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Thanksgiving a time to reflect on the joy of a thankful heart

Rockin’ and Talkin’ With the Clinton Seniors’ Association

In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October.

Alexander Smith

It is still September as I write this, and there’s no mistaking the season has changed. Fall has arrived. That intense heat we experienced has given way to lower temperatures, cool nights and mornings, even frost, but sunny, bright days.

There are many things I love about Clinton, not the least of which is the obvious transition from one season to the other. The onset of each of the four is distinct. I lived most of my life in the Lower Mainland of B. C. and it was never possible to experience that. The common denominator was rain. We didn’t always have a lot of snow: more likely it was “a rainy, wet winter.” Often it continued to be “a rainy, wet spring”, and some summers did not have a lot of hot, swimming weather days. Fall? Well, cold rain frequently fell and made the fallen leaves a soggy mess that clogged up the storm drains.

Uppermost in our minds as we created costumes for Halloween trick-or-treaters was the weather forecast. We seldom risked channelling our time and efforts on paper outfits. Cloth was more substantial and appropriate “in case of rain”, which it often did.

I hope the youngsters in Clinton have a fun, clean, and safe Halloween. Motorists, please be especially mindful of children in dark clothing on dark streets.

Oct. 4 is World Animal Day, and according to the Canadian Wildlife Federation calendar, on this day in 2023 we should consider how we can help the bats. The organization suggests putting up a bat house on your property to provide a roosting site for a female bat and her pups. (Did you know a baby bat was called a pup? I didn’t.)

Learn more about how you can help at-risk bat species. Bats aren’t scary, but their extinction is. Out at the cabin when I was tidying up, I stood on a bench to take a plaque off the outside wall. When I lifted it off the hanger, to my great surprise there were five small bats clinging to the siding. I was so startled I nearly fell backward off the bench! We often see them flying around the cabin in the night sky, but I’ve never seen them so close and still.

Do you think that the welfare of bats and Halloween occur in the same calendar month by coincidence?

Thanksgiving is always celebrated in October, this year on the 9th. I have an old book titled Leaves of Gold: Anthology of Prayers, Memorable Phrases, Inspirational Verse and Prose, edited by Clyde Francis Lytle, first published in 1938. From the Golden Rule:

“THANKFULNESS – First among the things to be thankful for is a thankful spirit.

“Some people would grumble at the accommodations in Heaven if they ever got there. They take their blessings here so much as a matter of course, that even a day of general thanksgiving once in a year is more than they feel any need of. And if their personal blessings in any measure fail, gratitude for what they have had or still enjoy is the last thing they think of.

“Another class really desire to be thankful, but they are naturally despondent. Their sky is as dark with clouds as though a special Old Probabilities were employed to keep it full. They go through the world in a deprecating spirit, hoping things may turn out well yet fearing for the worst. We always feel glad for this class when Thanksgiving Day comes around. They then have an official warrant for gratitude. If their own hearts do not formulate blessings, they can listen to the sermon, or look to the President’s proclamation.

“How different with the thankful heart! What a gift it is to be born with an outlook toward the bright side of things! And if not so by nature, what a triumph of grace to be made thankful through a renewed heart! It is so much more comfortable and rational to see what we have to be thankful for and to rejoice accordingly, than to have our vision for ever filled with our lacks and our needs.

“Happy are they who possess this gift! Blessings may fail and fortunes vary, but the thankful heart remains. The happy past, at least, is secure, and Heaven is ahead.”

The Clinton Seniors’ Association had its first meeting following the summer recess on Sept. 21. The next regular meeting will be on Oct. 19; come and join us!

The Annual General Meeting of the Association will be on Nov. 16 at the Seniors’ Centre, 217 Smith Avenue, at 1 p.m. New members are welcome.

Members are planning for the Marketplace on Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Clinton Memorial Hall. If you are wanting a table for $10, call Zee at (250) 459-0028.

Happy Birthday to Ross Tapping (Oct. 11), Christine Stella (Oct. 13), Jim Johnson (Oct. 19), and Katherine Turmel (Oct. 29).

To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.

Oliver Wendell Holmes