The Spirit of Saint Louis

The Spirit of Saint Louis

I am thankful for not having to go to work today, and also tomorrow and also this weekend. They’re be no paper airplane building this holiday. I’m thankful for a good job that has supported my family and does not require me to go to work on Black Friday, or even worse, Grey Thursday.

I am thankful for the spate of warm weather today that will allow me to go bicycling, before cooking the rest of the day. It was especially foggy on Wednesday morning. I knew that the airport was closed, because the Running Rabbit wasn’t going, as I passed underneath it on my way into work. The Running Rabbit is that ribbon of chasing lights that leads pilots into land, at night or in not too inclement weather. Dave posted a photo of similar weather in the early AM at Purdue. My suspicions were later confirmed that Chicago’s O’Hare Airport was also shutdown. Our country’s busiest airport was shutdown on its busiest day of the year. I’m thankful that none of my family was flying today.

Dave drove into town last night, completing his whirlwind cross-country sojourn. We trooped over to South Grand for our traditional pre-Thanksgiving Vietnamese dinner. Our atomic family is all together again and all valances are strong. I’m especially thankful for this.

I’m thankful for all our other family members, who we won’t be seeing this holiday. Many we have seen this year, but some we missed. We hope to see them again in the new year. We’re few compared to other families, but mighty. Some though, we won’t see again. I’m thankful that I have known, loved and been loved by them.

Thanksgiving is an American holiday. Yeah, I know Canada has one too. On this holiday, across this land, we attempt to recreate a mythical meal, once shared between our Pilgrim fathers and their Native American neighbors. A recent Slate article implicates the Pilgrims for plaguing these very same neighbors into extinction. Another Slate article contends that Turkey Day is really Dino Day. I am thankful for these holiday readings, it will stimulate table conversation.

Recriminations can abound when diaspora families reunite. There is always the big three, politics, religion and sex, three things better not discussed at the dinner table. Interesting, but inconsequential small talk can be a godsend. I’ll be thankful for turkey sandwiches after the all the hub-bub dies down again.

As you travel into and through this holiday, don’t imagine yourself as some lone aviator, trying to be the first to cross the Atlantic. Lindbergh’s triumph eventually turned to tragedy. Enjoy the parade. You’ll see some of the most significant people in your life, parading before you during this holiday. Be thankful for them and enjoy them!

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