The Holidays Are Here

As I write this post, Thanksgiving is tomorrow with Christmas soon to follow, then it will be a New Year, wow, 2017, I have barely got used to writing 2016. It seems like years go faster than they used to. I can remember as a kid how much I looked forward to this time of year and time away from school after the grind of three months with only Veterans Day off.
How Did It All Start?
Most people know that President Washington first proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving, but it was never official until October 3, 1863, when President Lincoln, elated with a Union victory at Gettysburg announced the first official Thanksgiving to be celebrated November 26, 1863. The short speech announcing the official holiday was written for Lincoln by his Secretary of State William Seward. The speech declared that hereafter the fourth Thursday of every November would be set aside as an official holiday – Thanksgiving.

Maybe It Should Be Moved
That fourth Thursday of November has been Thanksgiving in the United States every year since, except once. FDR, with hopes to help out the Depression, sieged American, moved it to the third Thursday in 1940, hoping it would encourage more shopping before Christmas. Must not have been very well received as Congress moved it back to the fourth Thursday before Thanksgiving in 1941.

Early Wyoming Thanksgivings
This time of year I often wonder what was on the table for Thanksgiving in early Wyoming homes. Rabbit, Pronghorn steaks, Duck, Goose, maybe something domesticated like beef, pork or chicken. How about sides, no cranberries out here, but may have been some nice strawberry or raspberry jam. Fresh baked bread, potatoes, and gravy, and likely a nice desert could round out the meal. Sounds pretty good.

Black Friday
Onward toward Black Friday, Cannot wait to get out shopping at five in the morning. Not really, I will be home, relaxing, I am not one for crowds, or for that matter, shopping. I may watch some of the crazy shoppers on the evening news. If I get the urge to shop, I might order something online.
Personal Note
My wife and I had a terrific time Monday evening in Chugwater, Wyoming, where I spoke to the local Historical Society about the Civilian Conservation Corps and the building of Guernsey State Park.
South Wing of the CCC built Museum at Guernsey State Park

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone and don’t overeat – just kidding, go ahead.

I Cold Weather Coming?

Been Away for Too Long.  It has been almost three weeks since my last post on this site.  We took a great trip south and now I am suffering from some arthritic pain/swelling that is making it difficult to type.  Hopefully, I will be back to normal in a week or so, by the way, not playing any golf is starting to get worrisome also.  Guess it is all just a part of being nearly 70, but that doesn’t make it better. This post I am doing a bit of typing and a little hunt and peck with my good, left hand.
On Vacation, I Snapped this Photo in a Lousiana Bayou
Winter Cannot Be Far Away - This time of year I often wonder or marvel at how much suffering winter caused to early settlers. Two years ago we went through temperatures around zero here and far below that in some parts of the state. This year we have been in the 60s and some days 70s. When I get cold, I turn up the heat, not so easy for early settlers. We often picture, at least I do, sitting in a rocker near a roaring fire with a good book, Ahh – the good old days. But they really were not that good. Houses lacked insulation, and someone had to cut/chop all the wood for winter. Lots and lots of hard work.
My Make Believe Cabin In The Mountains

So, How Cold Was It? - Wyoming’s all-time record low came in 1933 at -66 below, now that’s cold. Last winter, in this part of the state, we had only one night where the temperatures went to below zero. I also played golf, at least twice, every month of the year, and I will not play unless the temps are 45 or better. I’m never sure what constitutes a good winter, but for me, snow at Christmas and more in February and March along with no bitter cold sounds good.

It’s Cold Outside, but not Today - We read much about how settlers spent the winters but I would suspect they spent quite a bit of it grumbling about the weather, pacing the floor, and talking about spring and wondering if it would ever make it.
We stopped to look around, Old Town in Dodge City, Kansas on our trip.
The day we visited it was 90 degrees, unseasonably even in Kansas.

Meanwhile seems like a good day for a hike in the park.