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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Perspective

Thanksgiving Day Perspective
I know that life progression has a way of complicating everything, but it doesn't have to be.  In my early years I loved Thanksgiving for many reasons, I’ll just highlight two or three:
  • Time away from school, I didn’t realize the opportunity to learn in front of me, because I was on automatic pilot.  I was blessed with a mind like a sponge that simply absorbed all that the school system had to offer, and more.  I was an “A grade” student from the 6th grade through high school, and I didn’t have to work hard at it.  Prior to 6th grade I was a B and B+ student, until it all fell in place.  Consequently time (vacation) away from school was an opportunity to relax and have fun (later in life, opportunity to work).
  • Food was many times more than plentiful, after all we lived on the farm.  My mother could just go down to the cellar, and grab any of her ample supply of canned (Mason Jar) goods that she had personally canned.  The selection was varied: asparagus, peaches, cherries, sweet peas, corn, and apricots, on and on.  The freezer this time of year was always jammed packed with beef, pork, chickens, fish, deer meat, and even game hens.  Thinking back, I suppose we were poor, by typical standards, but in fact we were very blessed, we had a nice 4 bedroom home, we all shared a loving family, more food then we could eat, a warm furnace, a new family station wagon, and great health.  With all those possessions we were above average wealthy.  More importantly we were grateful.
  • A special day for family gathering.  Our family has always been a close knit unit, Thanksgiving was special in that we came together and shared the day and a meal.  Our home back then was the center of the family, every celebration throughout the year was held at our house.  This was my opportunity to spend time with family including those that lived out of town.  My cousins would come over, and hang out all day long.  Before I was a teenager we would spend time playing checkers, cards, darts, or simply throwing the football around in the front yard.  After we grew up we might go target practice with 22 rifles, or ride off road motorcycles (this motorcycles were the ones used on the farm to move around checking the irrigation of fields most of the year) through the now harvested beet, potato and cornfields.  Sometimes we would simply go into the nearby fields and pheasant hunt with our shotguns.
In present time our home is still the center of the family for most celebrations.  A few years ago we tried to pass on the mantle to our oldest married child (on a test basis), but decided it wasn’t the right time yet.  We noticed that not everyone was as cooperative, as when we celebrate at our house.
One major change that we noticed last year for the first time:  My wife has relented, and allowed me in the kitchen to be her Assistant Chef, on Thanksgiving Day.  I feel a warm and fuzzy feeling at the promotion.  I don’t brag about it, but can’t help but feel special about the new privilege.  I love working alongside my wife, and helping prepare the salads (potato salad, green salad, fruit salad), and other numerous responsibilities that I get on a need to know basis.  Christmas is definitely mostly for the children, but Thanksgiving has something for everyone, and I for one am looking forward to it.  The best is yet to come….

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