Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Jewel Box

The Jewel BoxThe Jewel Box by C. Michelle McCarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Life is a lesson. Take notes…” on page 33. I love this line from the Jewel Box, and to me, it sums up the storyline in a wonderful way. The Jewel Box is an absorbing, well-written story of a young woman struggling to overcome and learn from her mistakes while living her life to the fullest.

I loved this book! There were so many things within its pages that took me back in time. I love it when a book can make you cry as well as laugh and even get angry with a character.
The story begins when Jill, aka Cherie, accepts the delivery of a beautiful antique bar to her antique shop. This antique piece will never be sold. The beautiful bar, that hosts the initials carved by the love of her life so many years before, brings with it a rush of cherished memories that span her lifetime.

The story unfolds as her memories take her back through her life filled with tremendous tests of her will, more than one heartbreaking loss, and a once in a life time love to a beautiful conclusion that will warm your heart and have you wiping a tear .

The Jewel box captured me from the first page. Ms McCarty’s talent shines as the characters and situations jump right out of the pages and into your imagination. Every character is so well developed you just know she must have known some of your beloved and sometime corky friends.

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Romance. I will be anxiously awaiting her next book. I now have a new author to add to my “Favorites list”.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

The First Thanksgiving Celebration.

Thanksgiving and Sukkot (Tabernacles)

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I give thanks every day for my blessings, but to have a day set aside for thanks giving is truly special.  Knowing all (if not many) Americans celebrate by remembering all the good things and wonderful people in their lives for which they are thankful adds to the festivity.

I decided to look into the roots of the celebration, and this is what I learned.

According to some scholars, before coming to the new world, the Pilgrims lived for a decade among the Sephareic Jews in Holland.  Holland was considered a safe haven from religious persecution at the time.  The Pilgrims, being  devout Calvinist and Puritans considered themselves as “New Isreal”. I can see where they likely learned that Sukkot commemorated Israel’s deliverance from the religious persecution in ancient Egypt and thought of it as a parallel to their own situation.

 After they immigrated to the promised land of America, it is not surprising to me that the Pilgrims may have considered the festival of Sukkot when planning their own celebration. The Pilgrims considered their perilous journey to the new world as a type of exodus and wanted to associate their new celebration to the appropriate Biblical holiday.

It is interesting to me that the Jewish observance of their holiday always falls on Thursday and there is a special prayer of “Thanksgiving” before eating the meal.  It is also interesting to note that the Hebrew word for Turkey is tarnegol hodu, literally “Indian chicken”.  Is it a happy coincidence that we customarily eat Turkey on thanksgiving?

We all have times of up and downs. We all have something and someone (probable more than one someone) to be thankful for. My Thanksgiving wish for all my friends and family, is well expressed in this Cherokee Prayer Blessing.

May the Warm Winds of Heaven Blow softly upon your house.
May the Great Spirit Bless all who enter there.
May your Moccasins Make happy tracks in many snows,
and may the Rainbow Always touch your shoulder.