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Thanksgiving is just around the corner and when I visit with friends, we tend to compare all the great variety of problems in our lives.  Some problems are yesterday’s news, but others are definitely current and usually “economy” related.

Some problems are virtually unsolvable due to their nature versus ours.  Other problems are beyond our solving but are greatly affecting none the less.  So I suggest a little tactic I have often employed called “boiling it down.”  Here’s an example:  I am heading out the driveway for my walk and I cast my eyes to heaven and say silently to God, “Please don’t let me see any road kill today.  Let me find and save a wooly bear caterpillar.  Let the squirrels make it across the road and please God, no more dead goldfinches.”  These may seem rather incongruous to some readers but let me tell you it is not fun to lose it over a hit-and-run cat, sit on the curb, and cry your eyes out!

At our house, prior to Thanksgiving dinner, I usually say a “grace.”  On occasion, however, I have foisted it onto my son or daughter – for fear of breaking down.

Another solution is to do a toast instead – both thankful and hopeful.  Employing humor always adds up to a calm enjoyable meal.  The object is to be together and enjoy each other’s company.  This is relatively easy to write about, but when all is said and done – family dynamics at any given time can be tricky.  Dwelling on anything positive, just past or on the horizon, is ideal.  Memories can sometimes save the day. I like to prolong sitting around the table as long as possible.  Beyond that watching a movie such as “Home for the Holidays” can be a good thing.

When I began writing this column I was sitting in Starbucks.  A gal sitting behind me asked if I was writing a journal.  “Oh no,” I replied, “I write a column for a paper called the Northwest Connection, and I have a deadline coming up.  It’s going to be about Thanksgiving.”  “Oh!” she said, “I am a direct descendant of the

Indian Massasoit (I think) who sat across from the head Pilgrim at the first Thanksgiving.  And he (the Indian)  proclaimed it as a day of mourning!”  “Well, things are stressful – but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is that bad!”  I replied, to a burst of laughter.

We were heading south to a glass convention early in November, so I hoped to be home in time to host Thanksgiving – but my daughter can pinch hit with style if she has to.  Of course the wee doggies would be upset as they would not have thrill of the turkey gauntlet—the annual trip from sink to oven and the excitement of “will she make it to the oven without dropping the bird!”

So here’s to the day and may yours be wonderful – filled with love and laughter:  the best medicine.

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