The real holiday season has begun with Thanksgiving yesterday. I am grateful to attend a wonderful dinner, along with my mom, at a friend’s house nearby. The range of ages yesterday was 10 months-91 years. It was relaxing, congenial, fun and delicious. I am not a shopper so there is never a thought about going out on Black Friday. Often I cook my own turkey dinner so I can have the leftovers I miss from eating elsewhere. The turkey will go in the oven tomorrow.
At the cabin in my head, I hosted a crowd for Thanksgiving…mainly folks who weren’t able to be elsewhere or have no loved ones around. It was a jolly celebration with lots of good food and a lengthy walk down country lanes to gather bittersweet. After a lovely farmhouse breakfast for the few who stayed over, I stripped beds, ran sets of sheets through the wash, and divested the cabin of its fall decorations.
Tomorrow at the cabin, the Christmas decorating begins. In deference to the wood stove and the dryness of the air, I erect a large artificial tree though a freshly cut tree will illuminate the screen porch. On the day after tomorrow the baking begins. All of my friends and neighbors receive large packages of varied cookies, chocolates and fudge.
In my present reality, I am currently devoid of a tree and will be purchasing one within the next week. When it will go up and be decorated isn’t something I’ve decided as of yet. Do I bake and make fudge and chocolates? Yes, I do but not in the quantities I’ve alluded to at the cabin in my head.
On to the randomness of my mind. This past week contained an important date in my history. November 22nd is imprinted into my brain. I think each of us remembers those dates in our own history that resonate. As a baby boomer, I recall when television was interrupted with those words “Special Report” and we were immediately quiet because we knew something bad had happened. Though I can’t recall the news report of 11/22/63, I still remember watching JFK’s funeral. It was so somber. I loved the horses but knew it was a sad occasion. It was important.
Later in the decade, we would lose MLK and RFK; never will I forget those announcements and images. One thing that became crystal clear to me on the morning of 9/11 was how our kids had become so desensitized to violence and destruction as another teacher and I watched, in speechless horror, the first of the towers collapse. The students kept right on chatting away, only two or three out of 24 reacting to the gravity of the situation. It transformed my thinking.
I think what I’m trying to say is that I feel so fortunate to have grown up during a time when so many historical events occurred and that I still understand how and why they are/were important. I’m glad we didn’t have instant access to news or were so obsessed with video games and violent films that we were able to react appropriately to those historic events and to be able to carry their significance within us.
November 22nd seems to fade in importance as time goes by. It is far distant history to this generation of kids, yet it is such a significant anniversary. Though I am no fan of JFK, or his family, I’m able to grasp the historical gravity of the event. Oh well, when it all gets to be too much or I become too frustrated I know I can escape to the cabin in my head where it’s always cheery and cozy.