Happy Thanksgiving! Several years ago, I came to the realization that I actually prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas. First of all, it evokes all those memories of warmth & coziness against the chill of winter, aromatic smells coming from the kitchen, good cheer and good food shared with good people, tummies that are too full for comfort, with the added bonus of football on tv; but without all the hassles and pressures of Christmas. The other reason is that no matter where I’ve been in the world, there have always been people to celebrate with, who were able to make the day special.
Of course, during my early years, and into my undergraduate college days, that meant Thanksgiving with my family. But when I ventured too far away to make it home by Wednesday night, I began to make my own “traditions,” even if they changed from year to year.
My first Thanksgiving away from home was in graduate school at Michigan State University. I was too far away to drive home, and to broke to afford a plane ticket. So, several of us gathered together at a friend’s apartment and had a feast, even if we we ate off of paper plates, sitting on the floor in front of the tv.
Then there was the year I was working in Rochester, NY, as an audiologist & speech scientist. I was presenting my thesis at the annual convention of the American Speech & Hearing Association (now named the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, but still abbeviated as ASHA) in San Francisco the week before Thanksgiving. My boss, a wonderful man, told me to stop over in Iowa on the way back. I remember flying into Omaha, NE, and having to make several attempts to land in foggy weather. The pilot told us that he’d give it one more try, but if that didn’t work out, we’d be diverted to Des Moines or Souix City. Either of those would have been viable options, except that my parents & grandfather were waiting for me in Omaha. Fortuanately, third time was a charm. My mother (who was the designated driver in those days) was especially grateful, not only to have me land in Omaha, but also to simply have me home for Thanksgiving.
These days, the holiday doesn’t include family, as my parents are deceased, or football, as many of my friends are not fans. But I still manage to have a good time. There’s a chill in the air, but it’s warm inside. The hostess has a small but lovely & welcoming home. When I arrive, the place will be alive with the aroma of turkey & trimmings wafthing thru’ the air, I’ll spend time with cherished friends, I’ll eat too much & possibly drink to much too. And maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll get one or two of them to watch Supernatural with me.