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Thanksgiving Greetings!

November 23, 2016


Thankful for My Hometown of Blanford, Indiana:


A Month–Not Just a Day–of Thanks, Week 4


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



For a short while after my dad served for four and a half years in the Army during World War II, my parents lived in Indianapolis.  Although my dad had lived and worked in the capital of Indiana prior to his enlistment in the Army, he, in late 1945,  no longer cared to reside in a large city; he and my mother decided to return to Vermillion County where they had “grown up”–Dad, in Klondyke, and Mother, in nearby Blanford.  Fortunately, they chose to make their home (of eventually almost fifty-five years) in the small, rural town of Blanford.  This Blanford house, where we had celebrated so many holidays and happy times, seems now to me like the granting of a wish after I had been pulling on the right side of the turkey’s wishbone.  Even though I now prefer living in a city with sidewalks, I am ever so grateful that my parents chose to raise their two daughters in a small, rural Hoosier town.


Since my dad had a cerebral hemorrhage on the Sunday morning of November 16, 1997, and did not pass until two weeks later on December 1, my mother, my sister, my cousin Carole, my first Leader Dog Keller, and I spent Thanksgiving of 1997 at Union Hospital (Terre Haute, Indiana) to be near my beloved father.  That saddest Thanksgiving of all for us only makes all of the other Thanksgivings of a lifetime shine brighter and happier with a cornucopia stuffed with gratitude.


So much of my perspective on writing and much of my style of writing comes from my hometown of Blanford and its Jacksonville Grade School.  On April 9, 2012 (coincidentally seventy-one years to the day that my dad entered into his Army service), I wrote the following twenty-seven-line poem for the Hadley School for the Blind (now Hadley Institute for the Blind, Winnetka, Illinois) course “Elements of Poetry.”  The challenge of Exercise 13 of the sixth lesson of this course was to write a one-sentence poem with enjambment, and my one-stanza poem of only one sentence and with enjambment is:



Biography of a House in the Heartland


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



In a locket


in my heart,


I keep and remember this


precious place


with clumps of lilies-of-the-valley clinging


to her east side like pretty paint on toenails while


the perennial porch swing, successful hummingbird feeder, and wrought iron


bedeck the large front porch from where


three points of the compass can offer a view of


the lawn, west of the white-rocked driveway, sinking


(due to the abandoned underground coal shaft filling with water), along with


the field of Christmas trees, the wheat fields and corn fields and some cattle


to the north until the east span is revealed


between the blue spruce and the gob pile of shale


atop which is unveiled the southern vista of


the field that rolls back to the small woods from where


one can easily walk to the back door of the house


built by my grandfather in 1914


(the year his youngest, my mother, was born)


and lived in by my parents from after


my dad’s four and a half years in World War II until his death at age 84 when


my mother walked circles in the snow until a neighbor came to help at this house


where a cerebral hemorrhage took away all


but the memories


and the heart


of a house


in the Hoosier heartland.



May your house be filled with gratitude, grace, and happiness this Thanksgiving Day,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


November 23, 2016, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Dear Alice.
    One word makes an attempt to sum up my feelings of this, your latest post.


    May the memories and company of those you love fill your Thanksgiving cup to the brim.

    Thank you.

    • Deon–I hope that you and your family are enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving today. On this Thanksgiving, I am thankful that you are such a loyal reader of my WORDWALK blog and am especially grateful for your outstanding, weekly comments. Finally, I do appreciate having the opportunity to collaborate with you on two poems and hope we can give collaboration another whirl before the next Thanksgiving.

      Blessings to you and yours–Alice and Willow

  2. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–once again your memories of Blanford reveal a snapshot of your growing-up years and make me think of my own–a lot to be thankful for! Hope you and Willow have many more Thanksgivings together–Sue

    • Sue–Many thanks for your comment. I hope that you and John and your families had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

      Take care! More soon–Alice and Willow

  3. Fran Rayce permalink

    Alice, So many familiar images in your poem- thank you for the word pictures and the memories.
    Love, Fran

    • Fran–Thank you for your comment. Your comment and Mary’s were posted one minute apart.

      I hope that you and your family enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving.

      Take care! More soon–Alice

  4. mfanyo permalink

    Dear Alice,
    On this 102nd anniversary of our mother’s birth, my thoughts are with her and with all the precious memories that your touching poem described so beautifully. I always associate the Thanksgiving holiday with Mother’s birthday and with the delicious homemade noodles and pies she made every year for the family feast.
    With tears in my eyes and gratitude in my heart,

    • Mary–Yes, I, too, have been thinking of our mother today. Besides the noodles and pies, I remember her taking to the family’s Thanksgiving dinner at Aunt Zita’s polenta dolce (my favorite), pineapple squares (the delicious pastry for which she was “famous”), fresh cranberry sauce,

      and her favorite Jell-O salad (lemon Jell-O with pineapple, carrots,celery, and walnuts). In later years, we had her birthday cake made at the IGA Bakery (Clinton, Indiana): the beautifully decorated cake frquently featured a turkey since her birthday was either on or near Thanksgiving. I never heard her complain about all the cooking and baking she did while working full-time at the post office and, at times, helping out at her sister’s restaurant and her family’s grocery store. Thanks for your comment and much more–Alice and Willow

  5. During our younger years, Thanksgiving was one of my favorite times for family get-togethers; however, 1997’s Thanksgiving was one that sadly brought us together like none other. Those memories will not be forgotten.

    • Carole–your commenting on this post today is quite poignant because of today being December 1. I appreciate all of the other “likes” which you noted today also.

      Enjoy the holiday season–Alice and Willow

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