Hello Readers

I hope everyone had a healthy and happy Holiday Season, and that this reaches you in good health!

To make up for my long absence please enjoy the forthcoming story.

I hope each of you will have a to a new and happy year .

 

Until next time I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

Why so many Willoughby’s?

1448433729_2 (I in no way own the above image I found it on the internet)

 

As I close the pages of one of my favorite novels, after reading it to its completion for the fifth time, I am quite at a loss. A loss as to why, after centuries that men and women still have not changed! You see I have been reading Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. I love the romanticized natures of her characters. One couple, one dynamic in the novel, no matter how many times I read it, always fascinates me. This book is also a favorite of Jimmy Stewart’s character Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey. As such I think Elwood P. Dowd would agree with me, that one of the most predictable yet, captivating love, or in this case, the lack of love, is between Willoughby and Marianne Dashwood. For those of you who have not read this wonderful novel I shall give you a very brief account of their love affair. It is as follows:

 

Marianne at times can be very sensible and clever in her own right, however, she has a way of “empathizing” everything too deeply; her sorrows, her joys etc. She shows almost no moderation or control of her actions. Including her passionate love for the very self-serving, and shallow Willoughby; to quote the authoress on Marianne’s love for Willoughby “His person and air were equal to what her fancy had ever drawn for the hero of a favorite story.” ~ Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility What sort of woman wouldn’t love a man who was a conglomeration of storybook hero’s?

 

Willoughby of course deserts poor Marianne Dashwood. She pursues him thinking that he still loves her and wants to marry her. Once he rejects her again, Marianne eventually looses all self-control and becomes quite ill. This is when in the novel I begin cursing all men as lecherous fools, having recently been entangled with a charming yet non-committal man myself.   Yet for Marianne, like most impulsive heroines of the Regency Era, she recovers, and realizes the error of her ways by making a grandiose speech: “Everybody seemed injured by me. The kindness, the unceasing kindness of Mrs. Jennings, I had repaid with ungrateful contempt. To the Middletons, the Palmers, the Steeles, to every common acquaintance even, I had been insolent and unjust.” ~ Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility

 

Women still chase after men who have no real value for them as living breathing human beings; they are viewed as play things, or cute little accessories. Thus it makes relationships awfully difficult when a woman is looking for a solid and dependable man. And after meeting so many Willoughby’s myself I can understand a woman’s apprehension when it comes to dating.

 

Now men, please do not think that I am putting down your entire sex. I am sure there are plenty of Colonel Brandon’s in this world (The man Marianne would marry). He was “a noble man” who remains devoted to his “love” though; his love was not always returned or recognized.

 

In short I charge you both men and women who read this post about Willoughby, not to be a Willoughby or a Marianne. Be honest always when you can with your affections or lack their of and you will find both parties to be more content in the long run.

 

Until next time when we continue with literary talk,

I remain as always, respectfully,

 

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

 

Little Cheyenne and the Fake Santa Claus

mv5bmtg1ndizodm2nf5bml5banbnxkftztcwnjqynzkwna-_v1_uy317_cr170214317_al_ tim-allen-the-santa-clause-police-lineup(To the Left the real Santa  to the right the fake Santa) and I do not in any way own either image I found it on the internet)

Today Christmas Day we celebrate the Saviors birth, open presents, and watch the 1947 version of the Miracle on 34th Street. As I watch my favorite holiday classic, and see how a very young Natalie Wood interacts with Santa, I reflect experience of meeting a Santa Claus. I say “a Santa” because it was certainly impossible that this charlatan was the real Santa.

The year was 1995 and my mother took a very excited six-year-old me to see our local mall Santa.   Santa was never a prominent belief in our household but after watching a Miracle on 34th Street and seeing Mrs. Claus earlier that day I was determined to meet Santa. I waited in line patiently with my big sister and mother for an hour when finally it was my turn.

However when I reached the large red velvet throne and saw a very miserly looking Santa sitting in his chair I burst into tears. My mother was quite baffled by my reaction and quite frankly so was I. All I knew was there was something quite strange about this Santa and I was quite afraid of him. Santa tried to put me on his lap by now I was sobbing. I would agreed to sit on his lap if my sister, who was “too old” to sit on Santa’s lap went with me. Tears were still streaming down my face as I reached out to Mrs. Claus who was now comforting me.

