Happy Thanksgiving

This will mark my 25th Thanksgiving in the United States. I am very aware that this will, in all likelihood, be our last ‘turkey day’, at least here in the US. As a child, my only experience with Thanksgiving was through the pages of a novel and it always seemed too good to be true – all that sharing and harmony and downright neighborliness, all that unmitigated friendliness and have-a-nice-day-ness made me somewhat uncomfortable.  I was truly amazed, then, to experience Thanksgiving here and to realize that all that American bonhomie and friendliness is exactly as it appears. These people are genuinely friendly and goodnatured and their first instinct is to invite others to sit at the table and share in the feast.

My very first Thanksgiving was in Connecticut. We were invited to the family home of another graduate student to spend the holidays. There must have been 50 people there. I had never seen such big turkeys. Afterwards, there was a football game – can’t recall how the sides were drawn but the whole thing seemed to be completely lawless and I have a vague recollection of the umpire being legally blind. (Remember, I was used to soccer.) I think it was the next day that I watched a “real” football game on TV. It was the one where Doug Flutie threw that Hail Mary pass in the dying seconds to win the game for Boston College. I have to confess, I was hooked right there. I became a Patriots fan only to see them crushed by the Bears in the SuperBowl. We moved to Chicago and I became a Bears fan – hey, I gotta live here – and well, maybe this year.

Our “last” Thanksgiving will be a quiet one. Just us, eating too much turkey and maybe drinking a glass of wine as we think about all we have to be thankful for. The list is long – our families, our friends, our health, these top the list. So happy Thanksgiving to one and all. May your turkey be tasty and your stuffing delicious.

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