Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)

Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Thanksgiving

We at least have a good idea of what our political future looks like.

Well, finally it’s over! Took a little longer than usual, but we at least have a good idea of what our political future looks like. I can’t believe it took some of those states so long to produce a working total. At least Alaska has an excuse: ranked choice voting, and its manipulations of the results; but the others are just plain incompetence or something worse. And it’s always the same three states!

I’m sure the final results are not to everyone’s liking, but at least it shook things up a little and we will have a new agenda. Probably still not going to get anything done, but it will be a different “anything.” Of course, we now have to contend with two whole years of campaigning for the 2024 presidential election but at least the mailbox is no longer full of junk mail, the political polling phone calls have stopped and not too many unsolicited emails anymore. Always a silver lining!

So now for a minute we can concentrate on the holidays. Thanksgiving sneaked in a little quicker than usual this year maybe because of the early snow. I’m writing this a week out so I can’t give you a real accounting of THE day but I can tell you how it’s supposed to go and probably will barring a major disaster. We will have dinner with youngest son and daughter-in-law. It will be the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with her doing most of the work!! I will contribute a couple of Son’s favorite childhood dishes, but otherwise she has it under control.

I remember the day I often said “I’ll be glad when the next generation takes over” but in reality, I miss it: the planning, the cooking, the hustle and bustle of that day. Will we need two tables? Where are the extra chairs? Who is it doesn’t eat cranberries? Shall we start the turkey at 8 a.m.? What did I forget?

Sister and Husband from Palmer plan on being here, weather permitting. She will bring “Grandma’s apples,” a very good stewed apple dish made with Red Hots, if she can find any. We have both been looking all over two towns for them and apparently they have gone the way of the dinosaurs. They are still manufactured (Google says so!) but Hot Tamales have taken over their niche apparently. They won’t do in the apples, however, because they melt!

Sister and I and the Hubbies are of that final generation where the whole family lived within 50 miles of each other, hence every holiday was a gathering of the clan probably at the grandparents’ house, but maybe an aunt or second-cousin-once-removed if relatives were coming in from a distance on that once in a lifetime trip. Everyone had a special dish that was expected they would bring to dinner. Any deviation was met with skepticism but usually enjoyed unless it was really far out. I remember cheesecake replacing pumpkin pie one time to mixed reviews.

Ironically, our generation was also the first to move away in large numbers. We are the end of the Silent generation. (Could almost be Boomers) Our older cousins and brothers had gotten a taste of far distant places during the War and had returned home to an economic rebuilding. The factories offered bigger rewards than the farm or the woods, even in the PNW, so the migration to the cities began. Holidays became quieter and smaller and older. By the time our kids were born, immediate families were the norm at family gatherings and no one knew their second cousins. Those of us in Alaska learned fast that family is not necessarily related by blood, and soon gathered a coterie of friends that became like extended family, but I still miss the comradeship of all the cousins and the comfort of the aunts and uncles.

We’ll have about 12 for dinner, counting other family and friends that daughter-in-law has invited. Lots of food. Lots of conversation and plenty of joking around, We’ll eat mid-afternoon, so it won’t be a late night. Probably go home with leftovers for next day.

Brother-in-law likes our bazaars, so Friday we’ll spend around town at the various activities bringing Christmas to Kenai. I know we’ll watch the fireworks that evening then enjoy a rollicking game of Mexican dominoes or Progressive Rummy, maybe both. They’ll leave for Palmer early Saturday to beat the rush through Anchorage. Weather permitting, of course.

So as you read this, it‘s back to the usual routine for a few days, then start the Christmas count-down. Hopefully we can hold politics at bay until after the New Year.

Enjoy a Glorious Season!

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