We still have much to be thankful for

Thanksgiving is over and the few calls to and from the OMOTM revealed that — to a phone call — the gatherings of relatives and friends were going to be greatly reduced. One OMOTM was going from the normal 20 to 24 people down to three.

That was the largest drop reported. The others were generally the same down to nine or 10, with one who has family close by and even though the countdown was at 12 there was a sentry at the end of the road to watch for turkey cops.

Today with cell phones it is not necessary to have walkie-talkies or a two-way radio to communicate back and forth. The above-mentioned OF had one of the attendees leave their cell phone on, and that was the number for the sentry to call if a turkey cop was spotted.

Two attendees who drew the short straws were assigned to scurry to the root cellar if a call came in. A few cars were in the driveway, but some were in the barn with the doors closed to cut down on suspicion of possibly too many at a particular domicile by car counters as they drove by.

The OFs really didn’t worry that anything would happen but part of the conversation at a couple of the meals was what would the police do if they spotted 11 at one of the meals? What would their options be?

Would they cuff one and take him or her to the station with the rest, or hand out an appearance ticket to whoever was hosting the dinner? What would the penalty be?

This made for some interesting chats around the table at a couple of the OFs’ dinners. However, only one had anything to worry about, and this scribe does not think they worried much, if at all.

In these well-wishing calls, the Thanksgiving wishes were given by all to all, and the theme was that, in the way things are going now, we still have much to be thankful for. In one call, the scribe and one OF hit on the same theme.

That theme was: With all that is going on — this matters, and that matters or nothing matters. The discussion finally came down to this: Enjoy yourself. These are the good old days you’re going to miss in the years ahead.

One OF said that, because the group is so small, instead of turkey this year they purchased a big chicken and were going to cook it turkey-style. The same OF said that, with some of the side dishes they usually make, they had trouble figuring out how to scale the quantity of ingredients down, because they are only feeding three instead of 23. The OF said, if they use the original recipes, they would have leftovers all the way to the Christmas dinner.


Christmas is coming

That is right. Christmas is only a few days away. No wonder we all put on pounds during this time of year.

One OF asked the scribe if he has done any Christmas shopping yet. The scribe gave a truthful answer and said he really only shops for one person and that is his wife, and he does a miserable job at that. The scribe said his wife does the Christmas shopping and she does a bang-up job at that chore.

All the scribe does, he told the OF, is the Christmas cards, but again the scribe’s wife goes over the list, makes out the labels, removes those who have passed on, changes the address of those who have moved, etc., etc. And the older we become, the more names are taken off the list because they have joined the passed-on group. 

The OF said there is a heck of a lot that goes on with the holiday season, including the decorations, super-cleaning the house, keeping the cat-box empty and the cat full. Then the OF added maybe this year it will all be for naught because this OF said he thinks they won’t be getting visitors like they used to in past years, at least for the remainder of 2020, and maybe part of 2021.

Along with this time of year, with Thanksgiving over and Christmas coming, two of the OFs mentioned how (at their places) the lilacs are budding out, and so are the wild apple trees, and this is in the Hilltowns. One OF mentioned he has not been to the flatlands in a while but he bets the trees and shrubs are further along than at his place.

When the scribe mentioned this to one of the OFs, this OF said he winterized all his lawn equipment and the lawn could be mowed again for winter but he is not going to do it now; he will just let it grow. The OF said he will cut the lawn in the spring because he is not going to run his mowers just for one shot and then have to go through all the winterizing again.

With all that is going on, it sure is a different year.

During this trying time, I noticed my wife was a little upset with some things that had gone wrong. I told her she should embrace her mistakes. She gave me a big hug!