When Mrs. Claus asked why I was crying, all I could utter was that he was “scary and not Edmund Gwenn”. Mrs. Claus asked who Edmund Gwenn was and I explained that he was Santa in Miracle on 34th. We left the mall that day my dreams shattered, that Edmund Gwenn was indeed dead and in my mind that meant Santa was dead too.

A few weeks had passed and I was relatively over the “incident”. It was Christmas Eve when my mother opened the local newspaper and read that the mall Santa was arrested for embezzlement. And he was to be replaced with someone who looked just like Edmund Gwenn. Upon hearing this news I reveled in the fact that I was correct on all accounts. The first being that mall Santa was indeed bad and that Edmund Gwenn was indeed the real Santa.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I hope you too have met the real Santa.

Until next time I remain as always respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

A Christmas Quote

 

48d0178b32c1fafb06b2a3d8071deec3 (I in no way own the above image I found it on the internet and I believe the artist may be Marie (Mizzi) Wunsch (1862 – 1898, German)

“Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!” ~ Charles Dickens 

Mr. Dickens always had a way with words, and knew how to convey ideas in the most poetic, romantic and at times heart wrenching of ways.  It is no different with the above quote.  Christmas is a time filled with love, peace and sentiment. So as we are now in the Christmas season let us not ignore the idealistic ways of Christmases past. Especially in a time such as this let us embrace the old cliché, romanticized and idealistic ways of the past.  I believe in learning from past literary geniuses  such as Charles Dickens, for sometimes the old ways really are the best ways.  As we reflect on this season I hope we can all remember the true reason for the season.

Until next time when I continue with literary talk I remain as always respectfully, 

Cheyenne E. Mitchell 

Adam Levine is That You?

adam-levine-i-love-218x150 (I in no way own the above image I found it on the internet)

Do you ever have “one of those days” where everything goes wrong; perhaps it has been “one of those years?” You perhaps are unlucky in love? Nothing went the way it should at the office? Fail a school project? Or have you just had a day where it feels like your entire world is crumbling beneath you. Without exception one or all of the above at some time has touched my life. And in truth I have been having “one of those months”.

As the months of holidays, have been and are rapidly approaching I am constantly reminded of departed, friends, family members, lost loves etc. For if anything tragic happens in the life of my family and myself it seems to be always around the holiday season. With years of tragedy hanging a pall over my Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, I like any normal person can have a tendency to become a little morose during upcoming months. It is as if I hold my breath and sit and wait till March until I feel as though I can breathe once again.

It was just such a day yesterday when I was fretting over work, life, sweethearts and then it happened all of a sudden. You see it went something like this:

“Once Upon a Time, Adam Levine came to my rescue. Yes you read that correctly Adam Levine that well-known “rock star” and coach on the ever-popular show “The Voice”. It was a magical moment until I realized that it wasn’t really Mr. Mc Dreamy Adam Levine it was instead his Doppelganger (as much as I do not like to use that sensationalized term, it seems to fit in this instance). It was about 7 o’clock and I had just finished a long day at the office unfortunately it was not the end of the day for me. Before I could retire for the evening I had quite a few errands to run. Just as I started pumping gas into the car the heavens opened up and the rain began pouring down simply ruining my curls. The drudgery of the day began with a late start that morning then at the office was complaint after complaint from clients tale of woe of why they couldn’t do one thing or another. Now I was ready to go home and instead I was drenched and miserable, that is until one person went out of his way to help me. After pumping my gas I jumped into my car and waited to pull out onto a busy highway, when I noticed something very odd.   It was a large silver car and it kept inching its way up the street until coming to a complete stop in front of my car. I looked over at the driver of the car and my heart skipped a few beats when I saw those big blue Adam Levine-esque eyes. At first I thought Mr. Mc Dreamy was just waiting to pull into the parking lot when I noticed he was waiving me on. Mr. Mc Dreamy was not waiting to pull in to the parking lot he was blocking traffic to let me safely pass.

It was at that moment I realized how foolish I was being. Here I was sitting around thinking about my woes, and as if this look-alike knew of my stress he aided me in getting home. Sometimes people never realize how one simple act can help to alleviate the stress of another. After I pulled off I saw my mysterious stranger pull away…. Maybe something good will come with the close of this year and the beginning of next.

