When this is printed, we will all have eaten the turkey or turducken or the tofurkey. What ever we have eaten, it will require our stretchy pants, our old loose tops. The fridge will be piled high with left-overs and even the dog will be down for a nap.
If you have little kids they will have checked out New York City for the Macy’s Day parade with the character balloons. I like Snoopy the best, but to be honest, New Mexico has better special shapes. Our hot air balloons in October each year are internationally the greatest.
On to the football games and wearing the colors of your favorite team, or maybe you like the marching bands the best. You may go to the kitchen and help wash dishes. Thanksgiving has been classified as the best holiday for not having gifts, no guilt on what we eat and the right to a sugar coma until the following Monday.
So, lets speak out on what we are really thankful for that is often not said.
In this land where everyone has an opinion and is not afraid to say it, or will speak loudly to defend it, what are we secretly thankful for? Millennials are secretly grateful their parents worked so hard to get them through school and allow them to live in a nice clean basement with cable. Teenagers are afraid to admit they are scared when the electricity goes off. They are thankful for extra chargers. Shhhh don’t tell them they still have to charge up eventually. Middle school kids are thankful that the new Candy Crush game on their phones comes with a bag of extra Halloween candy and an early warning diabetic test kit. Baby Boomers are grateful they have telephones at all and make lists so they can always call their children to have them come over and unclutter their computers. They keep calling Alexa “Alice.”
Gen X adults are thankful that their phones have caller ID, so they can see when their Boomer parents are calling to get them to come over. Parents of teens that constantly complained when their parents asked them to call have put GPS trackers on the phones of their children—they track them like Spy vs. Spy. With the new app, they can tell if their little darlings are at the mall and not the library.
The list can go on and on and you must have thought of many more already. So, what does draw us together to overeat and veg out in front of the television? What do we all have in common? Family! After being in New Mexico for 58 years and coming here from Iowa at age 15, I learned the word all over again. La Familia! It means Mom, Dad, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, primo, prima, cousins from everywhere, in-laws and, in my family, outlaws.
You might argue over which team should win at American football or God forbid that soccer thing. You might toss a little dressing to make a point of cornbread over bread and onion stuffing. Or you might all agree that Alexa and Siri could beat up that dreadful Mrs. Smith, who yells at you to “Hurry up and put your items on the baggage carrier.” Some things are a cause for a united front. Any way you look at it, you come together because it all tastes better with family. And if your favorite members are no longer able to sit at the table, you offer a special prayer of thanksgiving for all the excellent years you did have with them.
My mother, Arlene, and her two sisters, Mary and Margaret, used to throw rolls at one another. We could never take them to Furrs. This is Friday and I am just as thankful for the love and affection we had from those who left us a treasure of fun stories. Here’s to Thanksgiving past, to my mother-in-law, Jessie—your pies were the best. No one can take your place.
To the present Turkey Day, thank you Tom and Anne Meyers for your great hospitality. And to the future Thanksgivings, “May you have all the blessings God can bestow and may your dinners be loving and lively.” Keep Maggie and Arch away from the rolls. Roaring Mouse, still burping. Out.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.