Monday, November 28, 2005

Fans and Family

Are we really thankful for the things we have? For many people Thanksgiving is a day off to stuff their belly with food, either with family or alone. This year is different for many people.

As I have noted in previous posts, Hurricane Katrita significantly changed lives here, including mine. What I am most thankful for this year is the ablility to gather with my family in places that are familiar. Gathering in my grandfather's house for a noon-time meal is a needed step toward normal in the New Louisiana. Unfortunately we didn't have the traditional turkey at this meal. The plan was to order the meal from Robie's Grocery, a local store that does an excellent job. Last year we had no problem getting one, this year they sold out very early, but we can roll with it. Instead we have sausage-stuffed chicken, with all the trimmings. No big deal, meat is meat, after all.

After dinner we replaced the ceiling fan in the living room, which was almost as old as I am and leaking oil. My sister says it's not a true family gathering if there's not a big project to be done. In the post-project recovery, the conversation turned to movies. The older folks recounted stories of the drive-ins of the past, and that someone could make some money if they opened one now. The rationale is that people are looking for nostalgia, and with today's technology they can get the sound in their car on crystal clear FM radio.

My grandfather joins in with the story of how he and my grandmother got married at the drive-in. Apparently the Justice of the Peace was also the projectionist, and the only free time he had was between reel changes. After 27 years of life, I'm finally hearing the great stories. It could be that I needed to reach an age that I could appreciate them, but I know I've never heard these before.

Before long we are on the road to meet my in-laws. They have turkey, both smoked and fried, and we get along very well. No really great stories here, just good times visting with family.

In the end that is what I'm most thankful for this year. Even though my childhood home has been swept away by tidal surge and my parents are living in a hotel room, we are all healthy and able to gather together.

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