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Monday, November 26 2001

Thanksgiving in hindsight

It may be because so little of what happens in my experience is out of the routine that I seldom write about my current activities. A big trip like the one with son Mike in August was an exception on both counts (it was out of the routine and I did write about it).

But my Thanksgiving was so unusual that I'll comment about it, even though at the start of this I can't think of any lesson it teaches.

Both of my adult sons were planning trips out of the area, so wouldn't be here for Thanksgiving. But at the last minute Mike's girlfriend had to change her plans, so they were going to be around and, not only that, her family were all gone so she was available to come to our house rather than go to anyone else's. And though until Monday I hadn't heard from my daughter Chris, who now lives about 60 miles away, she finally called and said she had all the major components for a Thanksgiving dinner and would plan to come with her food and her two kids.

But Thursday her car was broke down. A neighbor where she lives could get her to San Jose, but later than the original plan. But about the time Mike and his friend and I were expecting Chris to arrive, she called and said the traffic in her part of the state was so bad her neighbor with whom she was traveling and she had by then made only about 20 miles from home. Could we go up there instead? Mike and I conferred and thought that wouldn't work...by that time it would be too late for the trip to be worthwhile. Then Mike suggested we just postpone a day and Chris could come on Friday instead of Thursday. We all agreed; I took Mike and his friend for a restaurant dinner Thursday night and they went to see Harry Potter afterward.

Friday, we waited most of the day for Chris's arrival at the local train station and her call from there. Instead, at about 2 she arrived in a borrowed pickup truck with only her five-year-old along, the ten-year-old being with an aunt's family. Chris threw the turkey into the oven, went out on some errands, and at 6 p.m. we had a turkey that was too well done, potatoes too whipped, and gravy too lumpy, but a meal that was bountiful if not the best feast we'd ever had. By 7, Chris was on her way back home and all the dinner mess was cleared.

The letdown and under-par meal seemed appropriate for a Thanksgiving dinner eaten 24 hours late. Compared with lots of anecdotes we hear and read, it was still a good enough Thanksgiving to be thankful for. At least there was no quarreling or dysfunction.

After brunch after church on Sunday, Mike suggested we stop to look at cars at the Mitsubishi dealership. Two or three hours later I drove out with my only new car in more than 15 years (induced by the "zero percent financing" come-ons). I'm still wondering if there's a connection. And how this could happen.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Yanks and Canucks

Three Canadians and three Americans were traveling to a hockey game. The three Americans each buy tickets and watch as the three Canadians buy only a single ticket. How are the three people going to travel on only one ticket?" asks an American.

"Watch and you'll see," says a Canadian. They all board the train. The Americans take their respective seats but all three Canadians cram into a restroom and close the door behind them. Shortly after the train has departed, the conductor comes around collecting tickets. He knocks on the restroom door and says, "Ticket please!" The door opens a crack, a single arm emerges with a ticket in hand. The conductor takes it and moves on. The Americans see this and agree it was quite a clever idea.

So after the game they decide to copy the Canadians on the return trip and save some money. When they get to the station, they buy a single ticket for the return trip. To their astonishment, the Canadians don't buy a ticket at all. "How are you going to travel without a ticket?" asks one perplexed American.

"Watch and you'll see," replies a Canadian.

When they board the train, the three Americans cram into a restroom and the three Canadians cram into another restroom nearby.

Once the train leaves the station, one of the Canadians leaves and walks over to the other restroom where the Americans are hiding, knocks on the door and says, "Ticket please!"

—Sent by Mike Harrison

Advent thought for the day

It takes two things to blow down a tree, a heavy wind outside and rot, decay, inside. So it is with man. The winds of adversity may cause him to bend, but if he is strong and vigorous within, he will rise and grow to new heights after the storm passes.

—Anthony M. Coniaris
Daily Vitamins for Spiritual Growth

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