Thanksgiving comes gobbling

Ol’ Dutch was sitting up in a tree the other day when 50 wild turkeys walked by. Now, before you think I have finally flipped my rocker let me explain a tad further.

For the uninformed and even those slightly aware of men's idiosyncrasies, normally sane, grown men will climb into a tree and sit there in biting wind, rain and cold in order to tag a deer.

These men would quit a job that asked them to endure such hardships, but when it comes to hunting, those same men will sit there quiet as a church mouse for hours on end just for a chance to shoot a deer or another game animal.

Ah, but this column isn’t about hunting, but the turkeys made me think of Turkey Day which came around the bend like Mario Andretti in the final of the Indy 500.

Ol' Dutch is lucky enough this year to be at #1 son's house in Kansas for the event and his in-laws have invited Trixie and me for eats and drinks on the big day.  

Living in an RV has many advantages including going where we want when we want, visiting my kids on a regular basis, seeing the USA, fishing and hunting across the nation, with no possibility of overnight guests.

The biggest advantage, however, is not having room to host ANYTHING. Events such as birthdays with the cake all over the floor; Super Bowl parties where guests drink too much and toilets overflow; cookouts and other casual gathering are always held at “someone else's house” which is also called, “nirvana.” 

All Ol' Dutch has to do nowadays is show up, eat, drink and leave in exactly that order for all to be well with the world. Now it's not that I don't like hosting. When I was in the “cohabiting in peace stage” with the ex-wife we had a nice house with a huge open floor plan and always hosted every holiday.

I soon found out why everyone was happy to come to our place. After they left, there was a mess to clean up, outside planters had been backed over by cars, and Uncle Bill had missed the toilet bowl – several times. Now it has finally dawned on me that all of them were older than me at the time and they had learned the secret to holidays: never host.

This isn't to say I am not thankful for all that I have. My usual input now to the family gatherings is saying the blessing over the meal and I can usually put together a nice little ditty with the proper references for the occasion at hand. 

Thanksgiving is no different from other celebratory events except now instead of having to say something nice about Bob on his birthday, I can choose from a litany of things around me to be thankful for.

For those of you who will also be tasked with saying the blessing, let me give you a few pointers. 

You can never go wrong being thankful for grandchildren, children and even for old Aunt Edna who made it one more year -- her wool skirt smelling like cedar from the hope chest and her Estee Lauder perfume stinking up the room.

There are certain things you may want to shy away from such as politics. Don't thank the Lord for the President or even ask for guidance for the man as you will be speaking to a mixed demographic group, half of which hate his guts and will feel compelled to let you know that soon after the prayer ends. This usually then leads to what is known as “strife” and someone leaving early which in reality is a good thing as it means an extra piece of pie for me.

If you need inspiration for your prayer, look around the room. They are not only your audience, but also your potential subject matter.  

If you cannot be thankful for one single one of them -- which can happen in certain families – then, at least be thankful for the turkey who gave his life for you this day.

And, if that doesn’t work, skip the meal, go sit in your tree stand and be thankful you are not at home.