The heavy snow we got on Wednesday made for a strange experience. Here in the Hudson Valley we get our share of snow, but not usually before Santa schleps down to Herald Square. It was no dusting, but that thick packing snow that makes great snowballs. It was fun to toss them to the dog and let him go looking for them. (Heh, yeah, big jerk plays jokes on his puppy.) It plastered the trees. Under a white sky, up to my shins in show, white trees all around, it was very cozy (albeit cold). Like being a large, peaceful white room.
Several things I did not do made this different from many of my previous Thanksgivings. For example:
- I did not have to travel. Actually we've stayed at home for the last couple of years, but when I was a kid we went far and wide to see relatives. You might think us freeloaders, but my parents would definitely have preferred to play the host and buy and stuff the turkey than stuff kids into a car and drive to the ends of the earth, but it was easier to let Grandma cook than get Grandma to leave her own place.
- I did not watch a minute of football. With my Giants on Year Two of sucking like an Electrolux, my interest in football has waned. And the Cowboys/Eagles couldn't result in both teams losing. Still, at one time in my life I would have watched them anyway. Not that long ago I would watch any NFL team take on any other NFL team. Just doesn't seem so important to me right now.
- I had a dog. First year with Tralfaz, who is a cold-weather breed. My God, that dog loves the snow. His selective hearing has been on full strength all weekend, refusing to come in. My wife finally let him stay out there until he was miserable and whining to come in. Works with small children too, but you can get arrested.
- I shoveled snow. I alluded to that earlier. Weird, though, I tell you. Weeeeeird!
- I did not eat a bit of pie. What, is this some crazy diet plan you start on major holidays? you ask. No, silly. I made the Libby's Pumpkin Roll instead. It is---not to put too fine a point on it---FREAKING AWESOME.
- And I was not sick. When I was a kid it seemed I always had a cold at Thanksgiving. It had gotten chilly enough so the schools were keeping us all inside, and when you get a bunch of kids together inside someone's getting a cold (me). If that was not enough, we were felled like lumber by a bad turkey one year, annihilated by a baby cousin's stomach flu on another, and on a third multiple young adults were laid low by six-pack flu after closing the bar on Wednesday. On the whole I think almost half of my Thanksgivings have been spent sick or recovering from sickness.
But shoveling aside, all was fine this holiday. Now that a couple of days have passed, we can sing that classic post-Thanksgiving song:
Over the river and through the woodsFrom Grandmother's house we comeGrandma's got classBut she's a pain in the assAnd Grandpa stinks of rum
I hope next year's is equally great. I also hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and free of illness. But if everyone had a cold, or flu, or projectile vomiting, or something else hideous but not tragic, you may at least get a great story out of it.
UPDATE: Mr. Philbin asks if I watched any of the parade this year. No, not a second, and I'm better for it. There's nothing on Broadway I'd see if you gave me free tickets and a limo to get there. Of course, when Larry and the Mascots: The Musical opens, that will be another kettle of fish.