Until next time when I return to Literary talk,

I remain as always Respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

A Thanksgiving Post

images-1 (I in no way own this image I found it on the internet)

Do you ever notice how at holiday times there are always a ton of accidents, and quite frankly mean people? It is as if they are in such a hurry to get somewhere to spread ‘good cheer and be merry’ that they do not care who or how they disrupt everyone who come into their paths and imposing their anxiety on others. It was hardly yet Thanksgiving Day and that is exactly what I experienced, until, I saw two cats.

Yes you read that correctly two cats. I will often watch these cats play on the street while I drink my morning cup of tea and ready myself for the day. They are often found playing; chasing each other, but one thing that always strikes me as odd in their behavior is their obsession with this one tree. Everyday it is the same they come to the tree dropping in front of it a dead mouse or some sort of prized possession, which only cats seem to understand. Typically these cats can only be found playing outside their tree in the morning in the evenings you always see them looking out the big bay window of their home while they wait for their owner to feed them. However last night, Thanksgiving eve, I noticed on my drive home from work I saw something very unusual. I saw a middle-aged woman sitting in front of the cats favorite tree weeping with each cat sitting beside her seemingly echoing her sentiments. Seeing the distressed woman I pulled into my driveway and walked back down my drive to see if there was anything I could do for this poor woman. As I spoke with her I learned that this was her husbands tree, he had passed away. The two cats were very fond of her husband; he rescued them from that very tree when they were kittens. He had convinced his wife to let him keep the kittens, and from that day on he had a special bond with these two, now very large cats. The three of them went everywhere together they were inseparable. Her husband after a few years became very sick and after his passing the wife noticed the cats would everyday go to the tree where he rescued them. Bringing the tree special gifts only a cat could give.

You see for a cat to bond with a human is a very special and unusual thing, it is something that lasts and that stands the test of time. So as homage these cats say thank you to their human by bringing gifts to the tree where they were first found. The woman’s husband died two Thanksgiving eve’s past. Each year the woman goes outside to the old tree per the last instructions of her late husband to “remember the Thanksgiving Eve when I brought home our two friends, for they will be a comfort and a reminder of how God gives us joy in the smallest of packages”. So each year on the night before Thanksgiving the woman goes to the old tree to say her thanks to God for bringing her, her husband and her cats.   After all as Charles Dickens points out “What greater gift than the love of a cat?”

Though this may seem like a sad story, it is important to see that this is not a story filled with tears but a story filled with love and Thankfulness. Two animals learned to love and have a home with a compassionate couple, and from these animals the couple learned what it means to have unconditional love and to treasure every moment they had together. For as we are taught God’s greatest Commandment is Love. And isn’t thankfulness, in a way an expression of that love?

I pray that for your Holiday that despite this year’s chaos and disappointment that you can find even one thing to be at peace, joyous and thankful for.

Until next time when I return to more Literary talk I remain as always,

Respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

My Annual Thanksgiving Recipe is here!

images (I in no way own the above image I found it on the internet.  I also have not in anyway created the below recipe, the credit for the recipe can be found the body of the following blog)

 

It is that time of year when we begin to start having parties and dinners to celebrate the holidays and time with our friends and family! And to “kick” the festivities off is none other then my favorite Holiday Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving in my family is a time to come together and give thanks to our God the Creator, and to focus on his blessings and to separate out all of the year’s failures and shortcomings. It is also a time to gorge yourself with your cousins on as many things as you possibly can. What does all this mean? Well coming from a very large family, it is important to bring either a main dish or at least an appetizer. This can be agonizing task especially when you want to make something that will please everyone. So if you come from a large family or are spending time with friends or if you really just want to eat something yummy please see the following recipe courtesy of the New York Times: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017797-pumpkin-bread-with-brown-butter-and-bourbon?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur:

 

“Pumpkin Bread With Brown Butter and Bourbon

 

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup bourbon (or use water or apple cider)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups pumpkin purée, homemade or canned (1 15-ounce can)
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup olive or other oil (such as canola)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¾ cups light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (14 servings)
270 calories; 8 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 40 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 18 grams sugars; 5 grams protein; 70 milligrams cholesterol; 360 milligrams sodium
    • Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. 
Powered by Edamam

PREPARATION

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees and arrange a rack in the center. Grease the insides of two 8-inch loaf pans with butter or line with parchment paper.
  • In a large skillet, melt 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the frothy white milk solids sink to the bottom of the pan and turn a fragrant, nutty brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Brown butter can burn quickly, so watch it carefully. (A tip: You will know your brown butter is almost ready when the frantic sound of bubbling begins to die down, so use your ears as well as your eyes and nose.)
  • In a glass liquid measuring cup, combine bourbon and vanilla. Add water until you reach the 2/3 cup mark. In a large bowl, whisk together bourbon mixture, pumpkin purée, eggs and oil. With a spatula, scrape all the brown butter from the skillet into the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine.
  • In another large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Divide batter between the two greased loaf pans. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow bread to cool completely before removing from pan.”

