Monday, November 25, 2013



It is 1:40 in the afternoon and I need to go to the store. I don't have to go to the store, but if I don't go this afternoon, I'll have to go tomorrow, and tomorrow it's supposed to pour down rain all day, and I don't want to go out in the pouring rain.

So why aren't I on my way to the store? Because Travis is curled up by my side and everything feels awfully cozy and warm. How can I leave?

Anyway, I thought if I'm going to sit here on the couch with my cozy dog, the least I can do is write a blog post and say hello. Hello! I had a good visit with my mom the week before last. She's now done with her final round of chemotherapy and is taking lots of naps. Essentially her course of treatment was to give her almost--but not quite--enough chemo to kill her in order to kill the cancer. For the time being, the cancer seems to have left the building and my mom has not, but she needs a lot of naps and probably will for the next six months. 

So this Thanksgiving giving I am giving thanks for my mother's slow return to health, and her incredible doctors and wonderful nurses. I'm also thankful for all of your prayers. They have done her a world of good.


Thanksgiving! I know a lot of you who read this blog are from faraway lands where you don't spend the fourth Thursday in November feasting on turkey and watching football. Or, nowadays, going shopping. That's the new trend: stores are now open on Thanksgiving. I have a friend whose son works at Best Buy, so on Thanksgiving day, while his entire extended family is gathered around the table eating and drinking and telling stories, he'll be at work.

What's next? Stores open on Christmas? Why, yes, that's already happening now. Walgreens and CVS will be open on Christmas, and so will Starbucks. Ho ho ho!

I think there's something very wrong with our culture. I think it's cynical to keep stores open on days that are supposed to be special. It's like the businesses are whispering, You don't like your family anyway. Isn't it more fun to shop than to spend time with your boring old uncles and birdbrained cousins? That whole gathering the family around the table thing? Everyone knows it's a crock. Besides what's more fun than spending money?

Well, I've had some contentious times with family, it's true. Even families that function pretty well have their moments. But it's good to gather the tribe, catch up, remember, reconnect and reconcile. Even when we stay home just the four of us, Thanksgiving is a special day. The good dishes and silver are pressed into service, the nice tablecloth is laid on the table. We listen to Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring and Charlie Haden's Steal Away while we eat and tell funny stories. I try to get Jack and Will to say what they're thankful for, but they're a couple of corn dogs and just roll their eyes at me. That's a Thanksgiving tradition, too.

So on the one side you have good food and good music and corn dog kids, and on the other side you have the corporate greed heads at Target and Wal-Mart and their employees, most of whom would much rather be at home with their own corn dog kids. As the old song goes, which side are you on, boys?


If you observe Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you don't observe Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful fourth Thursday of November. Either way, I hope you spend the day with loved ones, those imperfect, boring, grumpy, cantankerous, lovely people you're thankful to call your own.


magsmcc said...

Good grief. Here thankfully people are still getting one day off in the year. Prince Charming's comment is that he hopes people have the with not to go near these places on Thanksgiving/Christmas Day. Ever the optimist, my husband. Every household needs one! Have a cosy, snug week. Who needs the store? Stay home with Travis and have tea and toast on Thursday... So glad, and so encouraged about your mum. God is good xx

Angela said...

Nope, we don't do Thanksgiving, being Brits - but we have much to give thanks for. Including good friends we have yet to meet in person - but who care about us, as we do for them.
Thoughts and prayers with you and yours this week- esp your dear Mum.
Love and blessings xx

Jo said...

Well, I have learned something new today, Thanksgiving is not on the same date each year. See, the internet is so educational. This Thursday two of our family members will be missing from our table, we will be eating leftovers, and then I will be attending a school event about which I will be very thankful (that it isn't going to be longer..)
I am appalled all over again at consumerism overtaking our world. I want to be a citizen, not a consumer, and will continue to not shop wherever I can, especially in stores that open on significant family holidays. I applaud your decision to stay home and keep the dog warm!
And so happy to hear good news about your mum. Have a lovely Thanksgiving:)

Heather said...

I am so happy to hear that your mother's cancer is gone. That is definitely something to be thankful for. I have a couple of corn dogs around here, too. We all enjoy what Thanksgiving holds and means to us in our own special way, though. Happy Thanksgiving!

wayside wanderer said...

Don't forget Easter. I could not agree with you more. And I think it is interesting that most everyone is talking about how greedy our culture is but you hit it on the head with what I've been thinking...the weakening of our familial unit! I know it might sound nutty but what better way to change a culture than to isolate family members from each other. One of my children has to work on Thanksgiving. :(

So glad to hear the good news about your mom's health and your good visit. I am thankful, too!

Pom Pom said...

I'm glad you're staying home, Frances.
Travis looks sleek with that particular haircut. Remember when my sweet readers wanted to see Travis?
I'm thankful that your mama is doing so well. Bless her.

Gumbo Lily said...

I'm so thankful that your mom is cancer free. Napping through the winter months sounds kind of hibernating. I'm never going shopping on Thanksgiving nor Christmas. I just don't understand all that, I guess. I'm just an old-fashioned person, I guess. Give me turkey, stuffing, gravy and football and snoring men any day!

Tracy said...

You've probably read posts where I've said I would happily take on Thanksgiving if I were inclined to snitch a custom from another culture. I like the idea of it - it reminds people that there is something to be grateful for and to think beyond themselves a little as well...not just "I want..".

I am completely with you regarding corporate greed that steals away family time. It makes me cross. We should not have to have shops open 24/7 because 'people have a right to shop', as one radio commentator here has been heard to say. People also have a right to be with their families.

I'm glad your mum is doing better. That much be such a relief to all of you. A few naps is a pretty good price to pay to have her with you for some time longer.

....And yes, baking powder will go through customs just fine. I reckon if you can bring it in while it's in your suitcase without problems you can mail it. I would be forever grateful for it. It is sad when my Rumfords stash dwindles to nil!!!

Nancy McCarroll said...

Regarding your last sentence in your post, I grinned, sort of. Sigh. Hope your day was. Good.

GretchenJoanna said...

I'm way behind in my blog-reading, but I assure you it's not because I was shopping. I like the way Jo put it, "I will continue to not shop wherever I can..."
And as Leslie said: Easter! One year the local Longs Drugstore had a **promotion** on Easter, for which they would not charge tax on anything you bought on the Highest Holy Day of Christendom. In this way they both discriminated against Christians who were celebrating the Resurrection and tempted them to leave their festivities in order to take advantage of the unholy deal. I did write a letter about that one.
Now Longs is gone from most of the nation. But I don't take it as a sign of divine intervention, and I don't see an end to this escalation of shopaholism and worship of earthly things and lucre.
At least, on this earth. At The End, Christ will be All in All, and this annoying behavior will be the last thing on our minds. :-)

GretchenJoanna said...

I got so distracted by annoying behavior I forgot to say HOW WONDERFUL that your mother can nap and rest and gain back her strength **cancer-free**! Modern medicine is amazing, and I am rejoicing with you that you don't have to say good-bye yet. A happy Christmas it will be indeed.