"I awoke this morning with a devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
Shall I not call God the Beautiful, who daily showeth himself to me in his gifts?"
--Ralph Waldo Emerson  

Hi all,

Happy Thanksgiving to all those celebrating the holiday and to everyone else happy Thursday! 

I was kinda at a loss on what to do for this issue.  CABB 4 was one of my very favorite newsletters so I couldn't really imagine topping it with a different poem or story.  So I decided not to even try.  I've never been terribly ambitious.  ;-)  In any case, I hope you enjoy the latest "Dear Annie Dru" column and a few words from our friends in Dyeland.

God bless,

Dear Annie Dru,
This year I'm hosting my first ever Thanksgiving feast!!!  I'm so psyched!  I've been trying out various dishes and making out little place cards and even making those little rings you put on wine glasses so people don't mix theirs up.  I think I'm totally prepared.  However... I do have one fairly major problem.  As I'm sure you know, turkey is the mainstay of the Thanksgiving meal.  But one of my guests loves turkeys.  He even has some as pets.  I don't want to hurt his feelings by having turkey but I also know my other guests will be totally miffed if I serve, say, salmon.  But then may be someone there will be passionately committed to preserving salmon or something!  Ack!

This guy's really important to me.  He came into my family's life earlier this year and helped us through a really tough time.  I'd be devastated if I offended him.  What should I do to appease both my new friend and the others coming to dinner?

Rachel Ray Wannabe

Dear Wannabe:
I see you've met Adam.  If there's one thing I know about Adam it's that he'd never want to be the cause of anyone's angst.  Have you talked to him about this?  Perhaps Adam might even volunteer to supply some of his turkey-like substance.  Your other guests would never even know unless you told them. 

However, please know that it's not your job as hostess to make every single dish acceptable to every single person.  I assume you're serving more than just turkey.  If someone doesn't like turkey or objects to eating it, they can always enjoy the sweet potatoes or green bean casserole or whatever else you might be serving. 
Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy the holiday!  Also, if you haven't told Adam what you just told me about how much he means to you and how grateful you are to him, might I suggest you tell him on Thanksgiving?  I think that would be the perfect time.

Annie Dru
Dear Annie Dru--
Let's say you've invited an angelic friend over to Thanksgiving dinner at your parents'...  However, you're not supposed to let the other guests know he's an angel.  Okay?  So now what if your mother's convinced he's your boyfriend and has already made several jokes about it?  Worse yet, what if she's spread this rumor around to all your relations? 

I really don't want my friend to be embarrassed but other than "outting" him, I don't know how to stop this.  It's too late to uninvite him.  He's really excited to join us.  What should I do?

He's Just Not That Into Anyone

Dear Anyone:
Because angels cannot lie, you can't think of going that route by inventing a love interest for your friend.  If he were human, that might be my suggestion.  You could try telling your family that your friend is somewhat reserved about matters of the heart and may be terribly embarrassed by their teasing.  That could very well be true.  However, if your family is as vocal as you make them seem; I doubt this would suffice.

I contacted resident angel of death, Andrew, for suggestions.  He suggested the angel might offer a line like "Marriage isn't for me although I think it can be a beautiful thing.  However, I've committed my life to God."  Andrew says he's found this sometimes makes people feel awkward and they'll walk away or change the subject.  Other people will accept it immediately and stop the insinuations.  And as a bonus: it's true!  Andrew also suggested introducing a quick change of topic.  Here's an example he offered:

Family member: So... you and Jane are really close, huh?  Do I hear wedding bells?  ::laugh::
Angel: Jane's a great girl but we're just friends.  How about that writer's strike? 

At that point my angelic helper developed one of his devilish grins and suggested that, if all else fails, the angel could just keep constantly eating.  That way, if asked a question about your assumed relationship, they have good reason not to answer.  After all, you're not supposed to talk with your mouth full.  I asked Andrew if he was speaking from experience and he declined to answer. 

Best of luck, Anyone!  I hope one of these suggestions will work for your and your friend.
Good luck,
Annie Dru

Now the Dyelanders and friends share with us what they're most grateful for this holiday season...