 

***Now a side note to all my Gluten Free Readers out there: I believe this recipe can be easily made Gluten Free by substituting the wheat flour for Gluten free flour and adding about a teaspoon of xanthan gum.

 

Until next time when we return to more Holiday fun and Literary talk

I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

Ramblings

wooded-path ( I in no way own this image I found it on the internet)

 

It pierces my soul

It warns of something near

Something comes for me

But what may it be

Is it danger that lurks around the corner?

What calls me so?

What is it that haunts me?

Something urges me forward but to what and where,

I know not

With silence it has crept over

With precision it pierced my soul and wove into my senses

Will you show yourself soon?

Will I ever know what awaits

Or will I forever wonder….

 

BY: Cheyenne E. Mitchell

The Ring

image-16-large ( I in no way own this image I found it on the internet)

There it was a bright yellow gold with a certain and undeniable brilliance that shone from every delicate and deliberate cut of its fine gem. Everyone who beheld it thought it a thing of perfect beauty. People would stop and stare in front of the old store front window peering through its glass at the ring that sat so proudly in its plush green velvet cushioned box. There it was a smug little ruby encased in its very tiny gold setting, though many would stop in front of the old antique shop pointing through the window at the ring. However, only few were brave enough to try it on. Most have heard tale of this ring and were petrified to come too close, but just had to see it for themselves. The ring was indeed very small in size and did not fit the hand of many, though many women tried. In truth the towns people only ever heard of three women who had tried on this ring and terrible fates befell them.

The first woman was a very tall, very slender woman with golden locks that fell about her waist and extremely petite features. She was a beautiful sight to behold, and she knew it. She told every one she met about her talents, her hair, petite figure, and slender fingers. So when she saw the ring in the window she went inside snatching the ring from the box, she was just about to slip it on her finger to see if it would fit, when she heard from behind her “I wouldn’t put that on if I were you.” Turning around the woman saw a very elderly round-faced gentleman. “Because” he said, “ a woman with your,’ he stopped himself as though he did not know what to say, ‘beauty’ he continued could never face the consequence, of having a ring that was less then”. The woman took this to be a compliment for she always valued her beauty and thought more now than ever that the ring should be hers. Reaching into her purse she counted out the money and flung it at the old gentleman.   Her hands were shaking with excitement as she unlocked the door to her home and ran upstairs to try on her new ring. She slipped the ring onto her finger admiring it and herself for quite sometime. A she gazed at her reflection in the mirror she noticed a hair out-of-place “this cannot be she thought” picking up her hand that was adorned with her new prize she began running her fingers through her hair. Suddenly and without warning her hair began falling out first a few strands then in large clumps all over the floor, until she was completely bald. “Oh no!” She thought “I am nothing without my hair!” As she stared and wept into the mirror the old shopkeepers face appeared in the mirror if you take off the ring now and mend your ways this will all cease”. “Never” cried the woman I would rather lose all my hair and my finger before I took off this perfect ring.”   No sooner did she utter those words, her cascading hair fell to the floor and her finger snapped like a twig from her hand. The ring was returned to the shop the very next day, and the towns people stood and stared as they saw the once vain and self-proclaimed goddess slink back to the store to return the ring.

As the old shopkeeper placed the ring into the window for the second time, another woman came in to try on the fated ring. This woman was old and a gossip speaking badly of everyone she met. Walking into the store she thought to herself “I would never usually come into such a lowly store but I must have that ring. What would my friends think if they saw me in this store?” Again the shopkeeper said, “I wouldn’t put that on if I were you.” “Why not?” ask the woman “Because” said the shopkeeper “ with your pride I hate to see your fate”. The second woman paid him no mind took the ring, and showed it to all her friends at that night’s party. When she was asked where she bought such a beautiful ring she curtly answered, “ Oh Tiffany’s where else?” “ No I don’t believe you ,said another I believe you bought it at that old antique shop. Come tell us the truth, where did you get the ring?” Well being filled with so much pride was too much for her to bear, her throat began to swell and suddenly she could no longer speak, and she was silent for the rest of her days.   Again the ring was returned to the window and again a woman came rushing into to try on the seemingly ill-fated ring. By this time the towns people began to talk and word was spreading that this ring would only bring about misery. The third woman to enter the store was a very greedy woman; she had everything and could afford nothing. Her bills were high and her children were going hungry, but she had to have the ring. For the third time the old man came out and repeated his warning telling her of her fate if she bought this ring out of greed instead of paying her debts. She took the ring home when she pulled in her driveway and instead of seeing a house she saw a barren lot instead of hearing her children laughing and playing and greeting her with kisses, she was greeted by no one, for there was no one there.

