Thank you.

How many times have you had the privilege of living another Thanksgiving?  I think of the several ways I have enjoyed or endured many a holiday.

  1. Surrounded by family in a warm and welcoming home. Beautiful decorations filling the house: a wreath festooned with silver ribbons over the classic hearth and dainty guest soaps in the downstairs bathroom. The aroma of turkey, stuffing and pie wafting and talk of impressive jobs, and trips to far-away places either anticipated or already enjoyed. Candles, flowers, soft cushions and fine art and thick rugs underfoot, fine wines, chestnuts wrapped in bacon and watching the clock.
  2. A metal chair, cold on my bottom, aligned with many in long rows at a free dinner prepared for those who are very hungry for most of the year, cooked by  famous chefs who feel good sharing a day with those who feel ashamed of poverty and others who choose it as an alternative to “getting with the program.” A day when many famous and wealthy volunteers have to be turned away because there were too many generous people  out and about today.
  3.  Hunkered down with a TV dinner and the luxury of a cup of egg nog in a roach-infested single apartment in an enormous city trying not to think of the family that prefers abandonment because it is easier than showing affection.
  4. Dressing up in fine clothes and keeping a date in a famous restaurant with sparkling and successful people who know how to host a party for yet another sparkling celebration.
  5. An eight -year old with a history of being passed around foster homes, boarding schools and finally en route to a convent boarding school for the rest of her school days, whose mother, in transit to a new solution for the kid,  has taken her to a dingy cafeteria where dessert is a thin slice of spice cake where the tiny sugar turkey decoration is a surprise– and the mother explains, “It’s Thanksgiving.” a young woman and her child eating in an almost deserted bus or train station cafe must be the antithesis of the  holiday depicted famously by Norman Rockwell to the few solitary men watching.
  6. Today a little cabin in the woods where a man known only as Santa Claus, a generous benefactor, invites the whole village of more than 10,000 people to a grand feast in a magificent lakeside lodge for a free turkey dinner with all the trimmings where everyone can meet their neighbors.
  7. When I think of all the many and various ways I have spent this holiday, my heart is grateful for the peripatetic life that led me here to my piney cabin in an alpine forest high above Los Angeles, where it seems the real Santa Claus lives.
  8. I appreciate the kindness that has benefitted me thus, and wish everyone I know, and do not know,  joyful sustenance and safety, for another year. And I “Thank God from whom all blessings flow!” and the mother who in the end gave me her little house.
  9. My prayer for today: God let me never forget to practice every day: kindness and loyalty to my good friends, remembering Emerson’s words, “The best way to have a friend is to be one.”
  10.  I wish you friendship and ultimately, community. ENJOY THIS!

A large colored photograph (unframed) from the Plymouth studios of Ronald Wilson. $300. Find it in the Back Room pages. This is so absolutely lovely and depicts the front steps of the artist David Monteiro’s house by the harbor. If you know Plymouth, this is a beautiful souvenir!