Thursday, November 27, 2008


Today is Thanksgiving Day in the USA, a day when Americans rest and feast in preparation for getting up the next day at 4am to hit the malls and shop 'til they drop. Historians differ as to the origin of this custom. There is no record as to where the Mayflower Pilgrims did their Christmas shopping on the first Black Friday, as the day is known, so the real genesis of the tradition must remain forever lost in the mists of time.

Anway if I do any shopping this weekend it will be on the Interwebs, probably on Cyber Monday, named in honor of the day when the early Americans, who did not have broadband connections at home, returned to work after the Thanksgiving/ Black Friday holiday to do their shopping on the Interwebs while pretending to their boss that they were actually preparing that report on price elasticity in the cranberry market.

Where was I? Where am I? Oh yes. Thanksgiving. What a strange word. Sounds like it may have had, once upon a time, something to do with giving thanks. So that's what I'll do today...

I give thanks for health, and family, and friends. What else is worth having?

I give thanks...

That I still have the health and fitness to go out and sail my little Laser board boat in all sorts of winds and weather, except when I'm too much of a wuss because NOAA say there's a Small Craft Advisory, or I have a hangover, or my toe hurts.

For my sturdy little 13-year-old Laser that still keeps going and going like the little engine that could.

For all the other people I sailed with this year. For tough but fair competition on the race course. For sportsmanship. For friendly advice. For fun practice sessions in small groups. For companionship and a good laugh after sailing and a promise to meet up again next week.

For all the people who worked to organize the sport of sailing so that I could enjoy it. For regatta organizers and race committees and safety boat drivers.

For the guys who build boats and make sails and all the other gear and gizmos we need.

For coaches Rulo and Kurt and all their feedback and advice. Sorry I'm such a slow learner.

For Tillerwoman, who never complains about all the days I leave her to go sailing, never complains even when I drag her to Australia or Spain or Florida so I can go sailing.

I give thanks...

For all the writers of sailing blogs who have entertained, informed, educated and amused me this year.

For all the folk who stopped by Proper Course. Writing this blog would be pretty pointless without you. Come to think of it, it's pretty pointless anyway. Never mind.

For all the folk who actually took the time to leave a comment on Proper Course. You make it all worthwhile. You even make me laugh some times.

And a special thanks to all the folk who contributed something to my various group writing projects. I've really enjoyed reading all your tales.

I give thanks...

For the people of Rhode Island who welcomed us to their state. For good neighbors. For the farmers and growers and fishers and winemakers of Rhode Island. And for the guys who clean the roads and pick up the garbage.

For our home by the sea.

For the view of the bay when I wake up every morning, always different, always changing. And for the magnificent sunsets over the bay every evening.

For Tillerwoman's garden and for all the health-giving vegetables she has grown for us this year.

I give thanks...

For my family.

For my two sons who make me proud every day.

For the two amazing young women who have chosen to spend their lives with my sons.

For my two grandchildren, Emily and Aidan, the source of so much pleasure as I watch them grow and change and learn new skills week by week.

For Tillerwoman, my lovely wife, who didn't know she was marrying a sailor, but who is still here after 35 years of married life. Waking up every morning at her side is the first thing that I give thanks for each day. Sure beats the alternative.


Vigilante said...

Yes, you said it, T-Man.

Polyphony said...

And thanks to you T-man, for getting me on to a Laser this year. Hope you have been well!

Pat said...

Gerald has finally raced (or attempted to race) a Laser on the ocean (unfortunately, it was a "some assembly required" boat) so he has a new experience for which to give thanks.

We face many changes and likely many unexpected challenges, and yet these are all part of what make life interesting.

PeconicPuffin said...

You have much to be thankful for...sincere congratulations.

And you're closing in on 100 sailing days! Do not falter.

Frankie said...

Nice to hear about your lady. Gardening is a sport too.

Captain John said...

A belated Thanks to you, Tillerman.

I started a blog in Sept, have just a few followers, and those very few were what it took for me to get over the ‘pointless’ fear.

I happened on The Skips Blog, a few days ago, which lead me to your excellent work, and then on to O Dock in my back yard.

I’m reading them all, trying to absorb the wonder (at least until my next sailing excursion on Sunday with Admiral Anne).

If you ever get to SF Bay, let me know, we’ll sail together and laugh and laugh and laugh. Meanwhile, check out Charlie Bergstedt’s blog:

It’s almost like being here.

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