As an Italian, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. The combination of food and family is like the perfect swirl of yummy goodness. When my mother was alive, we would try to gather as a family even though my sisters and I are scattered throughout the US. One sister lives in Georgia, another in Texas, and my mother and father retired to Florida. Since I live in Washington state, I always had to travel the farthest to visit my parents in Florida.
Mom would always make my favorite dish, lasagna. Although I don’t eat beef, there was no way I would insult my mother and not eat her home-made lasagna. My love for my mother overrode my food preferences. Of course, along with the lasagna she prepared turkey and all the fixings. There is never a shortage of food in an Italian gathering.
I joked the other day about being a geekoramus (yes that is another of my made up words, but I’m sure you can figure out what it means). Due to my geek tendencies, I had to look up the historical origins of Thanksgiving. I find it very hard to resist doing google research on certain sayings or various holidays.
So….of course I did some digging on Thanksgiving. I learned that Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a federal holiday in 1863 during the Civil War. I find this particularly interesting, since in my humble opinion, we are currently in the middle of the most divisive moment in our nation since the civil war. He proclaimed that the United States, “observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.” Certainly, we all learned in grade-school that the first Thanksgiving started in 1621 with the Pilgrims and Native Americans and evolved into what was known as, harvest festival, celebrated nationally on and off since 1789 after the original proclamation by George Washington.
Throughout my books, I sneak in little tidbits here and there and they often catch the attention of my editors who wish to delete them because they are, “unnecessary to the advancement of the story.” I try to preserve them because who wouldn’t want to know why there there are 10 hot dogs and only 8 hot dog buns, or where the saying, “break a leg”, came from. Inquiring minds, right? On occasion I hear from readers about how they enjoy these random passages. That always makes me smile.
I suspect that in many households there is a tradition of noting what we are thankful for and so I will share my list, but I am also going to break tradition by adding a new list as a balance.
I am thankful for: my wife, my wife’s health and my health, a great variety of lesfic books to read, a wonderful publisher, supportive family, stupendous readers, awesome betas, fun co-workers, living full-time with my wife, my five furry kids and the five other feral cats we feed, our new RV, and finally my Goldie award.
Here’s what I wish was different….I wish my mother was still alive to celebrate the holiday with because it was also one of her favorite’s. I miss her most around this time of the year. I can’t help wishing that some of the hateful rhetoric I’ve listened to lately remained unacceptable…and yes, political correctness continued to govern thoughts and actions (for the most part). I don’t want our country to take a giant step backward in the progress we’ve made toward acceptance.
If any of you just can’t live without learning about those random tidbits, you know the drill…click on the links below. There are several in Out of This World! Oh and by the way, for anyone who wants a free Thanksgiving story featuring the characters from Asset Management, pm me and I’ll send it pronto….because along with being a geekoramus I am also a punctormus….he he he.