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Thursday, November 24, 2011

All About Thanksgiving

For most of the time I've had this blog, I've been pretty faithful at sticking to my original five-day plan. Not now. For the rest of November, I'm going to write random thoughts about things that interest me, bother me, or just tweak my imagination. It should be an interesting ride.

Let me tell you all about Thanksgiving as my former students used to explain it to me. In 1492 that Spaniard named Columbus sailed across the ocean, landed at Plymouth Rock, and invited all the Indians to dinner. They all got together, ate turkey and pumpkin pie, sang a few choruses of kumbaya, smoked a peace pipe and went happily on their way.

I won't go into how it horrified me to get this version of history from the future grade-school teachers in my teaching-the-teachers classes. Suffice to say that I tried to keep my cool while pointing out that Columbus wasn't Spanish, he arrived in the Caribbean -- not in what became New England, he landed there a generation or so before the Pilgrims even contemplated coming over, and the whole peaceful Thanksgiving mythology was a short break in the history of antagonism between the settled native peoples and the settling English.

But that's all really beside my point. This year as we gather for Thanksgiving in the middle of our biannual reunion known as AylaPalooza, I'm more thankful than ever to Columbus or the Pilgrims or whoever we feel like thanking for giving us this holiday.

For the Aylworths and associated relatives, the holiday is all about the pie, and this year's holiday is all about being together -- and eating pie.

Son Adam is hosting the Thanksgiving meal and he plans to cook about 80 pounds of turkeys in a variety of ways, but he is assigning out the other items on the holiday table to all the other folks who are coming, and every nuclear family is to bring two pies. When I do the math, I think we're going to have about 20 pies to share among the 52 of us -- and we'll probably bake more during the weekend.

So folks, wherever you are today, however you are enjoying your Thanksgiving holiday and whoever you're with, have some pie and think of us. We'll be thinking of -- and thanking -- you, Columbus, and all those other guys.

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