THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Tales from the old-timer
By Jane Thibodeau Martin,
daughter of the Old-Timer
It seems that the Norman Rockwell version of Thanksgiv-ing is a formal dining room table, laden with serving platters, and a surrounding family in formal attire. I am not personally familiar with that kind of Thanksgiving.
No, when I think of Thanksgiving, I have totally different memories.
Since in Wisconsin, Thanksgiving coincides with the deer hunting season (a sort of holiday in and of itself), many of my memories were of the excitement of hearing shots fired in the woods around the house, wondering who had gotten bucks and watching for the carcasses being driven around on car hoods. It was a big deal, and even though no one in my immediate family hunted, I got a bit caught up in the passion everyone else seemed to have.
Thanksgiving was the calm before the storm of the Christmas season, a more laid-back time with less demands on everyone. My sister and I, both horse-crazy, would anxiously wait for the big parades on television. Back then, there were more marching bands, big balloons and our favorite horse units. Now it seems like a lot of minor celebrities lip-synching and dancing. I cant even bear to watch anymore. We would watch the parade seated on hard-sided suitcases topped with pillows, which were our horses.
Then the big dinner time would arrive, with a few of our relatives joining us. No one got dressed up, but there was plenty of great food. And of course a little football. Nothing wrong with watching football on a holiday in my mind, as long as its family time.
Perhaps one of the fondest holiday memories in my family was the year that the plastic turkey cooking bag that got discarded after the meal somehow ended up in the digestive tract of the family dog, necessitating a trip to the vet for an awkward removal procedure. This led to many years of jokes in our family.
As I have gotten older I appreciate more the concept of using the day to reflect on all the things I have to be grateful for. So I have that to add to the other traditions of my holiday observance.
I invite you to join me in giving thanks this year that we live in one of the greatest countries on earth - yes, we disagree about politics and priorities, but we are truly fortunate in so many ways to be here.
And I will give also give thanks that there are so many readily available veterinarians should any turkey bag emergencies arise.