Thanks for Thanksgiving. Is that redundant?
I’m thankful to whoever came up with the official holiday, even though we all know the story of the Pilgrims and the Indians and Squanto and all the doin’s after a very tough time in the New World. Well, New World for the Pilgrims.
That “first” Thanksgiving no doubt was very different from how we celebrate today.
It’s chaotic and exciting at my house.
Family and friends are here, we’re jammed into the place and the tantalizing aromas of turkey and sweet potatoes and cinnamon are wafting throughout.
It always makes me think of my dearly departed mother, who loved this holiday and enjoyed weeks of preparation for it. It makes me feel she’s living again through me as I relish that role.
Earl, our dearly departed half-Siamese cat, also gets remembered. As I’ve written, Earl’s shrill howl always grew more and more piercing as the turkey baked. Then, my father, who didn’t really like cats anyway, would boot Earl out the back door to consider the holiday on his own.
For the uninitiated host or hostess, Thanksgiving can be pretty daunting.
Guests have certain expectations. But thankfully, for Thanksgiving, they usually are in it for the fellowship as much as the food.
With this in mind, the entertainment baton goes to my adult children, who seek every opportunity to prompt my brother and sister to tell the family stories.
For our new guests, we know these stories are crucial to their initiation into the fellowship. They need to appreciate knowing where this madness comes from.
For we “older” folks, there’s a certain responsibility to pass down the lore to be repeated 30 years from now, when none of us is likely to be there, and if we are, to even remember it very well.
We probably won’t inaugurate the “thankful for” circle my sister experienced at an in-law’s house back when each was called upon to express the obvious. But we will remember that after one man’s spouse said she was thankful for him, the poor man stalled mentally at his own turn and took several embarrassing seconds to recall his proper response. More than one eyebrow was raised during his pregnant pause.
If we were to begin such a tradition, which we will not, I’m afraid I’d be nearly as verbose as a chemically altered guest many years ago, who seized the spotlight during the Blessing. At some point, my then-young children carefully raised their eyes toward me as the head-bowed moment extended and extended almost to the plumbing fixtures and the newly paved driveway.
In truth, we all have much to be thankful for.
Today, we all have a moment to be publicly thankful – a moment when it’s not corny or embarrassing to acknowledge that the good things in our lives matter.
I hope you will embrace the moment, too, and savor how truly blessed we are to be living where we do. And how dear we hold those people around us.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596.
Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal