I't is amazing how quickly Thanksgiving has gotten here this year. We barely got through Halloween, and tomorrow Thanksgiving is once again with us. Families will be gathering all over the U.S. to celebrate. It is a special time to remember, reflect and give thanks.
Our Canadian neighbors celebrate their Thanksgiving the second Monday in October, as a day of general thanksgiving to almighty God for the “bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed.” Both our countries celebrate with family gatherings, turkey and pumpkin pie.
Mexico and Canada. Most recently she has been living in Chatham, Ontario. While residing in the Valley she was a volunteer at the Pioneers Museum.
When speaking to her recently she said Canadian Thanksgiving is very similar to our Thanksgiving. One of the differences might be that they like rutabagas (ugh) with their dinners, where we might prefer green beans.
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When I spoke to her the temperature in Chatham was in the 50s, and her geraniums were still in bloom. Normally this time of year temperatures are between 35 and 40 degrees. Chatham is just an hour from Detroit.
For several years our family celebrated Thanksgiving at Live Oaks Springs at the vacation home of my sister Louise. Sometimes we were freezing and had the fireplace going, and occasionally we ate outside. I just remember seeing snow once when we were there. One year we all wore Pilgrim hats made for us by my niece Becky.
Then for many years a number of us headed south to Mexico with trailers and motor homes. We met in the old Fedco parking lot in Calexico before crossing the border. The late Harold Sturges led our group. Harold was prepared for just about any emergency, and was a wonderful tour guide.
On our first trip to El Gulfo we pulled our trailer with our Dodge pickup. It had absolutely no traction in the sand. My husband nicknamed it the “Blue Sled,” because we got stuck so often. Harold had a wonderful winch on his Chevy Blazer, and liked using it. The next time we took that trip my husband had a Chevy pickup with four-wheel drive, and a winch. He loved pulling people out. When it rained around the Valley he always took his pickup to work, hoping to find someone stuck in the mud along the way.
We generally got set up early in the afternoon on a lovely stretch of beach miles from the town of El Gulfo. Harold always made sure we had a beautiful site for our camp. We rarely saw other people in that area.
Preparations were soon under way once we got to the beach. Everyone contributed to our Thanksgiving feast. Perhaps it was the exhaustion of planning the trip, the ocean air or the tryptophan in the turkey, but I remember being in bed by 6 p.m. the first night. I think we all slept 12 hours.
Our days were spent sightseeing, taking long walks, studying flocks of birds flying overhead, and just being lazy. There might have been a couple of cell phones among those in our group, but mostly the only sounds we heard were waves crashing. We always came back home refreshed after these trips.
My friend Ruth and I visited with four classes at Finley Elementary School a few days ago. She shared facts about the Pilgrims, and I added some information about the Indians who helped out the Pilgrims. It is fun to dress up in costume each year, and the children seem to enjoy it. Unlike other years, the children didn’t think we were old enough to have been on the Mayflower.
Wishing all our readers a blessed Thanksgiving!