Happy Thanksgiving

Today is one of my favorite days in America. I grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where this day is usually cold. My mother rose early to get the turkey going. When the rest of us soon joined her in the kitchen, the whole house already smelled of stuffing and gravy and the bird in the oven.

Many American families watch sports on this day, but mine never did. I usually went hiking or skiing while Mom kept cooking. Later in the day, my large family of eventually seven siblings would come together around Mom to stuff, cut, mash, pour, mix, set, light, and help take care of the hundred other little tasks that come together to make today great.

Early in the afternoon our guests would arrive. Long ago there was Eleanor Burtnett, an elderly lady who’d seen the world with her family when her husband was alive. She taught me to be an altarboy in the church and checked up on my school studies now and then. I always fell short, but she had such an entertaining way of telling me how awful my generation was that I could forgive being the target of the attack.

Today, my family will meet in Colorado without me. I’m in Japan and it’s a little past 11:30 p.m. Thursday as I type. That’s 7:30 a.m. in Colorado and I can almost smell Mom at work in the kitchen. I’d call now, but I don’t want to disturb the turkey work. I’ll wait until past midnight my time and then give a call. Lest you feel sorry for me, I should mention that I’ll be home for Christmas and that Mom will be sure to cook another turkey then. I can’t wait.

From halfway around the world in the middle of the night, Happy Thanksgiving, America!

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