My very first American Thanksgiving was November 28, 1968. (fifty years ago, Thanksgiving was also late.) I was living in Narragansett, Rhode Island and it had been decided that the group could go home for the holiday. The five of us from Canada were paired with kids who were local and we went to their homes for the holiday. I went to John’s in Warwick.

What do I remember from that first Thanksgiving …
– the family dining room in simple elegance, but cold
– the various unmemorable dishes – not because they were poorly cooked or poorly presented, but because none of them contained foods I liked
– his family’s beautiful home overlooking a ravine carpeted with leaves and crowded with bare trees
– the book-filled den where his dad held court
– John’s bedroom walled with knotty-pine paneling
– the Friday morning street football with the neighborhood kids
– visiting his aunt and uncle in Providence (I believe they were his mother’s brother and sister)
– his aunt’s beautiful watercolors

Subsequent Thanksgivings have continued to be happy occasions. My family and relatives observe Canadian Thanksgiving and know little of American traditions associated with the holiday. And having come to this holiday as a foreigner, I have none of the built-in obligations, so I can just enjoy the time off and the visit with friends.

The foods associated with the Thanksgiving meal still hold no interest. For the last twenty-some years we’ve spent the holiday with our friends Jerry-and-Diane and their family. And if you had a pic of my dish at today’s meal, it only contained stuffing, cranberry relish, carrots and corn.