Vincent- On this, the first Thanksgiving since Catherine and I were married, I cannot help but be thankful for my loving wife and all my family and friends. 

Andrew- I'm thankful for getting to celebrate another holiday among friends.  I can't believe that after Monica, Tess, Gloria and I went our separate ways that I worried I'd spend all my holidays alone when not Home!  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  So I'm thankful for all the ladies of Dyeland (even when they tease me 0;-), my fellow angels, and all those who have made this such a special place.  I'm, uh, thankful that this November hasn't been like last November.  I'm so grateful that everyone stood by me then... even when I didn't want them to.  On a happier note, I'm thankful for my hair.  It's not that I really care that much about it but apparently it brings others joy and laughter.  So I guess the occasional knots and split ends are worth it.

Gloria- I'm thankful for encyclopedias, especially the JABB one.  It's helped me learn more about all these great people.  Did you know that JenniAnn's named after a Welsh nun (Dwynwen) who became the patron saint of sick animals and lovers?  Did you know that Idlewild is named for a house in Lucy Maud Montgomery's "Anne" series?  Did you know that Dr. Matt Socad's last name is an acronym for "Son of Cliff and Daisy"?  Why's Tess looking at me like that?

Tess- I'm thankful that people, including know-it-all angels, respond quickly to my Looks.

Catherine- I'm thankful that the Wells portion of my name is now official! 

Monica- I'm thankful for mocha and espresso and java and lattes and macchiatos... especially when enjoyed with friends.

Lady JenniAnn- I'm thankful we're all healthy and happy!  I'm also thankful that we get to see angels so often.  How many people can say that?!?  I'm thankful for being able to split my time between Dyeland and the Tunnels: two places that let me be me.  Speaking of that, I'm thankful that I've finally found a way to really be a part of two communities I love dearly.  Their love, concern, and support and the chance to offer the same to them are probly what I'm most thankful for.  Besides Andrew's hair, of course.  Just kidding.  But I am thankful for it.  And tie-dye and flared jeans. 

Henry - I'm thankful for having the opportunity to work with such angels as Tess, Monica, Andrew, Adam, Nigel, Sam and all the other angels I've come in contact with.  It's been great and I hope that we're able to continue to be there for each other.  I'm also thankful for the Father for letting me have the chance to come to Dyeland and meeting everyone here.  It's been very special to create a home here and be warmly accepted into the fold of all of the Dyelanders and their many friends who live outside Dyeland as well.  I wouldn't want to be anywhere else when I'm not on assignment.
Lady Beth - I'm thankful for having friends here in Dyeland who have made it a special place to be and who have become like a 2nd family to me.  It must have been the Father who was silently talking to me before coming here, whispering in my ear how wonderful a place this is and that I'd be at home with everyone associated with Dyeland.  I never considered the fact that, in a roundabout way, I needed the company of others in order to grow and come out of a shell that had been created by being alone.

I'm also thankful for having a retreat in a special place amongst the Rocky Mountains in the country I've loved since birth.

I'm also thankful to celebrate 2 Thanksgivings in a month and a half of each other.  This means double the ham, stuffing, twice baked mashed potatoes, yams cooked in orange juice and brown sugar with pineapple, desserts....food in general.  Just think, Christmas is just over a month away so we can have this all again. lol

Yva- I am thankful that I have Sir Sven in my life and the joy we have found together. The last 12 and a half years of marriage have been absolute bliss. I am grateful that Willy was able to came to Dyeland and has not run away in absolute fright because of all the insanity that has happened since his arrival here. I am grateful for my beloved guardian, Nigel, my big brother, Vincent, and my friends who have always been there with me during those difficult times. I remain grateful that Dyeland has evolved into such a wonderful, warm, and caring place. I am grateful for the friends of Dyeland like Nigel's friend William, Father, the Tunnel children, Enos, and Leopold who have always been around, though not directly involved with its going's on. I am grateful to Father for sometimes letting me beat him at chess...even if he doesn't always admit to being distracted. Finally, I am grateful to God for reaching my 37th year.  :)

