Volume 95, Issue 20

Thursday, October 4, 2001
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Parking blues

Taking offense: easy as 1, 2, 3

Giving thanks for your family

Giving thanks for your family

Probably Not
Matt Pearson
Deputy Editor

I remember my first Thanksgiving. Well, not my first Thanksgiving ever, but the first one I have vivid memories of.

I was six and my first grade teacher, Miss McCurdy, told my class the Thanksgiving story. Following the story, she gave us the task of making Pilgrim hats out of black construction paper and yellow crayons. The crayons were for the gold buckles, but, if memory serves, my buckle looked nothing like a buckle.

I have other memories of Thanksgiving too.

Of being 13 and jumping in the gathered maple leaves in our side yard for the last time, before I was too old and jumping in leaves became "uncool."

Of being 19 and travelling through Arizona, enjoying my first taste of freedom and independence, but wondering how Mom's stuffing turned out and what joke Dad was telling.

Of being 23 and feeding my beautiful nine-month-old niece puréed pears on a glorious Sunday afternoon, while a chorus of siblings gathered around the appetizer table and double-dipped.

Thanksgiving is tattooed with images of family and of time spent together, enjoying each other's company. It's a beautiful time of year, coloured by a thousand hues of orange and brown and set between the soft laziness of summer and the isolating chill of winter.

Like the word itself implies, it is a time to give thanks to those around us, to those who mean the most to us in our lives. But this thankfulness for life and for the living is set against a season of wilting, of falling and of dying, in the greatest of autumn ironies.

Thanksgiving reminds us of the importance of family, however we define that word. Once you reach a certain age, life becomes a web of people simply related to you, either by blood or by some deeper experience.

Although my family is one of parents, sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews, it also includes the friends and colleagues who make each day so bright and worthwhile.

It reminds us that those around us may only be here for a short time and that each moment together is worth cherishing. As recent events have shown so drastically, life is a precious thing and we are all ultimately mortal.

Besides, Thanksgiving offers a perfect reprieve from the day-to-day grunt of life; a time to sleep in, go for a walk, do the crossword and share a meal, any kind of meal, with those you love – your family.

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