Larry Ebersole: Thanksgiving about the people who gather that day
November 25, 2008
The altitude has somehow affected my memory of geography.
My old home of Green Mountain Falls is near Woodland Park, not Winter Park as I wrote incorrectly last week. This is probably why I frequently get lost on my way home.
The one other item to get out of the way is that I grew up thinking that the upcoming holiday was created out of the fact that the Cowboys played football on the last Thursday in November every year. I have learned over the years that there are other meanings we attach to Thanksgiving, which in truth has always been my favorite holiday.
In years past, my family and I always spent the Thanksgiving weekend with a fairly large group of friends and family, with the fact it was mainly the same group year after year lending it a sort of intimacy. The locations would vary but the sense of community would pull everyone back from wherever they were dispersed throughout the country.
With all due respect to Thanksgiving’s historical meaning and the joy of that traditional meal, that sense of community is what gave it meaning to me. That group has thinned out the last couple of years for many different reasons. We recently lost one of our cornerstones to ALS and I miss him very much. Time alone would have inevitably changed the dynamics of the holiday in terms of our personal celebrations, but I still search for a way to experience again the meaning it once had for me.
Difficult times as we have certainly experienced this year can easily test our ability to be thankful for anything. The other side of that coin is that trying times can show us the value of what we take for granted on a daily basis. When we are prosperous as a nation it becomes easy, even trendy in some circles, to cast the consumption that drives our economy in an evil light. Excess makes it easy to praise the frugal life.
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In a time of recession when it becomes difficult to provide for our basic needs, and our wants are pushed off to the more prosperous future we are sure is around the corner, that same frugality becomes a burden, a symptom that something is wrong.
Maybe consumerism isn’t the bad guy; maybe it is a neural activity that can be applied in a positive manner. In thinking harder about each dollar we spend, I believe spending it locally if possible is the best choice we can make. It is possible we could save a buck today at a big box store in a neighboring county; I certainly could not hold that against anyone. However, save that dollar for gas to drive there again in the future as the local business leave for lack of support. Shopping locally isn’t a bailout as you are getting what you need in return for your dollar, but the community as a whole will benefit from your choice.
Speaking of the community as a whole, Grand County Pet Pals is bringing in Santa Paws to have his picture taken with your pet. Santa Paws will be at Mountain Dawg Outfitters in Fraser on Saturday, Dec. 6, from noon until 4 p.m. and at the Grand County Animal Shelter on Sunday, Dec. 7, from noon until 4 p.m. I know this is outside of the Kremmling area (my geography isn’t that bad), but I am trying to get on Santa Paws’ good boy list.
In Kremmling, the new owners of Ghost Wood Interiors are having an open house for the holiday weekend so stop and say “hi”.
On Saturday, Dec. 6, the Kremmling Preschool will be having its Christmas Craft Fair at the West Grand High School from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. I believe Santa will be there along with a bake sale and other stuff to eat.
So, maybe the answer to my quest to find meaning in Thanksgiving again is simply that it takes humility to be thankful for so many things that benefit me throughout the year through no effort of my own. The Founding Fathers come to mind, as do our veterans and current military personnel overseas. I only hope I realize this before drifting off into my after turkey nap.
Have a good Thanksgiving and continue to submit items of local interest to Larry Ebersole at Amentalengineer@cs.com or P.O Box 564, Kremmling, CO 80459.
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