Well, we made it through Thanksgiving without disaster. My sister and her son, who were supposed to stay overnight at my parents’ house, instead visited for four hours and left. This was probably for the best.
My sister showed up more than two hours late and then spent most of her visit griping about working irregular shifts at a hospital, being on call all the time and never getting any sleep. As if on cue, her cell phone rang and the hospital tried to call her in. She had to explain that this was not her on call day and, in any event, she was six hours away.
I think it was really rotten of my sister to browbeat my octogenarian parents in preparing an elaborate Thanksgiving dinner when we had planned to go out to a restaurant. Mom was so tired from cooking. It’s really unfair and thoughtless.
Thanksgiving is always a time for telling family stories, and my favorite story of the day was told by my mother. She reminisced about her summer in a rented beach house at Brooklyn’s Coney Island when she was 13 years old. A large homeless dog adopted her, much to her delight. She named him Blackie and was disappointed when her parents would not let her keep him. Still, the dog followed her around all summer, even stealing the ball from boys playing in the street and delivering it to my mother.
Then came the day when her mother gave her money and sent her to a local store to buy a six pack of beet for my Grandpa. Even in the 1940s, it was illegal to sell beer to minors.
“Who are you buying it for?” asked the merchant accusatorily. “For my father!” she protested. The storekeeper took her money and told her to go wait outside. Stepping outside to a patiently waiting Blackie, my mother soon saw the merchant come out and surreptitiously hand her a bag containing the contraband.
I’ve heard many wonderful family stories from my mother, but this was one of the most delightful.
Meanwhile, here in California’s Central Valley, the temperature has uncharacteristically dropped below freezing, threatening the area’s citrus crops.
I hope all of you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving. High on my list of the many things I am thankful for are all of you, my faithful readers. A heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you.