Thanksgiving Day thoughts


I sat down to write a blog about loss and sacrifice, but then remembered that it was Thanksgiving day week and thought maybe I should hold off on such cheery subjects until we draw a little bit closer to Christmas.

I decided that I didn’t want to go into the whole misconceptions about this holiday. For me it’s really about the celebration of harvest and how families have come together for over a hundred years to enjoy the fruits of their labor. It’s about tradition and unity. It’s one of our true American holidays. I try to forget about the “First” Thanksgiving when we invited all those Indians to share our meal and then sent them home with blankets infested with Small Pox. How we took their land and most of their lives but in return we let them break the wishbone.

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I also didn’t want to list all the things I am thankful for. I liked how people were listing everyday something that they were grateful for. I thought that was pretty neat. But for me the list would be endless and redundant. The most important thing I am thankful for and the only one that really matters is breath. I am thankful for every day I am able to fill my lungs with that beautiful clear atmosphere. I have had a lot of friends along the way who can no longer say the same. They have taken the last of theirs. Everything else to me is just gravy.

This holiday season for me however seems to be lacking in the unity of many Turkey Days gone past. The family bond does not seem as strong anymore. It is breaking apart little by little. It has been divided in half and divided again and the quarter that is left is broken and cracked. I suppose all families go through changes. People pass away and those who were once bonded by those who have gone away, drift away. Siblings create rivalries that escalate into grudges and create walls of separation. Children grow up and move on. Relationships dissolve. People stop talking. What once was beautiful and vast becomes wilted and confined. The mashed potatoes are dry and there is not enough butter for the biscuits. (Mmmm, biscuits).

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I long for those days of old when families stayed together. They built homes near each other. They fought side by side against any enemy who threaten their borders. Blood meant strength. Williams county meant that the Williams family lived there. It wasn’t just a name someone wrote down on a road map.

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I do have so much to be thankful for, but I don’t really need a holiday to remember all those things. For me Thanksgiving is about food. And eating food, and drinking food and rolling around in…okay maybe I am getting off track here a little.

I hate sitting down to write and having absolutely no idea of what I am going to say. Words tend to spill all over the floor and I have trouble picking them up and putting them back in order. And there’s always one that rolls under the couch and you can’t reach it. Anyway. Before this blog turns into some long dragged out pile of… (come on Paul stay on track). Okay Okay, let me just conclude by saying this. Whatever the substance was used to build the walls between families can easily be broken simply by removing one brick at a time. If we don’t fight to keep what’s ours, we lose everything. There is nothing between blood that can not be repaired. We can not pass judgement, period. Our life is our own to live our own way. We accept and we love.

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Sometimes we sacrifice for those who we love. It’s not always easy, if it was it would be a sacrifice. (There you go bringing up sacrifice before Christmas) Okay Okay. We do not because we have to, we do because we are family.

So this Thursday Eat drink and be merry. Relish in the fruits of your labor. Because it’s back to work on Monday. Light the fire, bake the bread, (and make sure you have enough butter).

Be thankful for breath, for the rest is all gravy.

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About paulsdahlman

Born in Southern California, raised on the road and now growing roots in New England. I am on the journey of my lifetime. May the footprints I leave behind form the words to my story.
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One Response to Thanksgiving Day thoughts

  1. Cindy says:

    Paul, I love reading your blogs. They are so insightful, a little funny, and really get me thinking. I am also one of those people who is grateful to wake up each day. Sometimes that’s all we have. I also am one of those who try to keep the family together. Not that I am perfect. I’ve had my share of not speaking to my brother or sister. But blood is thicker than water and it’s worth letting bygones be bygones to have family. So many people don’t. I crave the days when my kids were young and at home, and am thrilled that they stay in touch daily. And although it can complicate life more to have more people in your life, I say complicate mine! I wish we lived like they do in other countries, with multiple generations all under one roof. I always wanted to live in a commune, well that could be from being a child of the 60s & 70s, but wouldn’t that be nice to have shared duties and love. Maybe I am getting off the point here, I always do. But like I said, you get me thinking.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    Like

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