November 25, 2022
Yesterday was Thanksgiving and Melissa and I decided to make a quick trip to see family in Wichita. Melissa put in her weekly hours and then logged off work around 1 pm CST on Wednesday. We packed (yes, we should have done it the night before) and loaded the car. I was surprised seeing we were taking more gear for our three days in Kansas than we had for our three weeks in Europe. The air pressure in my tires had dropped due to the cold weather and I had not been able to find a place to get air. I dropped by my regular service shop yesterday and they were already closed. I went to three different air pumps and while I was charged US%2 at each location, the pumps did not work. I dropped by my shop again Wednesday and they had closed for the holiday. I finally found a station with a working pump, but it was so slow it took another US$4 to get the required 36 PSI into the tires. It was 2:30 CST before we got off. Still, we were going to family for the holiday, and I was able to give thanks for the expectation ahead.
We dreaded the drive because of the numbers of cars predicted to be on the road. Since we had gotten a late start, it meant we would be passing though the only real city (Tulsa) along the way right at rush hour. We got gas on the way out of town, and it had dropped another 10 cents (US) since Sunday. This was well below the US$3 low it had reached earlier this month. We filled up and began our 4 ½ hour drive to Wichita. We drove through a light mist, but the predicted rain did not materialize. The temperature stayed above 50F (10C) so the roads were not icy or slick. Even the expected throng of cars did not materialize. There was light rush hour around the city, but the roads were essentially clear. We made good time and arrived in time to drop by mom’s residence before going to our hotel. We were able to introduce her to Zena before the turmoil of the next day. We were tired, but I was able to give thanks for the good day we had.
We spent Thanksgiving at mom’s residence. Zena was well behaved and happy to greet my uncle and aunt who drove in to eat with us. Mom had reserved a place for the five of us for lunch. The kitchen had set our table in the library, so we had a private dining room. The meal was traditional, with turkey, stuffing and gravy, and green bean casserole. There was a choice of pie (I got my new favorite, pecan) for dessert. Mom led us in a “thanks giving” activity prior to eating, and each shared why we were thankful. We visited and remembered the Thanksgivings at Grandma’s (their mom). After they left, I was able to help get mom’s Christmas decorations set in her apartment. When we returned to our hotel, I got a text thanking me for my help. I mentioned it was good to get together with the Schirer Clan (now aunt, uncle, and mom). Mom responded that our numbers had dwindled (there used to be nearly 30 for an all day dinner) and we had met in an assisted living facility rather than the farm, but it was still good. I was able to give thanks for the good day we had.
THOUGHTS: Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in the US, Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks for the blessings of the harvest and of the preceding year. Although Thanksgiving has historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, it has long been celebrated as a secular holiday as well. Thanksgiving is more than just eating turkey and watching football. It is about sharing with family and renewing relationships. We had missed this time for the last years, and it was good to have the time again. I was able to give thanks for the good day we had. Act for all. Change is coming and it starts with you.