m grateful to have a steady job, a comfortable home and a warm kitty.

*  I”m grateful for my family, who are fun, loving, supportive and wonderful.  This barely scratches the surface of how I feel about them and it’s late in the evening to be trying for greater eloquence.  But please trust me, they are terrific!

*  I’m grateful to old friends who  understand that Life sometimes leads us down paths away from one another and who are always willing to pick up where we left off. 


*  I’m grateful for new friends who encourage me to see the world and myself through fresh eyes.

*  I’m grateful for co-workers who are friends and yet seem more like family.

*  I’m grateful for Nature, which gives us air to breathe and food to eat and varied and incomparable beauty to restore and thrill my soul.

*  I’m grateful for everyone who stops by the Midnight Garden from time to time, especially those of you who take the time to leave me a note to let me know you’ve done so.

*  And I’m grateful for music and singing, which help me express what’s in my heart and soul.

So there you go.  Like I said, it’s an incomplete list…and one I’ll surely want to amend/add to as soon as I’ve hit the Publish button.  I’ll resist that temptation because it’s rather late/early and tomorrow will be a very full and festive day…and I’d like to also be grateful for having gotten a little sleep, too.

I hope this finds you celebrating with your family and/or friends (I know, you Canadians are just having a regular Thursday, but I hope it’s a great day for you, too!), with warmth and joy, good food and fine spirit (or spirits, as the case may be). 

Happy Thanksgiving!!


Comments on: "Giving Thanks" (19)

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you! You sure have a long list there, lucky you.

    It is good to have one day in a year designated for the expression of gratefulness. We do not have one here in Malaysia. So wise of Abraham Lincoln!

    The world would be less chaotic, it would be a more peaceful place if each one of us has the awareness in him that there are plenty for which he should be thankful for.

    …and I’m thankful for your visit and your comment this morning, as well as your blog post post over at Serendipity Hopeful. I suppose it falls to each one of us to use what gratitude we already feel to fuel our efforts to continue to improve the world…not just for ourselves, but for all our fellow travelers on the planet. Peace to you, my friend!
    To remind myself of my good fortune, I have drawn up a list for my daily expression of giving thanks. I have an equally long list of things to be thankful for.

  2. Thanks you’ve sacrificed your sleep to make this nice post and Happy Thanksgiving.
    This very American holiday is of course unknown in this country, but it is good each country has its various advantages.

    Thanksgiving is probably a day best known for its abundant feasting; I think sometimes people get themselves a little wrapped up in the details of preparing for all that…and we lose sight of the true purpose of the day.

    Still, it’s not a bad idea to wish that someday the whole world might have too much to eat and a day to set aside to be thankful for some things.

    I hope you have a beautiful day in your part of the world!

  3. It has been a great joy to reconnect with you this year. That is part of my Thanksgiving list today! Wishing you and yours a wonderful day together.

    Thanks, Miss, you are on my list, too! Have a wonderful day! I’m sure we will. Hegeman is due to arrive any time now!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving! Glad you have a chance to spend time with family this holiday. Your parents’ new town looks interesting. Love that daffodil bear!
    Thank you for keeping us entertained and distracted by your gorgeous gardens and the wonderful tunes on your playlist. : )

    And thank you for your friendship…and all your wonderful questions, my dear! I hope you and your family are having a lovely and fun Turkey Day together!!

  5. Hey Greg…Happy Thanksgiving! So glad you were able to be with your parents, and what a great list of things to be thankful for! I’m thankful that I found couple of blogs that I had accidentally deleted during my early morning, before coffee browsing, yours included. I’ve missed your Cape Cod pics…love the snowy day shots. Safe trip home…C Ya! *elaine*

    Hi Elaine! Welcome back. Let this be a lesson: never delete before coffee!

  6. I’m grateful for your blog and the pastoral moments I have when reading it. Sometimes it is an island of peace in the midst of a busy day.

    Thank you, Birdie. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you this past year, and glad to know I bring a little peace to your day!

  7. I’m glad that you had such a nice visit! :)

  8. A happy Thanksgiving to you as well. Hope your visit with the parents was a lot of fun and being able to sit down at your Mom’s table with all the Thanksgiving trimmings was equally tasty. Have a safe trip back to your home.

    It was a treat to all be together for the holiday, as always…and everything was perfectly yummy, too! As a palate cleanser between dinner and dessert, we had gales of laughter seasoned with a little more wine, which I always think is the perfect transition. Hope your day was a delight, too!

  9. :) it was a fine thursday that was filled with lack of sleep but also with completed methods homework.

    since i’m not one to do things in a fashionable way, being canadian i’ll wish you a happy thanksgiving, not only late, but well over a month late from ours. i’m glad i’ve come to know you and hope to meet you and Badum someday…and maybe you’ll be able to meet Dutchess De Clawed. She’s a charmer.

