Tag Archives: holiday

Camera: Giving Thanks.

I don’t have a perfect life, or even my ideal life for that matter, but I am so grateful for all the ways in which I’ve been blessed. I have a job while many of my fellow citizens still do not. It’s a steady job with fantastic co-workers, and though it doesn’t pay much, I’m thankful to be working with people who genuinely care about their co-workers and their clients. My parents are graciously allowing me to live with them rent-free; I recently realized, when going over my finances, that if my parents weren’t letting me live with them, I’d probably be homeless or living in a shelter. I’m so thankful for a family that loves me and supports me and enjoys having me around. I’m grateful for relatively good health, for the generous, funny, and compassionate people of Triple Pointe Church, and for my dear friends, near and far, who continue to maintain relationships with me despite the distance. I’m blessed by a God who continues to love me despite my fickleness.

Now, on to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and Papa’s slow-roasted turkey, and real mashed potatoes and Nana’s pies and naps and hauling up the Christmas decorations. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. You may not have everything you want, but you probably have everything you need.

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Small Town Festival

Here’s the conclusion!

Small town festivals are so worth your time.  You’re surrounded by a community of people who, for the most part, all know one another.  These people love celebrating their town’s identity, and they don’t need anything extravagant to do so.  All the food is homemade, the music is great, and the fireworks at the end of the day are fantastic.  Here’s a glimpse into Fremont’s 2010 Music Fest…

I was in the beer tent with some relatives when I noticed a guy carrying around a giant tortoise/turtle (whatever, I don’t know the difference, but it was a strange thing to see in a beer tent):

The Sweet Adelaides, a “barbershop” choir made up of local women, and let me tell you, these ladies really, truly enjoy what they do.  My great-aunt Betty is the one in the white shirt.

Small towns have sweet raffles.  The Moose Lodge gave away an old war rifle……

……and a new tractor!

Unlike many of today’s vendor’s who reheat frozen products, the elephant ears at Music Fest are made to order from scratch, and they are sooooooo worth the wait.

This is my family’s favorite part of Music Fest:  The Applejack Cloggers, who are so enjoyable to watch and are so great at what they do.

Gotta have a caller who can spin a good tale and tell a bad joke:

I’ll leave you with my favorite shot of the day:

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Saint Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that began as a holy feast day and has turned into an excuse for anyone and everyone to drink beer until unconscious.  That’s how Americans observe it, anyway; I’m told that much of Ireland still celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day the way it was intended.  Americans have really latched onto this holiday.  I mean, for crying out loud, Chicago does this:

Anyway, if nothing else, this holiday is a great excuse to celebrate the wonderful culture of beautiful Ireland.  Here in the Fort, we are fortunate to have an amazing Irish pub, which throws a block party each year on St. Patrick’s Day.  I love JK O’Donnell’s because they serve traditional Irish pub fare and have traditional Irish ales on tap.  Soccer games are shown on TV screens.  All the furniture inside was shipped over from Ireland.  Even the bartender is from Dublin. The atmosphere is amazing.

If you prefer to stay home, might I recommend a viewing of Waking Ned Devine, my personal favorite film about Ireland.  It is charming and amusing, incorporating Irish culture with beautiful scenery, Celtic music, and the small towns and villages one often associates with much of the country.

If music is more your thing, check out the High Kings – they are awesome.  Some others I enjoy are Lisa HanniganEnya, and Moya Brennan.  There’s also the overplayed U2, though their sound is rather un-Irish, and the popular Damien Rice.

Oh, and don’t forget Riverdance!  May the road ever rise to meet you…

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