OK it’s a day early but I plan to do no work tomorrow…R and I are going to Norm’s restaurant for turkey and all the trimmings ($9.99) and then to a movie. We have moved our Thanksgiving celebration to Saturday so it can be spent with family that have other obligations on this day.

I remember the days when the kids were growing up – We would “do” Thanksgiving at one grandparent’s house, and then drive 100 miles to “do” it at another. David mentioned to me yesterday that at least we got a real dose of L-tryptophan. I now wonder how we made it home without falling asleep. Now we have a tradition of moving the celebration to fit the family’s schedules. Makes a lot of sense to me.

But what about giving thanks? For those of you outside the US, this may seem a tad strange. We have a holiday that is built around feasting and giving thanks to our good Lord or whomever we happen to worship, for the abundance we enjoy. It seems that this is a unique holiday for Americans (Ok I know, I know Canadians and Australians celebrate the day, but if you talk to them, it just isn’t even close to the same.) Here in the US, this is our biggest family holiday. People travel for days so families can be together. There is traditional food – usually turkey in some form with dressing (stuffing) and vegetables, five kinds of potatoes, wine, and various kinds of dessert (usually somewhere in there is pumpkin pie).

Stuffing is my specialty. I base it on week old bread crumbs, (make em myself) and pork sausage, raisins, mushrooms, celery, apples, and a bunch of spices including sage, pepper, and some secret ones I can’t remember but will when I see the bottles in the cabinet. You make a ton of the stuff, put in the turkey, and even under the skin, and then put the rest in a pyrex dish and bake it. Periodically when the turkey is dripping, you use one of those “turkey basters” and put the juice in the extra stuffing.

Usually there’s half a turkey and half the stuffing left over. That’s good because then you can have turkey and stuffing sandwiches – usually with some cranberry sauce. But why am I writing all this. You know it already.

This is a year I’m thankful is over and we are as healthy and prosperous as we were when it started. We had the recession, lost two dogs, have a sick cat, had one car totaled (no one injured), lost a third of the tree in the back yard, and moved half the household to Atlanta. But we survived very well, thank you very much.

All of this has gotten me to think about people who groan and moan about their troubles, woe woe woe. They complain about everything. They remember every detail of every problem they have had since kindergarten. Then I remember that everyone has basically the same problems. Anyone who has ever had a pet has lost a pet. If you own a tree, part of it has fallen down. If you own a car, you have had a wreck. People move, jobs change. And we all survive. It’s a thing called life.

So my thoughts on Thanksgiving go to the fact that my life is full, busy, exciting, sometimes frightening, but never dull. The problems are opportunities (new dog that doesn’t bark, new car, replace that tree that is so dirty with a pergola, and I get to see a part of the country I seldom visit. But I thank the good Lord most that I am a “glass half full kind of guy.” As R would say – “suck it up and get on with it.” Not a bad approach when you consider the alternative.

Have a wonderful day tomorrow – Eat too much, watch football til you drop, and then spend three days recovering. And give thanks…


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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