The ring was once again returned to the store. Many years had now passed and many remembered these stories as simply that, stories that were told to keep them from wrongdoing. There then sat the ring shining and sparkling in all its glory, reflecting a light so bright that it was almost blinding. One day as the ring looked out at the crowds of people walking by it noticed something, it was a young couple. She had watched this couple before; they walked hand in hand and paraded up and down the road oblivious to their surroundings.   Oblivious that is until the sunlight bounced off the ruby and into the woman’s eyes. Her eyes sparkled that familiar gleam when it saw the little ruby perched in the window. Her finance must have noticed the ring too for he looked down at the vacant spot on her finger said, “ I have yet to buy you a ring and I know it is not a diamond, but that ruby is the only ring I have ever seen you get excited for. Please let me buy it for you.” “Oh no” she said, “ it is the most beautiful ring I ever saw but we can not afford it. No, we shall continue to save for a cheaper and less costly ring. Come take me home.” They walked away but the man kept looking at the ring as they walked past the window.

What they did not know was that the old shopkeeper heard their conversation, and he said to himself “ That couple deserves this ring for they are not proud, or vain, nor are they greedy, so have it they shall.” So that night the old shopkeeper quietly left the ring on the man’s doorstep with a simple note that read, “For those who love, and love truly shall never go without or unnoticed.” Imagine then the young mans excitement when he read this note and saw what was inside the package. He and his fiancé ran down to the little shop to thank the old shopkeeper, but when they arrived they found that the store was no longer there. In its place was a field of wild flowers. This field of wild flowers was right in the heart of the city and was surrounded by buildings on either side of it. No one ever saw the shop or its keeper again making this story even more of a myth, a myth to all, but those who know the true story. Everything in the town began to grow and prosper once the old shop and its keeper were gone. The slums in the less desirable parts of town began to slowly dissipate. Work began to resurface and once again this once affluent town became a booming metropolises. Many said that the curse was lifted by the disappearance of the old shopkeeper. I guess like in most fairy stories it is best not to speculate to deeply into its meaning, for if you do you may just discover that the magic was not real and you are left with bitter facts, logical explanations, and no food for your mind to feast upon. Life would be quite dull if all we had were facts and logic.

Until next time when we pick up with more literary talk I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

Columbus Day

4ff36b27b591058358e356dba21721a2 ( I in no way own the above image I found it on the internet)

Columbus Day has been and has become a very controversial holiday. Most say that due to Columbus’s “discovery” of America has lead to the destruction of the indigenous people. In fact many go as far as to protest the day. Here is where I find a struggle as I am both Italian and am of Native American decent. I understand both sides of the argument, yes Columbus aided in the beginning of colonization and the end of the Native American life, as they knew it at that time. However the facts of the case should not be ignored. First it is wrong to say that Columbus discovered America for indeed the indigenous people are the ones who “discovered” the Country known as America. Furthermore there was a group of people who came before Columbus, who “re-discovered” America there is evidence that the first Europeans to sail across the Atlantic were Viking explorers from Scandinavia. I feel that it is important to bring you a little Historical information from a respected source… the History Channel

“Columbus Day is a U.S. holiday that commemorates the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. It was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states as early as the 18th century but did not become a federal holiday until the 1937. For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. Throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have appeared in recent years.

ORIGINS OF COLUMBUS DAY

A U.S. national holiday since 1937, Columbus Day commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World on October 12, 1492. The Italian-born explorer had set sail two months earlier, backed by the Spanish monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. He intended to chart a western sea route to China, India and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia; instead, he landed in the Bahamas, becoming the first European to explore the Americas since the Vikings set up colonies in Greenland and Newfoundland during the 10th century.

