Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thank God for Thanksgiving

Anticipation is the best sauce for experience.

And so we love Thanksgiving.

When I was a kid,, the turkey started roasting  WITH THE DRESSING IN about 4 in the morning. I woke to the smells of coming feast, and bacon, maybe the world's favorite smell,..

I had a small family. I've met some big ones, out in the hinterlands of Texas, and they mostly  are kind people.

Thanksgiving is the thankful holiday. No presents. No decorating if you don't want to. No fireworks. No eggs to color, no argument about gifts at Valentine's Day.

Just you. Who you invite, who might not be family but are loved and welcome.

Love is all appreciated, and a full tummy of yummy food.

For most of us, that's enough. Some of us may not say it--I  do!-- but Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday.

It is the holiday that fits all sizes-- 1, 2,5, 20,well, y'know, Thanksgiving fits any size.

People say Thanksgiving is about plentitude. It never has been. Never has been if you look at history.
That first Thanksgiving we go on so much about involved survivors of a colony where half had already died. These weren't fat people,at all.. These were skinny survivors, and most of the children had already died in the past year.

Celebration is another word that means Thanksgiving. These gaunt survivors were celebrating their survival, the help the Indians gave them, and their joy of life over mourning.   A number did not survive the harsh winter.

It was, in modern parlance, a photo shot at the time.

So. Anticipation, Celebration. All to do about Thank God. We lived another year.

It is a simple  holiday. Very tasty. Unknown outside the United States, as such.

Small matters. It has been at least 60 years since I smelled turkey with dressing cooking, and country bacon frying for breakfast.

The smell alone told me it would be a great day. And it was.

Thanksgiving has somehow, through merchandising, become about opulence.

We historians, we amateur,  poor historians, know differently.

Thanksgiving is about survival.

It's nice if you have cranberries and rolls and some kind of meat and fancy vegetables and 100 pies to choose from. That's not anticipation, celebration, dedication. I think Thanksgiving is all three.
If you survived this year celebrate. Wherever.

 If it actually tastes good, be thankful.  If you can survive another few days or a month or a year, be thankful. But dedicate your life to making it better next year, however you can, lawfully, ethically.

Anticipate better times. That keeps you alive and  trying.

Celebrate yourself, your family and that you have food today.

Dedicate to make it better. Hey. Or at least as good. We talk about the food, not the hugs. How many of us would forgo the pie for the hug? I would. Hey, day after Thanksgivng, all those delicious pies go on sale. The hug is now.

Oh. Simplify. Always, simplify.

It helps the love show up better.

I so appreciate those with an abundance of love and food.  Many give to others.  I envy the tables of those tv chefs who are cooking next week. Yum!

But  Thanksgiving comes in many forms and stratas. 

For dinner, at Thanksgiving, a can of Spaghettios, Beef Wellington, and  plain turkey and dressing are all to be thanked for.

They all feed bellies. They all help us, with that belly, to anticipate the future with expectation.

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