SFPNN Special Edition – 11/24/04   Thanksgiving Issue

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--- Thanks to everyone who contributed to today's Thanksgiving Day Special Edition


By Joseph Walker

The Thanksgiving table at our house will look different this year – and not just because Anita bought some swell new decorative plates, some new goblets and a lovely gold tablecloth.

            It will also look different because of the people who won’t be there.

            Dad, for example.  Of course, he hadn’t sat at our Thanksgiving table for several years before he died a few months ago.  But there was always a big Thanksgiving dinner at the Alzheimer’s care center where he lived, and we enjoyed going there and spending the evening with him.  One year he started a food fight at our table.  Trust me on this: you haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a food fight at an Alzheimer’s care center.  I’ll never forget the mischievous smile on his face as he loaded up his spoon with mashed potatoes, or the hearty laugh that escaped his throat each time he hit his target (which, for some reason, was always me).  It’s the last time I remember hearing him laugh like that.  I’ll miss that laugh this Thanksgiving – and I’ll miss Dad.

            Mike won’t be there either, nor will little Samantha.  They’re both still around, thank heavens.  But things are different now.  We see him fairly regularly, and he’s always so wonderful and loving toward us.  We invite him to family activities, but with him and Amy divorcing . . . well, things are different.  While we’ll always be Sammie’s grandparents, we’ll have to do more sharing on these precious family holidays – and I have never been very good at sharing.  So we’ll have to figure out this whole evolving relationship thing.  Last Thanksgiving Mike was my son-in-law – this year he’s . . . well, I’m not exactly sure what to call him.  I just know that I love him.  And I’ll miss him at our Thanksgiving table.

            Joe Jr. and Jen and their two adorable little girls won’t be there this year, either.  They’ll be spending Thanksgiving with Jen’s family.  Again, it’s that sharing thing – I hate it.  Especially this year, which may be Joe and Jen’s last Thanksgiving here for a long time.  Joe is starting law school next fall – possibly 3,000 miles away.  Who knows when they’ll be back for Thanksgiving?  Let the record show that whenever that time comes, it’s OUR turn to have them.  Meanwhile, I won’t wait until they go away to start missing them.  I’ll start missing them now.

            All of which could possibly make for a fairly melancholy Thanksgiving around the Walker table.  But then I start thinking about who WILL be there: my very best friend in the whole world (that would be Anita), four of my five children, who I love more than life itself (Amy, Andrea, Elizabeth and Jon), Anita’s parents (who love me even though I’m not Spanish and I don’t know a carburetor from a clutch), Anita’s brother Brent (without whom our house would have collapsed and our van would have died years ago), Anita’s Aunt Neala (who has the world’s greatest laugh) and other much-loved friends and family members.

            And it occurs to me: for all of the change-ups and curve balls life throws at me, there still is much for which I can be thankful this Thanksgiving.  For the most part our family is healthy (thanks to the wonders of modern medicine), we have a roof over our heads (and 40 or 50 brand new shingles, which replaced those that were blown off in a series of wild wind storms last spring), we have food on our table (even though we weren’t particularly thankful a couple of months ago when we had to empty the savings account to replace the stove in which our food is cooked) and we are surrounded by loved ones who care about us as much as we care about them.

            And that’s the real main course on Thanksgiving, isn’t it?  Oh sure, it’s about turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie and parades and football games on TV.  But more than anything else, it’s about family.  Dear friends.  Loved ones.

            Those with whom we share Thanksgiving – and those who we miss.

    © Joseph Walker

Iroquois Thanksgiving Prayer

— thanks to Lori

We return thanks to our mother,

the earth, which sustains us.

We return thanks to the rivers and streams,

which supply us with water.

We return thanks to all herbs,

which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.

We return thanks to the moon and stars,

which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.

We return thanks to the sun,

that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.

Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit,

in Whom is embodied all goodness, and

Who directs all things for the good of Her children.

~ Iroquois Prayer ~


The 12 Days Of Thanksgiving


— thanks to Wanni

On the First Day.....

We give thanks for the fresh turkey feast

and its hot trimmings.


On the Second Day.....

We bless the cold turkey sandwiches,

sloshy cranberry sauce, and hard rolls.


On the Third Day.....

We praise the turkey pie

and vintage mixed veggies.


On the Fourth Day.....

We thank the pilgrims for not serving bison

that first time, or we'd be celebrating

Thanksgiving until April.


On the Fifth Day.....

We gobble up cubed bird casserole and

pray for a glimpse of naked turkey carcass.


On the Sixth Day.....

We show gratitude (sort of) to the creative cook

who slings cashews at the turkey and calls it Oriental.


On the Seventh Day.....

We forgive our forefathers and pass

the turkey-nugget pizza.


On the Eighth Day.....

The word ''vegetarian'' keeps popping into our heads.


On the Ninth Day.....

We check our hair to make sure we're not

beginning to sprout feathers.


On the Tenth Day.....

We hope that the wing meat kabobs

catch fire under the broiler.


On the Eleventh Day.....

We smile over the creamed gizzard because

the thigh bones are in sight.


On the Twelfth Day.....

We apologize for running out of turkey leftovers.

And everybody says Amen.




Give Thanks

— thanks to Lori

When you arise in the morning,

give thanks for the morning light,

for your life and strength.


Give thanks for your food

and the joy of living.


If you see no reason for giving thanks,

the fault lies in yourself.


~ Tecumseh ~

A Thanksgiving Greeting

thanks to Diane

Click here: E-cards and Web Cards by Jacquie Lawson, animated e-cards, Christmas cards


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