Column: Thanksgiving weekend all about gratitude

Like most of you, we recently had a Thanksgiving dinner at one of our son’s and daughter-in-law’s home.

Like most of you, we recently had a Thanksgiving dinner at one of our son’s and daughter-in-law’s home.

I have memories of my dad’s siblings and their families gathering for such occasions when they all lived at 150 Mile House and Beaver Valley.

No family fighting, just good times and good food. And we would toast those absent.

This year our family enjoyed the company of friends (neighbours) and visitors from Britain and Australia. Thanksgiving was new to them, which reminded me that it is a North American celebration. Celebrating the harvest and giving thanks to the Creator for the bounty of the land was the original purpose of the holiday.

Frequently at dinner time, our grandchildren are encouraged to say what they are grateful for. We all participate. It is a moment for reflection.

We read about this practice and it hit a chord. Yes, often young children are grateful for things and treats, like ice cream, but they also are thankful for special people around them.

This year as the dinner hosts formally welcomed their guests, everyone around the table was invited to say a few words. Invariably, everyone was grateful for the company and the beautiful place we share.

Many foreign guests here remark about the special place, Beaver Valley. Many around the table were thankful for the food: bread, chicken, salads and vegetable dishes, pumpkins pies, all from our gardens and farmyard. One guest brought wild Lingonberry handpicked from the Yukon for the chicken. We didn’t get to pick wild cranberries. Next year!

Of particular note this year was the homemade bread made from grains we grew. Threshing and cleaning the grain was a major weekend activity.

The leader of this activity was a daughter-in–law and son from Alberta, who grew the grain here, and experimented with some traditional varieties in order to learn what will grow on the ranch for human consumption. We grow a few acres of barley and peas to graze pigs on as a substitute for commercial organic feed, which is extremely expensive.

The trials this year were for human consumption.

How great tasting is bread from grain ground the same day the bread is baked! This experiment was a learning process for a beginning farmer. In a later article I will report more on this.

I expressed my gratitude for all the food grown by the family.

Closing here, I am grateful for a partner and family who all believe in feeding the healthiest food to our grandchildren and ourselves.

Susan, my partner, is a great food producer, preserver and cook. She even canned tomatoes over the campfire when we lived in a tent in the early days. We are grateful for pristine farmland on which to grow the food.

David Zirnhelt is a member of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association and chair of the advisory committee for the Applied Sustainable Ranching program which is starting at Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake this January.

Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

(File photo)
Firearms investigation on Winger Road the result of increased gang activity: RCMP

When police attempted to stop a vehicle, it sped away

Shearwater is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the West Coast of B.C. (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association photo)
Heiltsuk Nation buys historic Shearwater Resort and Marina

Chief Marilyn Slett said Heiltsuk Nation has always valued its relationship with the company

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read