Thanksgiving #333 – 11/22/2016

“Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.” John Wooden

Welcome to Drivel Over Coffee. You are reading a blog that has become a reading must. Loyal readers are esteemed members of a group who proudly dribble our French Roast down our shirt while Driveling about our fate in life with a touch of opining. Sometimes our view of life becomes slightly skewed while looking through dog licked glasses.

dsc_0137-4x6Ever heard of the Quilts for Valor? It was new to me so I checked it out. It is a national non-profit. The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. The quilts are handmade to very exacting specifications. Then they are presented to the veterans at a ceremony. They have awarded 149,327 to date.

I was fortunate to be nominated. The presentation was last Saturday. The program was very moving as you can imagine. Fifteen veterans from WWII, Korea War, Vietnam War and current Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts received quilts. I want to thank the two sisters that nominated me and made the quilt. I greatly appreciate it. It is the first public “thank you” I have received in the 47 years since I served therefore ithanksgivingt means a lot.

My Thanksgiving message: I’ve been good all year. Most of the time anyway. A few times in August. Okay, once in a while. Never mind, I’ll buy my own stuff. Sorry, that was my note to Santa Claus. Just got slightly confused. Nothing says “I’m confused” like me trying to sleep in winter – heat on, window open, fan blowing, lying under 13 blankets and my quilt of valor, and one foot out but I digress.

Really folks, I do wish each and every one that happens upon my blog a thankful day of reflection of your year, your family and the blessings that you have received. It is a day for joy and comradery with family and friends. May your stuffing be tasty; May your turkey plump; May your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump; May your yams be delicious; And your pies take the prize; And may your Thanksgiving dinner; Stay off your thighs!

Happy Thanksgiving my friends.

In an earlier life form around the age of 10, I recall our Thanksgivings on the farm. We had a large farm house with a huge country kitchen, a formal dining room, two living rooms, a sitting room with a player piano and a bathroom on the first floor. The meat included turkey, ham and beef. Mom always got up early to get the turkey in the oven. Relatives and friends would begin gathering around 9 o’clock in the morning. All the ladies would head for the kitchen to pull the meal together. The men, well they would excuse themselves to one of the living rooms to commence the obligatory BS session. Everyone chiming in to top the last nonsensical statement. Ultimately the dicussion would turn to politics. As a kid, I found it difficult to understand how many sides there was to politics.

We would get the call to the table around noon. The men bolted to the dining room as if there was stripper performing. Our dining room table would seat about 15 if memory serves correctly. I never knew for sure since being a kid I had the “honor” of sitting at the kids tables in the kitchen. Lord, how I wanted to sit at the big table. The meal had all the fixin’s you could imagine. It looked like a potluck at a Presbyterian Church. Our family considered gravy a beverage. We always had like 5 gallons. Grandpa, as was his custom, proclaimed the dressing was lacking in Sage. Subsequently, he added a generous additional dose of Sage. Each year it seemed at least one person would forget to remove their napkin from their plate resulting in food heaped on their napkin. Usually, the error wasn’t discovered until they need to wipe the river of gravy running down their chin. Naturally, everyone jumped all over the situation resulting in a good amount of embarrassment.

The kids at the “Kids” table got the smaller plates. I suppose in the adults minds the kids had smaller appetites so a small plate would be suitable. Truth is we ate every bit as much and maybe more than the adults plus there was a lot of food. You could not pile all the food on this small plate no matter how high it was piled. My situation was especially difficult. You see I am a “separatist”. A separist is one who keeps the food on ones plate separate and distinct. The potatoes for instance can not touch the corn. You can understand my cunundrum with the small plates. Where do I put the dinner roll? And the butter? It wasn’t even thinkable to put it on the table. That was a big no no. I managed somehow. I don’t recall being hungry for a week after. It was a joyous time for sure.

At the grocery store yesterday a lady was picking through the frozen turkeys, but couldn’t find one big enough for her family. I overheard her ask the stock boy, ‘Do these turkeys get any bigger?’ The stock boy smiled slightly and answered, ‘No ma’am, they’re dead.’

“It’s not that I can and others can’t, it’s I did and others didn’t. “Remember your Vietnam Veterans – All gave some, some gave all!! Not everyone who lost his life in Vietnam died there, not everyone who came home from Vietnam ever left there.

If I can make at least one-person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!

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