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May the Blessings of this Thanksgiving Fill Your Heart and Home!

by Desi Sowers

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.”
Henry Van Dyke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know?:

-    The first Thanksgiving was held in the autumn of 1621 and included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians and lasted three days. Many historians believe that only five women were present at that first Thanksgiving, as many women settlers didn't survive that difficult first year in the U.S.

-    Thanksgiving didn't become a national holiday until over 200 years later! Sarah Josepha Hale, the woman who actually wrote the classic song “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” convinced President Lincoln in 1863 to make Thanksgiving a national holiday, after writing letters for 17 years campaigning for this to happen.

-    No turkey on the menu at the first Thanksgiving: Historians say that no turkey was served at the first Thanksgiving! What was on the menu? Deer or venison, ducks, geese, oysters, lobster, eel and fish. They probably ate pumpkins, but no pumpkin pies. They also didn't eat mashed potatoes or cranberry relish, but they probably ate cranberries. And no, Turduckens (a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken) were nowhere to be found during that first Thanksgiving.

-    Thanksgiving was almost a fast — not a feast! The early settlers gave thanks by praying and abstaining from food, which is what they planned on doing to celebrate their first harvest, that is, until the Wampanoag Indians joined them and (lucky for us!) turned their fast into a three-day feast!

As you gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, take time to remember all that you have to be grateful for.  

Wishing you and yours a day filled with joy. 

 

 

Courtesy of your New River Valley Real Estate Expert Desi Sowers

 

Happy Veteran's Day!

by Desi Sowers

It happened on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. An armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as “the Great War.” Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.

Show your appreciation for our veterans by attending one of the events being held in their honor. See the links for details.

The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets’ Veterans Day remembrance ceremony. Veterans Day Remembrance Ceremony

Radford University Annual Veterans Day Ceremony

Event Link: Event

Virginia's Veterans Day Parade

Desi Sowers Wants to Help You Turn Back Time!

by Desi Sowers

It’s that time of year again!  Crisp Fall days, colorful leaves and oh yeah…”falling back.”  Clocks shift back to Standard Time on Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 2:00 AM. This shift in time moves one hour of daylight from the evening to the morning hours and gives us that treasured extra hour of sleep! With the end of Daylight Saving Time right around the corner, let’s take a look at the history of time change in our country.

Daylight Saving Time (DST) started in the USA in 1918 as a way to conserve fuel during WWI. It was not a new idea though.  Benjamin Franklin was an early proponent of changing clocks to create more daylight hours in order to save on candle use.  Time change use in the USA has changed often since 1918.  The most recent change was in 2007 when the dates were changed to the current schedule of the second Sunday in March as the beginning of DST and the first Sunday in November as the beginning of Standard Time.  One practical reason for this change was to extend DST past October 31 in order to provide more daylight for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.  Currently, 48 states observe the time change with only Arizona and Hawaii not participating.

Many people dislike DST and don’t understand the need for it.  The primary argument against it is that the time change effects sleep patterns thus causing an increase in workplace accidents and a decrease in sleep and productivity.  However, if we maintained Standard Time year round, the sun would set earlier during the spring and summer.  Retailers say that business is better when the sun shines later into the night and since more people shop in the evenings than in the mornings, DST is good for commerce. That’s part of the reason why Congress expanded DST in 2007. Since people generally do most of their free-time activities after work and not before, it makes sense to have more daylight in the evening. This begs the question, “why not keep DST year round?”.  Well, just ask farmers.  The primary defenders of Standard Time are farmers and others who must rise early. There is only so much daylight to go around and nobody enjoys having to get up when it’s dark, which is what DST does: it pushes the earlier hours into deeper darkness in exchange for more light after work.

One thing is certain. Moving our clocks in either direction changes the principal time cue - light - for setting and resetting our 24-hour natural cycle.  In doing so, our internal clock becomes out of sync with our current day/night schedule.  It can be especially challenging for young children who’s sleep patterns are disturbed by the time change.  A tip for helping children to adapt to the time change is to begin adjusting their schedules by about ten minutes at a time each night over the week prior to the time change.  Changing the clocks is also a good reminder to check your smoke detectors and to replace the batteries in them.

So, remember to “fall back” on November 6 and enjoy that extra hour of sleep!

 

If you would like to talk about buying or selling a home, give me a call 540-320-1328  or visit my website to Discover your new home.

How it all started - Costumes Pumpkins and Candy, oh my!

by Desi Sowers

Halloween conjures images of costumed children going house to house offering the question “trick or treat”? But it is so much more than that. It has become such a popular holiday that it is second only to Christmas as the top grossing holiday in America. Halloween has a rich history and hasn’t always been the holiday that it is today.

Evolving from the ancient Celtic holiday of Samhain, modern Halloween has become less about real ghosts and goblins and more about costumes and candy. The Celts used the day to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, and also believed that this transition between the seasons was a bridge to the world of the dead.  Over the past thousand years the holiday has transitioned from a somber pagan ritual to a day of merriment, costumes, parades and sweet treats for children and adults.  While trick or treaters venture out for one night on October 31st, a whole season of Halloween activities celebrate the fearful fun of Halloween.  Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, haunted houses and hayrides can all be found starting in late September and running through the first of November.

Here are a few fun facts you may not have known about Halloween:

  • The first jack o lanterns were made from turnips.
  • Fifty percent of kids prefer to receive chocolate candy for Halloween, compared with 24% who prefer non-chocolate candy and 10% who preferred gum.
  • The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by Norm Craven, who broke the world record     in 1993 with a 836 lb. pumpkin.
  • Trick-or-treating evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats and food to placate spirits who roamed the streets at Samhain, a sacred festival that marked the end of the Celtic calendar year.
  • Halloween is thought to have originated around 4000 B.C., which means Halloween has been around for over 6,000 years.

Halloween Happenings in Blacksburg

Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween!

Desi Sowers Your New River Valley Realtor

Fun Facts About Christmas!

by Desi Sowers

 

  • Each year, 30-35 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are 21,000 Christmas tree growers in the United States, and trees usually grow for about 15 years before they are sold.
  • Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.
  • The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith’s 1607 Jamestown settlement.
  • The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s.
  • Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.
  • Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931.    
  • Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states including Hawaii and Alaska.
  • By the 1890s Christmas ornaments were arriving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity was on the rise around the U.S.
  • The tallest living Christmas tree is believed to be the 122-foot, 91-year-old Douglas fir in the town of Woodinville, Washington.
  • In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony now held every year on the White House lawn.
  • Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.
  • The meaning of Christmas lights one common belief is that red represents passion, green represents vitality, yellow represents brilliance, white represents purity and blue represents a generosity of spirit

                      Learn more fun Christmas facts and traditions at the History.com

Memorial Day An American Holiday!

by Desi Sowers

Memorial Day, an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

Displaying blog entries 21-26 of 26

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Photo of Desi Sowers,  Associate Broker,  Real Estate
Desi Sowers, Associate Broker,
Certified Residential Specialist at REMAX 8
1344 N. Main Street
Blacksburg VA 24060
Phone: (540) 320-1328

Each Office Independently Owned and Operated