Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we’d go!
Thanksgiving was always a very special time when I was growing up. Mom and Dad would load my brother Paul and I in Dad’s Oldsmobile 98 and off we’d go. We would travel either to Connecticut to Dad’s parents or New Hampshire to Mom’s parents. Those were exciting days to a child. Our anticipation grew as the miles rolled by. What great adventures awaited us? What great stories would Grandpa have for us? How many Aunts, Uncles and cousins would be there? What special dessert would Grandma surprise us with this year? Those were special times and created wonderful memories.
Over the river and through the woods to hunting camp they’d go!
My Dad loved to go deer hunting. When my older brother Paul was old enough to go deer hunting, Thanksgiving was celebrated at home. As soon as Dad and Paul ate all the Thanksgiving dinner they could, Mom would pack them sandwiches for their trip and for hunting camp. Mom and I would start making Christmas decorations and I would work on my letter to Santa Claus. I went deer hunting with Dad once and froze my butt off. I decided that I wasn’t a hunter. I was cold and there was no way I could shoot Bambi. The Friday after Thanksgiving was just another day and was just called Friday.
Thanksgiving after childhood.
Thanksgiving is always a special day to me. Memories of the good times our family had always come flooding back. After my brother graduated from High School, he joined the Air Force. Distance became a problem and we couldn’t get together. After I graduated from college, I also joined the Air Force and was sent for training as a Missile Launch Control Officer and then stationed at Minot Air Force Base in Minot, North Dakota. Once again, times and Thanksgiving had changed for us. Paul and I both found wives and started our own families.
No more having a day off on holidays.
When you’re in the military, holidays become different. The same is also true for those in many jobs – doctors, law enforcement, firemen, nurses, emergency services, transportation, hotels and resorts, restaurants and tourist attractions and amusement parks. They all require staff working on holidays. I worked almost every holiday and I would volunteer so that those who had children could spend it with them. My wife Susan works in dietary services at a local hospital and she is working on Thanksgiving and again on Christmas, along with many of her co-workers. Patients have to be treated, fed and taken care of.
When I hear people complaining about how terrible it is that retail employees have to work on Thanksgiving, my reaction is “Oh well, that’s too bad’.
We live in an ever-changing world.
Our world has changed so much since we were the children of the 1950s. Everything moves so much faster now. We now start seeing Christmas decorations and sale in stores in October. We have Black Friday, Pre-Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and sale after sale after sale. Walmart starts Black Friday at 6 PM on Thanksgiving evening. Whey do they then call it Black Friday? We have become victims of constant advertising. We become victims of and participants in a mob mentality. We end up fighting each other to get the last crappy item that’s on sale.
Have we lost the true meaning of Thanksgiving?
Unfortunately, I think we have lost its meaning. It’s now all about sales and getting the best bargains even if we can’t afford them. We have started caring about nothing other than our own pleasure. Our “wants” overwhelm us, even though they are not our “needs”.
We have forgotten what Thanksgiving is all about: “A day of giving thanks for the blessing of harvest and of the past year.” Thanksgiving is meant to be a day of reflection, a day to give thanks for our blessings, our family, friends and relatives, And it’s meant to be a day to give thanks for our lives and the freedoms that we enjoy.
This Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for those who enrich our lives.
I am truly blessed to have all of you as friends, family and followers and thank you all for the support and love you have shown me. My wish for all of you is for a harvest of blessings, good health and good times, along with the gift of faith and the blessing of hope.
Thank you all so much for the hope, peace and joy that you bring to my life!