Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Little Gift Makes a Big Difference

We have a lot of Thanksgiving decorations and this has become my favorite.  It isn't the most expensive or the most attractive but it is my favorite.  The history of this little figurine makes it important.

The Outer Banks of North Carolina has always been a special place for us.  In fact, my husband told me we were going to the Outer Banks for our honeymoon.  The wedding announcement in the newspapers said, "after a trip to the Outer Banks, the couple will reside..."  So I packed sweats and sneakers appropriate for being at the beach in early November.  Imagine my surprise when we headed north.  My husband had arranged a week in Colonial Williamsburg.  Nice surprise, but I wasn't exactly the best dressed person around.  But I digress.

For the first 10 years of our marriage, we took trips to the Outer Banks to celebrate our anniversary.  We stayed at the same motel, ate in the same restaurants, spent endless hours at the National Seashore and evenings fishing on the pier.  We didn't have much money back then, and limited vacation time but the off-season rates allowed us to continue the yearly trips.  After the children were born, we left them with their grandparents while we enjoyed our time alone at the beach.

When we began to earn more and finally had a few more nickels to rub together, we planned more elaborate vacations and family vacations with the kids.  As a result, we hadn't been to the Outer Banks for more than 25 years.  Last fall we decided to go there again.  We were appalled to find that the charming quiet areas were overrun with large colorful beach houses.  There were houses on land that we had known to be inlets in years past.  The only things that resembled our memories were the National Seashore and the lighthouses (and actually one of the lighthouses had been moved further inland).

But the beach was deserted and we knew we would have fun, even in the rain and chill.  And then it happened.  I got food poisoning!  The first time in my life.  And I was as sick as I had ever been.  No fancy restaurants...just ginger ale and crackers.  I felt terrible physically and I felt terrible emotionally that I had ruined our trip already marred by the weather and the changed atmosphere.

One afternoon while I was resting, my husband went out to look at some of the shops.  When he came back, he had a box for me.  Inside was this sweet little figurine, "The 1st Lady of Pie."  For a few minutes I actually felt better.

So that's why this is now my favorite Thanksgiving decoration.  She was the best thing about the trip.  When I look at her I forget all about the disappointment about the growth, the rain and the cold and reflect on the early years when we went to the Outer Banks.  But try as I may, even looking at the 1st Lady, I cannot forget those days of misery following the food poisoning.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving decoration?  One that you always put on display even if you don't bring out all the other stuff?


Elora said...

NCMW, I believe I might be tempted to leave her out all year long! What a lovely (love) story...of Thanksgiving. Have a good one!


Elora said...

BTW, the last time we were at the beach in NC, about ten yeasr ago, we felt exactly the same way: appalled at the "makeover" of the NC beaches! Sad. Understand completely...enough all by itself to make one sick!


Cicero Sings said...

A lot of my favourite spots have been spoiled by "development". Makes me so sad.

Loved that the decoration had such a story attached to it.

They give charcoal slurry to neutralize poisoning from drug overdose ... I carry some charcoal tablets in my purse, to be made into a slurry, should I ever get food poisoning. They say charcoal is constipating ... something to keep in mind.

Rudee said...

I don't really decorate much for Thanksgiving as it's always seemed like a rush of a holiday for me. Ordinarily, if I was off, I'd work the day before and after. I do put out my mother's salt and pepper monks that look just like these:

they remind me of her and the holidays.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi Carolyn, Love that little figurine... I can understand why she is so special to you.. Hope you can go back to the seashore --when you are NOT sick...

