|NORMAN ROCKWELL'S "FREEDOM FROM WANT',,,|
Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. 32 degrees F at the ferry dock, 31 on the back porch. Wind NNE, gusty at times. The sky has a leaden overcast, it is snowing lightly and it is rather miserable out. The humidity is 91% and the barometer continuing to rise, now at 30.31", presaging a sunny weekend ahead.
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday, as it has no real premiss or ideology except thankfulness and family. There certainly is nothing wrong with an occasional feast day, despite pests like PETA attempting to spoil it all by berating us for killing and eating turkeys, those “intelligent, sensitive creatures,” and attempting, like all tyrannical entities, to turn children against their parents. You would think we were all cannibals for consuming farm raised turkeys, which are about as intelligent and sensitive as a fence post. But, PETA and other crazies aside, Thanksgiving is a day to enjoy life and family, and to celebrate our freedom and good fortune.
We will not be with family again this year, but perhaps next year we can gather children and grandchildren under one roof somewhere in this great country; but as for today, Joan and I will dine alone. Our seasonal church family has dispersed until Christmas, and there are few other options, with no community celebration in Bayfield. Other years we have gathered a surrogate family for the feast, a few other lonely souls far from their families, to celebrate and be thankful.
Have you ever noticed that Americans are very good at gathering themselves together, becoming a family when the occasion calls for it? I don’t believe most other cultures are very prone to do that. Tribal societies do that quite well; I see our Indian neighbors doing it all the time for various celebrations.
I like to think of us Americans not so much as a nation, but as a great extended family; not a tribe based on genetics, but a tribe, if you will, based on shared cultural values and deeply held beliefs. These days my faith in that concept is under attack, but Thanksgiving will renew it.
So, alone or in company with others, let us will eat our fill, thank God, or Providence, or The Great Spirit, for the bountiful harvest and the successful hunt.
And then watch the Packers beat the proverbial stuffing out of the Bears.