Here we again at another Thanksgiving. And no, I didn’t bang my head. I’m talking about the original Thanksgiving. The Canadian Thanksgiving originated about 50 years prior to the American version, thanks to the fated voyages of a Mr. Martin Frobisher. Martin and his merry men were adrift, no doubt enjoying the male bonding whilst seeking the elusive back door to Oriental treasures, when they lost their way. Having bounced around the ice floes they eventually found land, and immediately fell to their knees to give thanks to God for their deliverance. And so began the ritual. Americans jumped on board 50 years later, and as is their way, blew the whole thing out of all proportion.
In keeping with the traditional Canadian understatement, the northern affair is low-key. It’s a family holiday, geared largely around the feasting opportunities. I’m not sure how much thanks is given in homes these days, but being a traditional sort, I felt it right and proper to give thanks for the good things in my life.
Now, by way of a disclaimer, just because something doesn’t make the list, doesn’t mean I’m not grateful. I have to say this because my blog is occasionally read by family members who might take offence. My other three readers might also take offence I suppose, but I don’t know you, and you’re not going to phone me to bend my ear. Yes, alright, I admit it. In the world of blogging I am a minnow. I’m definitely not yet the Pied Piper of bloggers, that’s for sure, and I am truly in awe of those who have been able to accelerate their follower base into 4, 5 and even 6 digits. I’m happy to have broken the 100 barrier myself, even if the vast majority of these good folks don’t actually look at my pages with any sort of frequency.
Anyway, without further ado, you’ve had your pumpkin soup. Now for the turkey feast:
- I am thankful that all my woes are ‘first world troubles’. The petty frustrations of life, and there are many: DVRs that fail to record; football teams that fail to score; gas prices rising by 5c; the wrong person winning X-Factor; the Kardashians; iOS 8; call centres – I could go on, but the point is, these are petty issues in the scheme of things, when half the world is either at war, in poverty or both. So I’m thankful to live in the West where the things that ruin our lives are so trivial.
- And speaking of living in the West, I’m thankful to have found a tiny corner of North America that is largely unknown to the rest of the world, in a country that is largely forgotten on the global stage. There’s a lot to be said for being the quiet, unassuming one in the room. Bullies don’t tend to pick on you; no-one picks a fight to see if they can beat you. You have ‘nice’ friends. The sort of friends you want your kids to have. Sure, there are always obnoxious neighbours, but you don’t have to speak to them if you don’t want to.
- I am thankful for the technological wizards who brought us the Interwebs and the Social Media channels, Blogging channels and so forth. Without the army of nerds who slave away, unwashed, unseen and unloved, I would not be able to share my pearls of wisdom with you all. Even if only 5 people actually visit my page – out of 125+ followers – and including at least 20 people who I would call ‘friends’ in the real world – nevertheless my literary wit is visible to the world. Even if I’m screaming into the teeth of a hurricane, I do have the channels with which to reach the masses (along with several million other wanna be writers).
- Bringing things closer to home, despite everything he does, I’m thankful for our street mutt, Bruno. Not because he destroys anything left lying around, not because he steals apples, or because he bullies our older dog. No, the main reason I’m thankful for Bruno is because his presence means there are no cats coming into the house. And I can take any amount of Bruno brattiness if that’s the outcome.
- And speaking of brats, I’m so very thankful that my kids are not , that they’ve both reached teenage years without most of the histrionics and tantrums of your typical teenagers. Sure they have their moments – don’t we all, but for the most part, I’m thankful for having two relatively well adjusted, pleasant girls to share the house.
- And I’m even more thankful that there are ONLY the two girls to share the house with, and not a never-ending stream of boyfriends to stress over. I know it will come. After all, I was a teenage boy once myself, but the longer it is delayed, the happier I am.
- One more for the home front. I am so, so thankful for Mrs. Drew. Without her, I would have to face the dating game all over again, teach some new lady my foibles, and find someone new who will accept my peccadilloes and whose peccadilloes I can accept. No thank you, I have no desire to see if there’s any other woman foolish enough to take on this beast. Can you imagine the challenges? Learning a whole new set of dating rules, sexting, emoticons, a world of abbreviations to tie up the naïve (incidentally, if that’s your kink, then BDSM, heavy on the B).
- I guess I really should be thankful for having a job where they see more in me than I see in myself. My inner-self is a good 20 years younger than his outer shell, and full of insecurity and self-doubt. Whenever I’m asked to lead a project, design a solution or write a paper, I’m left wondering, why me? Surely they know I’m not worthy? I’ve often felt, if I can do it, it must be easy. Of course that’s not true. Over 3 decades of experience counts for something and I’ve got all the letters after my name I could want. The evil imp on the shoulder still whispers in the quiet times though.
- My final one, not wanting to end the list on a predictable Top 10: I am thankful I am not a turkey. Seriously. What did that bird do to piss everyone off? I mean, did you ever see a more ugly bird? And then there’s not a feast goes by without another of his brethren plucked, stuffed and roasted, then laid bare for all to feast upon (we are dangerously close to the peccadillo topic again). Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas – they don’t stand a chance. Still, at least he has a noble place in our festive celebrations. Poor old chicken ends his days in a fast food bucket more often than not.