My favorite Thanksgiving decoration is my little turkey which sits on my dining room table. My friend made it --and I have had it for years... It's very special to me.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Folkways Note Book said...

i have a small little statue that I leave out all year round. It's a statue of a woman and under it are the words -- "old fashioned love to my up to date mom." It was a gift from my son who was about 9 at the time. He had rode his bike to the dime store to buy it -- riding home he dropped it and came in the door crying as it had broken into two pieces. I told him no problem, we can glue it -- and it has remained glued together all these many years. As an adult my son loved to prepare Thanksgiving dinners at his house. I went to many of those dinners. Two and a half years ago I lost him -- so this little statue has very strong emotional feelings for me. Happy Thanksgiving -- barbara

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

Hi Carolyn!! At the end of a long day, I've so enjoyed your post because it's a good reminder of those little things and times when life isn't so complicated that come to mean so much to us! I also really like your figurine--She looks like a "Willieraye figurine." I've collected them for several years now, and rotate them according to season--They are my very favorites!!

Also THANK YOU for your kind and candid thoughts for Hamlet. It was really a tough decision because I agree with you in that he's been through so much, and I worry this might be too much. But I feel like we need to at least try the surgery and hope and pray for its success.

I hope you have a wonderful and enjoyable Thanksgiving!!

Vicki Lane said...

What a story!

I remember the beautiful Florida Gulf coast beaches of fifty and sixty years ago -- the same terrible over development has happened there. A pity...

If we can keep the mountains from suffering the same fate...

Karin said...

That is one sweet little figurine! How thoughtful of your hubby to buy it to make you feel better!

I like Cicero's idea of having charcoal tablets along - will have to check that out!

Busy Bee Suz said...

How sweet of your husband to bring her to you!!!!
I have many favorites....perhaps my Publix pilgrim salt and pepper shakers are my faves???

Jayne said...

I really like her Carolyn. She looks very content standing there. One thing I've learned over the years is that it's sometimes really hard to go back to an area and expect the same feeling/experience. It seems that any time we try to go back, we leave never feeling as content as we did the first time, which makes me even leery to return to Cumberland Island. That first trip was so very magical and I don't want to ruin the magic. Glad you at least have this sweet Lady of Pie to bring a smile to your face.

kks said...

what a lovely story...happy turkey day to you both!
(i got food poisoning this summer after eating at a mexican restaurant...will never eat mex again!)

troutbirder said...

It seems like some of the very best places become touristy. Yes that was our experience on the beach. I loved Williamsburg and want to go back.... the blowing sand and hordes of people on the Banks..not so much.
Happy Thanksgiving Carolyn!

KB said...

First lady of the pie! I love it!

Both of us got overwhelmed by our family's zeal for holidays so we have few decorations for any holiday.

But, we do have a collection of Christmas tree decorations combined from both of our families. And, we have our favorites that always appear! My absolute favorite is the Chocolate Labrador Retriever Angel that goes on top of the tree! It's funny in so many ways!

animal lover, quilt lover said...

Hi Carolyn,
Great story!! The history is the important thing!! I too have history with my hubby!! I am not a girlish girl and don't have favorite figurines. I have had food poison tho!!!! It was one of my sickest I had have been too!!
Thanks so so so much for your visit!!! I love them so much and it is wonderful when I can come back to your blog and comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.
Elnora - The thing that really bothers me is that in NC the insurance companies are allowed to rate for risk across the State. Therefore our homeowner's insurance is much higher so those folks can build on sinking sand and we help pay for their insurance.

Cicero - I'll get some for certain when we take another vacation. Although that was the only time in my life I ever had a problem.

Rudee - I love the monks.

Betsy - We will definitely go to the shore again, but not to the Outer Banks area.

Folkways - I can only imagine how much you love that, especially since you lost your son. I know the little statue will always be special.

Kim - Yes, she is a Willieraye. The big feet give a big hint. I'll be thinking of you and Hamlet tomorrow.

Vicki - I'm helping the conservation groups as much as I can to buy up land here. It's already too late for much of the mountain area.

Suz - I also have pilgrim salt and pepper shakers. They are Hallmark and my son bought them for me when he was such a little boy.

Jayne - I suspect Cumberland Island won't change quite as much. I certainly hope it stays the same.

Troutbirder - We love Williamsburg and have gone back several times. What a wonderful feeling to be walking where so many of our forefathers did.