Giving Thanks for the Memories (and Making More)
Turkey, pie, turkey, pie, TURKEY, PIE! Can you tell someone is excited for Thanksgiving? I know I say it every single year, and even I get a little tired of hearing my own chirping about it – trust me, peppy is not my default setting, especially before 10 a.m. But my favorite of all the holidays (and the bright, shining spot in the bell curve of my self-diagnosed Seasonal Affective Disorder winter arc) is coming this month. And there will be turkey. And pie. Mmmmmm … good.
One year, we were at a huge gathering composed of my assorted relatives and acquaintances with about a zillion kids and our beloved elders and maybe even a few random pets – a pell mell, come-and-go potluck that was hosted by an aunt in Ponca City, if I recall correctly. Bless her, she must have had nerves of steel to deal with the chaos. Someone had placed several tree branches in a vase and laid out pens and note cards with ribbon threaded through a hole in the corner. A small sign instructed you to write down something you were thankful for and add the “ornament” to the “gratitude tree.” Later, during dessert, cards were plucked off the tree and read aloud to the assembled guests … and that has to be one of the most special memories of Thanksgiving that I possess. No one was put on the spot to extemporize (we’ve got some wallflower branches on the family tree, I think) but the outpouring of love and gratitude expressed in those simple notes was really wonderful. Not much cost, not much time, just a simple way to take a few moments to be truly thankful.
And that, folks, is why I love Thanksgiving above any and all other holidays.
After all that family togetherness and conspicuous consumption, you might guilt yourself into some exercise. We’ve got you covered with “A League of Their Own,” our fun feature on lesser-known sports on page 40. If you’re tired of the same old, same old, there are some ideas here well worth checking out. Did you know dodgeball is making a comeback with 20-somethings? I feel certain that these must have been the popular kids, because just thinking about dodgeball makes me want to curl into the fetal position and claim that I twisted my ankle so I need to sit out. Permanently.
If you are more the “I have a note from my mom,” type as well, there are several other options ranging from moderate to intense, including some games I had never even heard of (pickleball, anyone?) I think the disc golf sounds really fun, too, if only because it’s fairly self-paced and you can ramble around and probably drift in and out of the course at will. That’s more my speed.
Another in-depth story we’ve cooked up this month is “Creative Catalysts,” featuring several area artists who are shaping the sights and sounds in the metro in interesting ways. I’m consistently impressed at the wealth of shows and styles that are available to peruse as the local talent pool has grown so deep over the last many years. Far from being a cultural wasteland, Oklahoma has become a place where the arts are embraced and welcomed. And we are grateful for that!