Holidays and Homecomings

Well, that was more like it: damp, chilly, foggy and totally silent during my five-mile run this early a.m. The last several weeks here in NE Ohio have been unseasonably mild and, dare I say it, pleasant. Doesn’t seem much like late November — let alone two days before Thanksgiving. Hey, maybe this Al Gore fellow is on to something. Note to self: bookmark that last sentence for review in mid-January.

I’m certainly OK with warm temperatures and sunshine this time of the year. But I also like the changing of the seasons. It’s one of the joys of living in Ohio — the transition of going from fall to winter, winter to spring and so on.

Thanksgiving signals the start of winter for me. It’s one of the many traditions that I like about the holiday.

And it extends back to those days now almost 45 years ago when I was fresh out of high school — and experiencing the first of what turned out to be too few homecomings with friends who went off to college, the military, to marriage or to jobs in or around Pittsburgh at a time when you could still work in the steel industry or in other manufacturing jobs that paid a decent wage and provided a middle-class living.

We didn’t gather at the Mayfield Lounge to celebrate a holiday. It was a homecoming — and the recognition and realization of the transitions that people make throughout life. Most of us have those stories — and share those memories. And they are more tasty than leftover turkey and more valuable than a discounted big-screen TV.

Maybe homecoming is a better way to describe Thanksgiving than holiday. After all, not everyone (those who work in public protection, the military, transportation, health care, retail, food service and so on) gets the day off — and that’s if this year you are fortunate enough to have a job at all.

So I’m planning to celebrate an extended homecoming — with my family now scattered in different states and countries. Hey, another great tradition.

Enjoy your homecoming — and holiday.

 

 

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