Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I have a strange relationship with the Thanksgiving holiday. Unexpected things happen to me at Thanksgiving. So every year I get this odd feeling that something surprising is going to happen.
My first Thanksgiving in America was in 1989. A colleague from work invited my family to spend Thanksgiving with his family. Wonderful! How generous! We would have a chance to experience a real American family Thanksgiving.
Except my colleague phoned me early on Thanksgiving morning to say that his daughter had taken ill with some dreadful highly infectious disease and that, unless I wanted to put my own kids at risk of catching the dreadful highly infectious disease, then we had better not come to his house. Oops. What a surprise!
Do you know how difficult it is to buy a turkey on Thanksgiving morning?
A few years later we decided to spend Thanksgiving at the Bitter End Yacht Club in the BVI. They were promising a Family Fun Week with lots of activities arranged for the kids and a special Thanksgiving Dinner for all. What could be better? Fun in the sun and Dad gets to play with boats all week.
When we arrived at Newark airport to fly to the BVI we discovered that the American Airlines flight attendants had decided that this would be an excellent week to go on strike. After several fruitless hours at the airport we finally realised that there was no way we would be able to fly to the BVI in time for Thanksgiving. What a surprise!
So we went home. The kids were off school. I had booked a week off work. There was no way I wasn't going to have some kind of vacation. Do you know how difficult it is to book a last minute vacation in Thanksgiving week? In the end we went skiing for a few days at Killington. There wasn't much snow, but hey it was better than going back to work.
Five years ago Tillerwoman and I were spending Thanksgiving with my son and his wife in Massachusetts. We had had an excellent family Thanksgiving with my daughter-in-law's extended family on the Thursday, and on the Saturday evening the four of us went out for a Chinese meal at a local restaurant.
She says it was the Mongolian Beef that did it. Shortly after returning home, my daughter-in-law suddenly made a strange expression and said, "Uh oh! I think my waters just broke." A few hours later I became a grandfather for the first time. What a surprise!
Thanksgiving always seems to deliver a surprise. I wonder what it will be this year?