Native American Indian Totem Pole Clipart

November is Native American Heritage Month, a time to honor the rich culture of Native American communities. It’s a legendary time, when Americans come together to reenact the first Thanksgiving and give thanks their internet is working so they can read email and play games while mom microwaves dinner ordered on line. It’s an historic day of high expectations coupled with much trepidation as relatives converge and family legends are born.

It all began in the fall of 1621, when Plymouth Plantation Gov. William Bradford invited 91 Wampanoag Indians to join the 56 settlers in a three-day feast that would be regarded in years to come as the first Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims went shopping in the woods and returned with wild ducks and geese. What no turkeys? The Native Americans had supplied the Pilgrims with food and taught them farming techniques to survive a tough winter, and once again they saved the day bringing a hostess gift of five deer to the feast. But who made the green bean casserole and the pumpkin pie?

November got off to a bad start at the Rooney Bin, when my spouse Binmeister the hunter-gatherer headed to the backyard garden to transplant a bush and accidentally nicked an underground cable… or two, thus cutting off all communication with the world. Oh the tragedy.

It was “Pocahontas” to the rescue. That was me, the person designated to contact the cable provider and beg for immediate repairs before Binmeister imploded. A branch of my family tree has roots in Virginia, and I’m proud to say that according to family legend my maternal great, great, great someone or other married a Powhatan Indian, making me a possible descendant of Pocahontas, who was a Powhatan. In any case, after multiple back-and-forth calls and three onsite visits the problem is expected to be resolved…maybe by Thanksgiving.

It wasn’t unusual for New England colonists to celebrate with days of prayer to thank the Lord for good fortune, such as military victories, successful harvests or the end of a drought.  However, Thanksgiving didn’t become a regular celebration until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it a Federal holiday. In fact, the first time all 13 colonies celebrated Thanksgiving at the same time was in 1777 to commemorate the defeat of the British at Saratoga. George Washington tried to resurrect it as an annual tradition in 1789, but it was only celebrated off and on; I suspect the colonists wanted to wait until cable was invented to watch the parade and game on TV.