Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Ahhh... Turkey Day

I'll be winging it on Wednesday morning for Austin, Texas. Sounds like it's going to be a humdinger of a good time at THe House of the Red Door. Mum has already purchased our turkey, and I understand I am responsible for locating some other goods once I am on the ground in Austin.

Last year a student from Taiwan asked me "So what is Thanksgiving?"

And I tried to give the elementary school version and explain how the Pilgrims wanted to give thanks after a terribly crappy first year, and wanted to celebrate the harvest, and invited some of their new pals from the Native American village over the hill.

"And then we killed all of the Indians!" my helpful classmate piped up.

"Well, that's the longer version of the story--" I began. By now the poor Taiwanese student was a bit horrified.

"We gave them diseases and shot them all," concluded my classmate.

"American history is..." I was searching for a word. "Complicated. But the basic gist is that it's about coming together to give thanks for the year."

"What is a pilgrim?"

"They were these guys from England who felt they weren't free enough in England to, uh... well, they were seeking religious freedom. They wanted to be more religiously strict, and got kicked out of England. And then they went to Holland, and I think they more or less got kicked out of Holland. So they bought some land and sailed to the US."

"So the holiday is religious?"

"Yes. No. Yes. No. Well, it can be."

"So what do you do on Thanksgiving?"

"You eat a turkey and potatos and stuffing, watch football and argue with family."


"That's what we do at my house."

"Me too," my classmate replied.

"Sometimes," I added, "We play catch in the front yard."

The Taiwanese classmate's expression said it all. Not much of a Holiday.

But it is, and it's ours and it's groovy.

Enjoy your family. Enjoy your friends. Remember to stop and give thanks to God or Allah, or cosmic coincidence or whomever you give thanks to.

I'm thankful for

a decent job
Superman comics
a dog who never fails to make me laugh
a cat who never fails to entertain
and, as always, I'm thankful for Jamie

You guys go out there and have a nice Turkey Day

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