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J. D. Salinger

Posted March 28, 2010

 Having become an iconic New Hampshire reclusive during his later decades, the 'mystery' of author J. D. Salinger's whereabouts has fed the intrigue and the perpetuating classroom and booklover discussions. At least twice a year, young folks....

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Hedgehog's Whimsey Books

Hedgehog's Whimsey Books

355 Chandlers Mills Road, Newport, NH 03773 USA 603 542-1520
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New England, US History, Writers, Journalism, Arab Studies, Fiction, Sustainability, Children's, Hand & Visual Arts, Music, Old Newspapers, more ...

Hi, Folks ... Mom said, 'I need to downsize'. Moving to assisted living, what she couldn't take included 8,000-plus books & records. A decade later, my upcountry barn is bursting. Books multiply as others recycle priorities. I now have 30,000 or more books looking for good homes, and my learning curve has been a roller coaster. I celebrate word-crafters, thought-tumblers, laughter ... the arts of communication at every turn. I preserve, protect, and share. I am also Hedgehog Publishing, 'Words & Pictures by & for Folks with Prickly Backs, Soft Bellies, & Small Brains'.

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Sarah Hale and a National Thanksgiving Day

Posted by Hedgehog's Whimsey Books on November 20, 2009

  Over her 40-year career editing Godey's The Lady's Book and Magazine during the 1800s, Sarah Josepha (Buell) Hale was consistent in encouraging girls and women to pursue higher education, in providing avenues and examples for self-improvement, in providing a literary outlet for women, in offering hand arts patterns and advice on keeping a home, and in pushing for a national American Thanksgiving Day. Her ideal Thanksgiving was much like her experience growing up on a Newport, New Hampshire, farm at harvest time, when the air was crisp, the autumn colors were giving over to ice and snow, and wild turkeys began roaming the open fields.

  Some of the states proclaimed such a day but the response was erratic. Sarah persisted. Finally, during the Civil War, she had an audience with President Abraham Lincoln and he proclaimed a National Thanksgiving Day for a single year.

  Sarah would continue to work into her 80s; but it would be some 20 years after her death before Thanksgiving Day officially would be celebrated across America on the same day every year -- a day when families and/or communities might come together and share a meal that has been defined by the harvest season.

  The distractions of today -- football games, distance and travel challenges, a paucity of kitchen time, anti-Pilgrim protests, holiday shopping -- have not yet completely quelled (methinks) Sarah's key idea that people ought now and then stop what they are doing separately and come together.

  If you are with family and friends feasting this Thanksgiving around a laden, decorated, aromatic table you are living Sarah Hale's dream (and you better be there to help with the dishes, too). Before you sit down, consider inviting a new face or two, someone without family. Also, bring non-perishable foods to load into a vehicle for delivery to a community food pantry. 

  It's been about 400 years since folks with courage, and not much else, began coming to these shores from Europe; and we still have a lot to learn from their mistakes, starting with diplomacy toward our neighbors, working together for the good of all, being open-minded, and sharing what we are fortunate in having.

  Perhaps the gift of Thanksgiving is a helping of humility. With a little of Sarah's persistence, maybe we will still remember that lesson after our well-meaning walks around the block and our naps.

  Harvest well, celebrate well,

-- Lucy, Brad, and Jacquie at Hedgehog's Whimsey Books in Newport, New Hampshire