Did You Know?

Contrary to popular belief, most educated Europeans in Columbus’ day understood that the world was round, but they did not yet know that the Pacific Ocean existed. As a result, Columbus and his contemporaries assumed that only the Atlantic lay between Europe and the riches of the East Indies.

Later that month, Columbus sighted Cuba and believed it was mainland China; in December the expedition found Hispaniola, which he though might be Japan. There, he established Spain’s first colony in the Americas with 39 of his men. In March 1493, the explorer returned to Spain in triumph, bearing gold, spices and “Indian” captives. He crossed the Atlantic several more times before his death in 1506; by his third journey, he realized that he hadn’t reached Asia but instead had stumbled upon a continent previously unknown to Europeans.

COLUMBUS DAY IN THE UNITED STATES

The first Columbus Day celebration took place in 1792, when New York’s Columbian Order–better known as Tammany Hall–held an event to commemorate the historic landing’s 300th anniversary. Taking pride in Columbus’ birthplace and faith, Italian and Catholic communities in various parts of the country began organizing annual religious ceremonies and parades in his honor. In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage with patriotic festivities, writing, “On that day let the people, so far as possible, cease from toil and devote themselves to such exercises as may best express honor to the discoverer and their appreciation of the great achievements of the four completed centuries of American life.”

In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday, largely as a result of intense lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic fraternal benefits organization. Originally observed every October 12, it was fixed to the second Monday in October in 1971.

COLUMBUS DAY ALTERNATIVES

Opposition to Columbus Day dates back to the 19th century, when anti-immigrant groups in the United States rejected the holiday because of its association with Catholicism. In recent decades, Native Americans and other groups have protested the celebration of an event that indirectly resulted in the colonization of the Americas and the death of millions: European settlers brought a host of infectious diseases, including smallpox and influenza, that decimated indigenous populations; warfare between Native Americans and the colonists claimed many lives as well. The image of Christopher Columbus as an intrepid hero has also been called into question. Upon arriving in the Bahamas, the explorer and his men forced the native peoples they found there into slavery; later, while serving as the governor of Hispaniola, he allegedly imposed barbaric forms of punishment, including torture.

In many Latin American nations, the anniversary of Columbus’ landing has traditionally been observed as the Dìa de la Raza (“Day of the Race”), a celebration of Hispanic culture’s diverse roots. In 2002, Venezuela renamed the holiday Dìa de la Resistencia Indìgena (“Day of Indigenous Resistance”) to recognize native peoples and their experience. Several U.S. cities and states have replaced Columbus Day with alternative days of remembrance; examples include Berkeley’s Indigenous Peoples Day, South Dakota’s Native American Day and Hawaii’s Discoverer’s Day, which commemorates the arrival of Polynesian settlers.

COLUMBUS DAY TRADITIONS

In many parts of the United States, Columbus Day has evolved into a celebration of Italian-American heritage. Local groups host parades and street fairs featuring colorful costumes, music and Italian food. In cities and towns that use the day to honor indigenous peoples, activities include pow-wows, traditional dance and lessons about Native American culture.” http://www.history.com/topics/exploration/columbus-day

And yes did the “discovery” of America lead to a “new World” for everyone involved? Yes it did. Did it have some horrific and grueling effects on all who came in its path? Yes it did. It is a horrible thing to push people out of their rightful homes. Yes it did. However you have to think where would we be if these events did not take place? We as a nation would not be here. We would not be the greatest melting pot the world has ever known. I regret the pain and torment my ancestors went through, however I will not deny my heritage.   If it were not Columbus it would have been inevitably been someone else to invade this nation. So instead of focusing on the horrors of History, which each County that has ever existed has known its own horrors, we must then focus on what the joining of each nation gave to each other. The intermingling of our cultures, the sharing of food, the gift of holistic medicines and eastern, and western medicine, exchange of livestock, and perhaps most importantly the marriage of one history and a bond that holds or nations together. I am not excusing the actions of our ancestors on either side; do I think there was a better way to bring about one nation? Of course but perhaps people did not know better there could have and should have been a better way to deal with the situation. The important thing to remember now is that we have a chance to change what our ancestors did and bring out peace and closure to our very turbulent history.

Let us be reminded of the words of Sitting Bull “Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” ~ Sitting Bull (1831-1890)

Until next time when I return to literary talk, I remain respectfully as always,

 

Cheyenne Mitchell