This Week's View|
by Deanna Lee Birkholm
November 20th, 2006
Archive of Ladyfisher Articles
I started a grocery list this afternoon, and noticed how
short it is these days. It is Thanksgiving week, Thursday
being the big day. No company coming this year, so if there
is a turkey at all it will out of necessity be a small one.
Unfortunately no one has marketed a turkey for two.
We could go out for dinner, but what fun is that? Well,
it's nice not having to cook, but no left-overs just won't
do either. What is Thanksgiving without the promise of a
nice turkey sandwich later?
One of the most memorable holiday meals I recall was in
1998. We had moved here to the Pacific Northwest in the
spring, but in establishing a business we really didn't
socialize much. We barely fished! But we did meet some
people through the business and one couple invited us to
a holiday dinner. It was Christmas actually, but it was
the thought which counted. We were not their only dinner
guests. I think there were about ten others, some couples
like us, and a couple of single men. Kathy and Jim were
offering their version of 'family' for those of us who
were new to the area and without family here. There was
a turkey with all the trimmings and more special for JC,
a huge blue granite canner full of perfectly cooked steamed
manilla clams. A true feast. They even had a small gift
for everyone. I've never forgotten what an exceptionally
kind thing they did for all of us.
Even in the time since then, things have changed remarkably.
We bought the house where we live in 1990. We have had
three changes of neighbors on one side, and probably six
or more in the rental house on the other side. The property
across the street changed hands four times. Some of the
'retired' military on our street are still here, but it
is an indication of the state of life in our region at
least. I'm told the average time an American family spends
in a house they 'buy' is three years.
Not really enough time to put down much for roots. Ever
notice how trees with small root systems fall over in a
bad wind? Big trees, like our maples out here, have huge
root systems - and if you've ever cut one down you know
you're going to be coming across those roots for many years.
Families have become smaller over the years. Our grandfathers
and great-grandfathers sired big families because many hands
made lighter work. Life was hard and it was shared across
the family. As we modernized, families became smaller.
Many married couples don't have any children. Children
are no longer a 'necessity' in life. One of my daughters
was quite upset with one of her sisters who was having a
second child. Her comment was to the effect of "How are
they going to afford educating two kids?" The answer
was her sister went back to school, finished her degree
and is now teaching. Two kids, two parents working...and
two latch key children.
I'm not complaining, I was a latch-key kid. My folks both
worked out of necessity. And I got an education and turned
out reasonably well-adjusted. I am saying our world is
changing and we need to hold on to what we can. The
"traditional" parts really are important. They become
part of who we are. A foundation to build on.
JC and I hope you and yours have a real Thanksgiving.
Give thanks and be grateful. Hold those near and dear
to you close. God Bless us all. ~ LadyFisher
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