Old News But Good News

Posted by: Duane Hiatt in Commentaries Add comments

The famous poet Robert Frost wrote that he got where he was by taking “The road less traveled,” adding “…that has made all the difference.” So I hereby plant my ensign on the literary peaks by taking an even lonelier path , the road least traveled. That would be the road you just came from. No need to go right back over that road, unless you have forgotten and left something back there like, say, one of your children which we have done a couple of times. We finally made it family policy to never put the Volkswagen bus into gear until the children had counted off and called out their name.

So the road least traveled this week by the media is news and observations about Thanksgiving. Have you noticed that just a few days ago the news was all about Thanksgiving? Now for some reason we have suddenly lost interest. That leaves the field wide open for me.

Come with me along the less traveled road of stale news. I’m an expert. During college I was hired by the Associated Press. Soon, too soon, I got the chance to cover an important story on a government meeting. I sent it in. The editor called the next day, and said essentially, “Your observations, nose for news, and writing are truly exceptional. And, you’re fired.” I was too late with the story. He said, “We’re paying you to write news, not history.”

Now despite what you hear about hard shell newspaper editors, I can honestly say that this man in the kindest way counseled me that I was a certified idiot, and a disgrace to the profession, but nevertheless if I worked hard and gave it my best I could someday become mediocre.

So here I go again with another Pulitzer Prize scoop of stale turkey leftover news.

We raised and harvested (polite word for slaughtered) our own turkey this year. Eight of them in fact. We sold some, ate some, and a couple are still in cold storage. On our little family operation, “Goat Mountain Farms” have sometimes killed and cleaned forty chickens in a day, so we figured processing eight turkeys shouldn’t take long. Let’s just say next year we will start in early September. The better part of cleaning Turkeys is that they are bigger and you can get your hand inside. The disadvantage is you really need a jack hammer to get all the stuff loose. But they turned out very tasty.

This was “off year” when our children take their families to their in-laws for dinner. Next year we will gather here. Nevertheless, we were able to cobble together a little intimate group of 49–children, grandchildren and three dear friends–around the tables. We have teenaged grandsons now, so each of them eats the equivalent of a small multitude. We factor that into the menu.

Sharon said, “What can we do to help the children focus on blessings we are thankful for, and not just the food?”

“For the boys, probably nothing,” I said. But we tried. I unrolled three-inch wide strips of crepe paper on a table and invited the grandchildren to make a banner listing their favorite blessings. I hurried off to see if the turkey needed tasting, and forgot the project. Later that afternoon I found treasured thanks you’s. Some children who were too young to write left hieroglyphics. The thoughts included these:

Family,

Good friends,

Harry Potter,

Hair,

Mom,

“Everything that has ever been in my life—and the world (with an illustration for those who need a reminder of what the world looks like),

People (with accompanying stick humanoid bipeds),

Paper,

Chikin (with accompanying picture, and explanation of the spelling “I did that on accident”),

Electronics with a request “how do you spell it?”

Faith,

Turtles,

Blue

“I’m grateful for coming up with family.”

I am grateful for gratitude

Freedom,

Food, (Apparently one of the teen boys took a moment from chewing to scribble.)

I grateful for sunmshine, (Quoted here as spelled)

Snow, and rain, hot water, electricity, a warm house in winter.

I’m grateful for colors (with ‘colors’ in a different color).

Some adults signed on with, their perspectives; “I’m grateful for temples, family, and good times.”

“I’m thankful for scriptures, prophets, Jesus Christ.”

“I’m thankful for prayer, Heavenly help, health, a good night’s sleep.”

“I’m thankful for our family, my sweetheart, being debt free, an abundant harvest.”

Two little rolls of wrinkly crepe paper one yellow, one orange, with felt tip pen scribbled words and drawings; are not exactly engraved gold plates. But the thoughts behind them are treasures to me. They indicate our tribe is headed in the right direction.

The famous poet Robert Frost wrote that he got where he was by taking “The road less traveled,” adding “…that has made all the difference.” So I hereby plant my ensign on the literary peaks by taking an even lonelier path , the road least traveled. That would be the road you just came from. No need to go right back over that road, unless you have forgotten and left something back there like, say, one of your children which we have done a couple of times. We finally made it family policy to never put the Volkswagen bus into gear until the children had counted off and called out their name.

So the road least traveled this week by the media is news and observations about Thanksgiving. Have you noticed that just a few days ago the news was all about Thanksgiving? Now for some reason we have suddenly lost interest. That leaves the field wide open for me.

Come with me along the less traveled road of stale news. I’m an expert. During college I was hired by the Associated Press. Soon, too soon, I got the chance to cover an important story on a government meeting. I sent it in. The editor called the next day, and said essentially, “Your observations, nose for news, and writing are truly exceptional. And, you’re fired.” I was too late with the story. He said, “We’re paying you to write news, not history.”

Now despite what you hear about hard shell newspaper editors, I can honestly say that this man in the kindest way counseled me that I was a certified idiot, and a disgrace to the profession, but nevertheless if I worked hard and gave it my best I could someday become mediocre.

So here I go again with another Pulitzer Prize scoop of stale turkey leftover news.

We raised and harvested (polite word for slaughtered) our own turkey this year. Eight of them in fact. We sold some, ate some, and a couple are still in cold storage. On our little family operation, “Goat Mountain Farms” have sometimes killed and cleaned forty chickens in a day, so we figured processing eight turkeys shouldn’t take long. Let’s just say next year we will start in early September. The better part of cleaning Turkeys is that they are bigger and you can get your hand inside. The disadvantage is you really need a jack hammer to get all the stuff loose. But they turned out very tasty.

This was “off year” when our children take their families to their in-laws for dinner. Next year we will gather here. Nevertheless, we were able to cobble together a little intimate group of 49–children, grandchildren and three dear friends–around the tables. We have teenaged grandsons now, so each of them eats the equivalent of a small multitude. We factor that into the menu.

Sharon said, “What can we do to help the children focus on blessings we are thankful for, and not just the food?”

“For the boys, probably nothing,” I said. But we tried. I unrolled three-inch wide strips of crepe paper on a table and invited the grandchildren to make a banner listing their favorite blessings. I hurried off to see if the turkey needed tasting, and forgot the project. Later that afternoon I found treasured thanks you’s. Some children who were too young to write left hieroglyphics. The thoughts included these:

Family,

Good friends,

Harry Potter,

Hair,

Mom,

“Everything that has ever been in my life—and the world (with an illustration for those who need a reminder of what the world looks like),

People (with accompanying stick humanoid bipeds),

Paper,

Chikin (with accompanying picture, and explanation of the spelling “I did that on accident”),

Electronics with a request “how do you spell it?”

Faith,

Turtles,

Blue

“I’m grateful for coming up with family.”

I am grateful for gratitude

Freedom,

Food, (Apparently one of the teen boys took a moment from chewing to scribble.)

I grateful for sunmshine, (Quoted here as spelled)

Snow, and rain, hot water, electricity, a warm house in winter.

I’m grateful for colors (with ‘colors’ in a different color).

Some adults signed on with, their perspectives; “I’m grateful for temples, family, and good times.”

“I’m thankful for scriptures, prophets, Jesus Christ.”

“I’m thankful for prayer, Heavenly help, health, a good night’s sleep.”

“I’m thankful for our family, my sweetheart, being debt free, an abundant harvest.”

Two little rolls of wrinkly crepe paper one yellow, one orange, with felt tip pen scribbled words and drawings; are not exactly engraved gold plates. But the thoughts behind them are treasures to me. They indicate our tribe is headed in the right direction.

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