    DW, it was too warm here back on Columbus Day weekend for that whole business of cooking a turkey and all the great foods that go with it to celebrate Thanksgiving for us. Sometimes, I think the reason we do it so late in November is that it is such a relief to step outside from the steamy kitchen!

    It’s been a pleasure getting to know you this year, as well! Regards to Bran, Boy and the Duchess!

  10. Well, I’m thankful for YOU, Greg, my creative, thoughtful, wonderful friend! :) Happy T-Day to you.

    Right back atcha, Sharon! Looks like you had a sweet holiday…LOVE the look of that pie of Kathleen’s!! But then again, I make no secret of my pie desires…

  11. Isn’t it awesome to have so many things to be thankful for?
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    It most certainly is, JM!!

  12. Dear Greg, I like the new streamlined look of your site. I also really liked this post because you’ve been though a lot this year and yet no matter how much pain or grief you might be in you ALWAYS turn again and again toward Life., you embrace Life. In fact it’s more than simply embracing life, you CREATE Life wherever you go, wherever you live. I admire that. It will bring you more joy and love and happiness, because the is what you offer others all the time.

    You gratitude here is very moving and beautiful. I particularly love this line because I love my friends who are like this:

    “I’m grateful to old friends who understand that Life sometimes leads us down paths away from one another and who are always willing to pick up where we left off.”

    I am like this with friends who I’ve not seen for years. I never keep score or track; I just love them whenever I see them. So this was nice for me to hear. I love people who can do this with me too. I find it so FREEING and clean.

    It was so nice to see/hear you again my kind sincere friend.
    Say hi to “the cat”!! :)
    Big hugs,

  13. I wonder if daffodil bear is part of a series; we had identically sculpted cows all over the city at one point, each with a one of a kind paint job like this. One can still find a few of them around.

    So glad you had a wonderful time with family, were able to see Mom and Dad well settled into a good new home, get a little bird TV time in, and of course enjoy the feast. You’ve been a bright discovery for me this past year too, my friend.

    The bear had me mindful of that cow series, which I’ve seen a few of, and also a sturgeon trope in some great lakes city, if my one brain cell is to be trusted. I didn’t see any other bears around town, but this one held great significance for me, nonetheless.

    Aw, thanks, pal – and you, to me. I was happy to hear of your bird-basting success, too!

  14. I’m very thankful for you, your wonderful posts, and beautiful pictures. Your blog refreshes and brings me a sense of normalcy. Somebody out there is sane . . .
    Maybe I am, too.

    Thanks to you! Cheers & Shalom

    Thank you, Joe! Your visits and comments are a pleasure. Your faith in my sanity is reassuring. ; )

  15. I thought you had moved closer at some point in the past few days. I felt a disturbance in The Force. ;)

    I’m not surprised that you have the wisdom to take stock of the blessings in your life. We all should do that, on Thanksgiving and at other times of the year!

    Yes, and Eddie’s in the Time Stream.

    I think we try to be thankful throughout the year, but just in case, it’s always nice to have the Day to remind us.

  16. Wow! It’s so cute to see those birds. even I’m glad that u took that bear’s pic. Looks sweet.
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m also thankful to have found a friend who shows me the beautiful world of his. :)

    Glad you could join us, Mouli. Wishing you and your countrymen peace as you deal with the aftermath of the flooding and the troubles in Mumbai.

  17. Just wanted to let you know the story behind the Daffodil Bear. The project was a collaborative between a bunch of agencies in the Northwest Corner of CT. There were a total of 77 bears that were painted/designed and placed around the State. There was also a scavenger hunt that families could go on, trying to find as many bears with clues provided from the website. Since it’s easier to provide the link then explain the whole thing… it is….. Enjoy!! :~)

    Hello sister of mine!! Thanks for the enlightenment about the Daffodil Bear – you’re the best. No surprise to me, of course. I will have to keep my eyes peeled for others as I tour about the Nutmeg State in days to come!

  18. novice101 said:

    I apologize for the wrong link I had given. This is the right one:

    Thank you too, for the kind words.

  19. Waaaaay belated thanks to you for sharing your outlook on life with all of us. I know it’s been a tough year for you, but I think you’ve handled it with honor and grace. I don’t get to visit here every day, but I’m so glad every time I stop by. Thanks, Greg!

    Now enough of all this thankfulness. Let’s get talking about what we don’t have and start shopping!

    Thanks, James. It’s been a better experience for having a friendly support group out there in the ether, as well as in the real world beside me. Always glad to have you visit the blog and I’m happy to hear you enjoy it!

    Shopping, really? We have to. Well, maybe I can find a garden shop or a nursery where I can pick up a few things.

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