My very first American Thanksgiving was November 28, 1968. I was living at the Christian Brothers’ Novitiate in Narragansett, Rhode Island and our Director of Novices – John Veale – decided that the novices could go home for the holiday. The five of us from Canada were each paired with a novice who lived local and went to their homes for the holiday. I went to John’s house in Warwick.
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 me. 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.
This post was originally written on Thursday, November 28, 2019. I re-purposed it when I wanted to create the thanksgiving category. It’s a good intro into this newest grouping. The image is of persimmons in a Portuguese dish; it’s a fruit I like displayed on a foreign dish.
What I remember of that first Thanksgiving, back in 1968, in Warwick, Rhode Island … Saturday morning, John and I drove into Providence to visit his uncle and aunt and, I remember seeing, for the first time, three-story clapboard houses. John’s uncle and aunt – his mother’s brother and sister – lived just down from La Salle Academy – the Christian Brothers’ highschool in Providence and John’s alma mater.
This morning the sun peaked over the rooftops landing on the red leaves of the trees in the garden of the Mattress Factory. It was an interesting effect. The above image doesn’t capture the brightness of the morning sky.
It’s a strange time in post-election, COVID-raging America. Yes, some 61% of people opted not to travel for Thanksgiving, but all college-students are returning home both for the holiday and for the semester. The rest of the world has no idea what Americans are doing traveling given the infection rate and an out-of-control virus.
And the Supreme Court ruled to temporarily block governors from applying mitigation efforts to gatherings at religious institutions. The crazies are cheering, because the Supreme Court is finally fighting for religious freedom – OMG.
Even the Pope seemed to disagree with the Court – Looking to the common good is much more than the sum of what is good for individuals. It means having a regard for all citizens and seeking to respond effectively to the needs of the least fortunate . . . It is all too easy for some to take an idea- in this case, for example, personal freedom- and turn it into an ideology, creating a prism through which they judge everything.