Thanksgiving and Holiday Traditions

I’ll admit it doesn’t seem much like Thanksgiving. Maybe that’s because Mary and I spent most of the late summer and early fall in Budapest and other places in Europe, visiting Jessica and Gyorgyi.

Maybe it’s because the weather here in NE Ohio — well, up until yesterday — has been unseasonably mild. Hey, are you really approaching Thanksgiving here when you can still take a long walk in the national park wearing shorts and a T-shirt?

Maybe it’s because my family and friends for the most part are scattered now throughout a number of states and even in different countries. I miss some of the traditions from year’s past. For instance, here’s from a post I wrote on a previous Thanksgiving:

And I was thinking about traditions. For years I would meet my friends Walter and Jerry and Matt and a host of others and run Thanksgiving mornings in the Cuyahoga Valley — rain or shine, cold or mild, snow and sleet. Then we would meet at Walter’s van and have a beer or two or three before heading home for the main event. Those days are over now. Too bad.

But it’s interesting to me about how similar that experience was to the years immediately following graduation from high school in Pittsburgh — Thanksgiving 1965, 1966 and 1967. Every Thanksgiving morning I would meet my high school friends — some returning home from college,  many home from the army, some married, many working in the steel mills — at Riverview Park close to my home on Pittsburgh’s North Side. We would play touch football and then retire to the park benches and pass around quarts of Iron City in brown paper bags, under-age drinkers all. And every year we would be joined by those who had graduated before us — and then fewer and fewer each year — until we stopped. Too bad.

I hope young people still do those kind of things. It makes for some great memories on cold winter mornings years in the future if nothing else. Although I guess it is tempting to sit at home these days and post comments on Facebook. Trust me, it is not the same.

Anyway, I enjoy Thanksgiving. And I have plenty to be thankful for. Not forgetting that is one tradition that I plan to maintain — and not just as I belly up to the table with family  and friends today but always.

For the thousands one or two of you who read these blog posts regularly or even occasionally, best wishes for an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.

And if one of your traditions is to participate in the American equivalent of the Running of the Bulls on Black Friday, remember the advice of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus on Hill Street Blues: “Hey, let’s be careful out there.”

Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

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2 responses to “Thanksgiving and Holiday Traditions

  1. I’m feeling a little melancholy as well in remembering old traditions. But, Gyorgyi is out right now buying the last of the vegetables, including potatoes. So I hope that tomorrow when I’m preparing the potato casserole I can, in your honor, stuff up the sink with peals :) Happy Thanksgiving, Dad! Also– just for fun– open up Google and type “potato peels” and see what the google instant answers start popping up at #1 and #2!

    • Well, I hope you and Gyorgyi have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner and celebration. Being with friends — and just taking a moment to reflect on things and give thanks — makes the holiday special. And I guess I don’t really associate the plunging of the potato peels with Thanksgiving. I look forward to that tradition every year as part of the other great American holiday: Festivus.

      http://prontherun.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/a-festivus-miracle/

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