Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving's Past and Present

When the weather turned crummy on Tuesday this week, Craig and I just laughed. We traveled down here for Thanksgiving three times from Washington State, and all three times -- you guessed it! We thought we were traveling to the land of sun, palm trees, and swimming pools for our Thanksgiving holiday. And that was never the case. Each trip, it was either overcast and chilly, spitting rain, or sunny with a cold desert wind blowing. And this Thanksgiving was the same. Thunder, rain, sun breaks, and cool weather. In fact, it poured and even hailed last night. But we love it now because it adds variation to the constant sun. Here are some photos from past Thanksgiving's in Phoenix.

We were literally shivering in this picture. That was our first Thanksgiving vacation to Phoenix.

The second trip, we knew the drill! Sweaters and fleece!

Here's Michael all bundled up for golf in Prescott. He had on a stocking cap earlier in the day and they had a frost/snow skiff delay!

And here the weather was obviously a little better!

All the gratitude posts yesterday made me feel a little ungrateful for not posting my list, but let me explain my public reluctance with a little story from a Thanksgiving about ten years ago. At the time, we had good friends who lived in a lovely view home in the Seattle area that hung over a scenic lake below. The entire 5,000 sq. ft. home was brand new custom designed fully decked out professionally decorated -- you get the drift. Anyway, we were invited to Thanksgiving dinner at their house. It was a formal affair with the host's business partner and wife also in attendance. The dining table was arranged with formal newly purchased china and chargers and large professionally arranged flowers. And the menu was entirely gourmet. Just perfect -- well maybe too perfect? All very nice people, but definitely livin' large.

After we were all seated, the host said a little prayer, and then the hostess asked each of us to express our particular gratitude for the past year. Well -- my men aren't all that expressive and they both looked like deer caught in the headlights. I still laugh when I think about the look on my son's face. This was an unfamiliar Thanksgiving tradition to him in front of non-family, so he was speechless. Craig was actually first and said something with a touch of usual humor about being grateful for his lovely wife. Michael, about 17 at the time, came out of his stupor and stated he was grateful for his golf game. That got a little laugh at the table. I said I was grateful to be alive (that had been a really big year for me after a tense surgery that required a long recovery), and really grateful for my husband, son, and all the good friends who saw me through that time. As they went round the table, our gratitude paled in comparison to the host and hostess's speeches. They both separately gushed with gratitude for their loving loving loving lasting relationship, their wonderful talented children, their new baby, their fortunate abundance that allowed them to host the Thanksgiving dinner . . . on and on. I was a little embarrassed for my thrifty words, but I'm just not a gusher! Finally, the host carved the turkey and we ate the wonderful gourmet meal.

Well . . . you KNOW there has to be a punch line here. Right? Less than a month later, we spent Christmas Eve there and they were barking/snapping at each other. They referred to each other as Dear and Honey with a bitter tang, and the evening was tense. When we got home, we both made the comparison back to the gushing at Thanksgiving. By January, she was miserable with the relationship and in February -- filed for divorce! The 'perfection' was just too good to be true.

So the moral of the story? I don't know. I guess I have a public reluctance to express feelings and emotion. Just because feelings aren't publicly expressed doesn't mean they're not present. And sometimes publicly expressed emotions aren't necessarily sincere. And that's NOT a comment on any of your posted gratitude lists this Thanksgiving. I enjoyed reading all of them and they were extremely sincere.

I will tell you I'm grateful this year for both my son and husband and their easy-going natures, the nice roof over our heads, all my good friends who lighten up the hard times with laughter, and not being out in the street in an economy like this. I'm grateful and happy for my son this year because he's happy in life with a job he loves. (And I'm grateful for all the unbelievable deals he gets me on great Ecco shoes. Ha!) I'm also grateful the turkey cooked in the bag yesterday was a big success!

Rest assured I'm grateful for much more -- I'm just not a gusher!


Moongrl722 said...

LOL at the story. I know what you mean. My ex and his now ex #2 (the marriage lasted 6 months) had a huge, formal foo-foo no children reception party at their new big house. It's all so Hollywood look-at-us fakey.

Jenny said...

Awwww, Yecky. I liked your blog yesterday. I read it to the entire family while we were all sitting around trying to digest our turkey yesterday evening.

And I am thankful for a warm place to go when it is butt-freezing cold this winter. LMFAO ("F" as in frozen)

Vee said...

Beck, I liked your list. It was perfect. No gushing necessary.

Life's a Beach! said...

Thanks everyone. Moonie, we thought it was pretty ironic. I think my friend's priorities in life were so out of whack, it brought the whole house down. Jenny, I haven't looked at Colorado weather today, but I'm sure it's warmer here. And Vee, if I ever start gushing, we'll know it's time to cut back my meds. :)

Sue said...

I can so relate to your post. I'm not a gusher either - not with words, and not with babies (goo goo ga ga, what a beautiful baby, etc, etc, etc). But reserved does not mean thoughtless and uncaring...just private. So no need to apologize, I didn't even notice your lack of gushing.

Hope you all get better soon!