We won’t be doing our Family Feeding Frenzy until Friday, which is fine. There is nothing sacrosanct about Thursday for Thanksgiving, an act of Congress not withstanding, when we can have everyone together on Friday. There was a time when I had to work many holidays because of my work in broadcasting, but I’m not the culprit this year. My sister, an ER nurse, had to work today. So Friday it is, and that’s just fine. It gives us an extra day to cook, and the stores will be open tomorrow should we need to go grab something last minute.
Cooking is kind of like a home improvement project. It seems like any recipe beyond the basic burger requires at least one trip to the store. It’s difficult, sometimes, to plan ahead when everything’s going to be closed. “You know, I thought I had (insert ingredient here).” When you have your dinner on Friday, you can get to the hardware … er … grocery store to get what ever it is.
But that has meant that today it’s been with random acts of cooking … bread has been baked, Andie’s ambrosia is resting in the fridge, flavors melding and waiting for marshmallows tomorrow. I’ve volunteered for mashed potato duty, which I won’t do until tomorrow, and mom wants me to make gravy. Can’t do that until there are turkey drippings from which to make gravy. There has been very little else to do, and that makes for a nice day off.
The day began with coffee, and Andie turned on the Macy’s parade. I know, it’s a holiday tradition, but the NBC folks either need new writers for the copy they so obviously read off the teleprompter, or they need to learn how to read non-news copy from the teleprompter. As it is, the decades-old copy comes across from the Today Show staff as “we’d rather be ANYWHERE other than here reading this stuff.” And I don’t know of any way to make it so that the performers lip-syncing from the floats actually look more like they’re performing … but sometimes it’s so far out of whack that even the people watching from the balconies along 7th Ave in New York City can tell.
High-Def television doesn’t make that any better for those of us watching us at home.
Then, it was off to the Pete’s Bar for the annual hullaballo on First Street. We made it about 20 minutes. I’m not much for mob scenes, and that’s very much what it has become. A couple thousand people jammed onto First street in front of Pete’s drinking at 10:00. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but by the time we got there at 11:00, there was no chance of getting to the bar. We saw a couple of people we knew, and were done.
But even without the tryptophan coma, it’s fun to watch football on Thanksgiving, and the first two of today’s games were good time wasters, if nothing else. Detroit/Green Bay was predictable, and Dallas/Oakland bordered on being ugly. Giants/Broncos is about to kick off, between teams with records above .500. We’ll see how this one goes.
The Lions/Packers game was on Fox, and they had nice little vignettes from service men and women overseas wishing their families Happy Thanksgiving. But the effect was, if not spoiled, lessened by the use of “The Colonel Bogey March” as background music. You may know it better as the Monty Python theme, and I kept expecting each of the vignettes to end with a ‘TTHHHBBBBBBBPPPPTTTTTT’, or to see little animated cherubs flying into the shot. It didn’t happen, but it did kind of detract from message.
There is always plenty for which to be thankful, even in the most challenging years. I’ll admit, I’ve had to dig deeper to find them this year, and I’m really ready for some good news, which has been elusive these past 13 months. I never imagined that I’d go over a year without going to an office every day, and yet we’re making the mortgage and the repo man hasn’t come for the cars. It’s been a struggle, to be sure, and there will be a lot of makeup to be done with the savings … but we’re better off than many.
So, truly a mixed bag this Thanksgiving. I do know that no deluge of commercials is going to entice me to go out and dig us deeper into debt this holiday season. I’m sure millions of families are pulling back on the season’s excess. And while I’m hopeful it’s just this year, I know that in the better times that will eventually come, we’ll be more measured.
And really, is that such a bad thing?
Happy Thanksgiving. If you need to dig a little deeper to find what your Thankful for this year, make the effort, even if, or maybe particularly because, it’s hard.