Nigel- I am grateful for all of the friends I have made, specifically during the time when I had been laid up with a broken leg.   Somehow, I have come to realize how special everything has been for me during the time when I truly needed the assistance of my friends. I am grateful to Lady Beth for all the cookies and encouragement that she has brought during the difficult times, specifically the aforementioned broken leg as well as my concern with the traumas regarding Andi. I am grateful to Vincent, Father, and all of our friends in the Tunnels for their kind regards when I have been away from Dyeland.  I am, furthermore, quite gratified in knowing that Lady JenniAnn and Lady Catherine for staying in touch and trying to assist me when everything happened with Andi. I am thankful, too, for Rose, who took care of Lady Sarah, Sir Toby, Miss Ellie and Hannibal when neither myself nor Sir Sven were able or available to do so. Finally, I am thankful that I am still able to be Yva's guardian and that she brought me to Dyeland in the first place.

Adam- I am grateful for Turkeys.  What else?  :) I am also grateful that my turkeys did not destroy Tourkia during the past few months when I have rarely been at home.  For that, I am grateful to the Father.  Of course, I am grateful to Monica for checking in on things there when I am away. I am thankful that I didn't have to dress as the orange for the Halloween Party (sorry Henry, but you lost when we drew the straws).  I am thankful to the Father for humor, fun, end those enjoyable times with friends.  Along those same lines, I remain grateful that whenever I comes back to Dyeland, I have this uncanny feeling that I have never been away.  That's a sense of family that gives an angel a very special feeling. Finally, I am grateful for all my friends, whether they are human or angels.  There is something very special about having friends, and my gratitude is always present for this.

Willy- As Marcel Proust said "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."  I am grateful to everyone in Dyeland for welcoming me so warmly.  I am also quite fond of this wonderful place, and the new factory is like a dream. I am thankful to Adam for having introduced me to Yva, who somehow caused a ripple effect that brought me to Dyeland.  I am thankful that there is something in this world that is sweeter than candy, and that is the loving friends who have allowed my presence here. I am grateful for getting the chance to work with such delightful people as Lady Beth and can exchange such wonderful dialogues with such gentle and kind people as Lady JenniAnn and Rose.  I am grateful for the newfound friendship with Vincent and Father.  Their acceptance has been truly a wondrous thing.  Finally, I am filled with gratitude for having the opportunity to host parties and give of myself to all of you.

Jessie- I am grateful for Vincent, Father, Adam, and all my friends in Dyeland. I am thankful to Yva and Willy for the wonderful costume and the Halloween party. I am grateful that Lady JenniAnn is such a wonderful teacher and that she doesn't yell at me when I sometimes forget to practice reading. I am grateful for my home. I am thankful for Adam for all the pictures he sends me. I am also thankful to Willy for the yummy candy he shares with us whenever he visits._____.________

A Thanksgiving Prayer

I was asked to write a prayer to end this JABB with.  I'm not sure why I was asked specifically.  I suspect it may have something to do with the person who requested this of me being a big fan of a certain poignant scene in "The Journalist."  Whatever the reason, it's my honor to write this.  Prayer's an important part of my life and I hope everyone finds a place for it during the holiday season.

Your friend,

Dear Father,

Thank You for this day and every day that You've given us.  Thank You for the company of friends and family.  Help us to always be there for one another and to welcome, with open arms and hearts, anyone who may come our way.  Help us to remember that we are all Your children and Your love shines on us all.
As we embark on this holiday season and begin (or continue) our shopping and baking and decorating, help us to always make the time to talk to You.  May we always remember that this season is Your season and our lives are Your lives.  In remembering these things, I pray we draw closer to You and to each other and realize that those bonds are truly the cause for celebration.  Not gifts or sweets, as wonderful as those may be. 
Thank you, Father, for all the gifts You've given us and most especially Your love.  We love you.


JABB 234

(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.  They are not being used to seek profit.  Also, my brother drew this turkey years ago for the first Thanksgiving JABB.  I guess I was feeling nostalgic and used it for this background.)