As I write this, a long freight train is slowly making its way eastward, passing brown, empty fields which, not so long ago, were resplendent with beans and corn. The harvest here in northern Illinois is all but finished as we wend our way ever deeper into November. In my recent drives through the countryside, I’ve noticed a few last-minute gleanings taking place. Yesterday (Saturday) was perfect for any of these last-ditch efforts: dry, clear, and mild. And I am always amazed how the landscape and countryside is completely transformed once all of the fields are “down”–put away for the winter, as it were! It is then, I think, that the approaching season of Thanksgiving has really arrived.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and one which has truly become a family tradition year after year. For some reason many years ago, the tradition for my siblings and their families to assemble at our home every Thanksgiving weekend in Naperville, Illinois, began. Perhaps it was our central location: halfway between Ohio and Nebraska? Whatever the reason, Thanksgiving was to be at our home. And that proved to be very interesting down through the years as the little kids grew and the older folks aged gently and the tradition continued. It has always been a much-anticipated event. The fun and nonsense and family togetherness have been the main ingredients of our annual gatherings.
Now that the sons and daughters, nieces and nephews have grown and have married and have kids of their own, our Thanksgiving Weekends, the last few years, have been a bit less attended. I still do two big stuffed turkeys on the trusty Weber (charcoal only!), and there is plenty of cold keg beer out in the garage that we somehow manage to finish off without a problem.
And as the freight train disappears far off to the east, sounding its whistle at the Airport Road crossing, I think back with many fond memories of Thanksgivings past and look ahead to a few more….MLA