Thanksgiving 2010

Forget the cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie for this year’s Thanksgiving. The only turkey we saw was one on a diner’s head in the Village Inn in Colby, Kansas.

Turkey Hat Front - B

Turkey Hat Profil - B

              Gobble, Gobble

The gentleman was proud to tell us he had enough similar hats to wear a different one every day of the month. Can you imagine? I think it’s fortunate there’s a holiday for him to feature Tom Turkey.

Bob and I plus my sister Judy spent the day driving east from Denver along I-70. With a promising weather forecast we decided to make a road trip to central Illinois for a special family event. Limited holiday dining options in western Kansas found us having a noontime breakfast at a Village Inn.

Bob and PIzza - BWe stopped for the night in Abilene, Kansas. The helpful desk clerk at our hotel made several calls trying to find an open restaurant – to no avail. After a drive through town we opted for a “To Go” pepperoni pizza from Casey’s General Store. Thankful and mighty glad to indulge in something hot.

With a desire to chalk up mileage we didn’t take time to stop for photographs but we’ll remember the day with mental images: an every increasing number and size of grain elevators plus covered mounds of additional grain awaiting sale or storage, fields girded with stone fence posts, a lone working aged windmill with hundreds of 21st-century wind turbines on the other side of the Interstate, tall church steeples raising above the plains, and a thousand birds rising as one from a barren cottonwood.

A very different, but pleasant Thanksgiving. We have just as much to be thankful for as if we had indulged in turkey with all the trimmings including pumpkin pie.

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                 Mayflower II

                                    Thankful for the Mayflower Pilgrims

 mayflower1

 When I was nine years old another child asked me what Thanksgiving reminded me of, my reply was, “Pilgrims.” Harriett May’s response was, “No, turkey, you big dumb elephant.” The phrase, “Big dumb elephant” has become an inside family moniker.

Pilgrims remain an important link to Thanksgiving in my mind. Visiting the Mayflower replica Mayflower II and Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts gave me a deeper understanding of  who these people were, what they left behind in Europe and their grit and determination in establishing a new life in North America.

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