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Saying thanks for a lot of things you might also want to curse

You don’t have to be a turkey pardoned by the president to have things to be thankful for.
You don’t have to be a turkey pardoned by the president to have things to be thankful for. TNS

It’s long, red and slinky, with a thigh high slit. It is simply not the sort of dress you can wear with ankle high sneakers and thick support hose.

This sequin-encrusted gown has hung in my closet for 15 years. When I bought it, my various protuberances were in different places than they are now and it slipped on easily. I can still get most of me into it as long as no one stands behind me and I don’t try to close the zipper.

It made me feel gorgeous. I’m thankful for that.

This is the dress I wore to deliver the keynote speech at my 50th high school reunion. When I stood up to speak, catastrophe struck.

The edge of the sequins were in just the right place to catch the top edge of my thick support hose (knit in the Black Forest by the elves). This caused the sturdy garment to roll down. As the hose rolled down, the sequins came flying off the dress.

This was distracting. By the time I was through speaking, my heavy support stockings (assembled in South America by upwardly mobile spider monkeys) was stuck like a giant rubber band around my knees. I couldn’t move without fear of catapulting into the bandstand.

As I hobbled away, a red path of fallen sequins followed me. I’m thankful for the hose (created by Hobbits in their underground factory), which allow me an active lifestyle that would be impossible otherwise but sometimes you have to say thanks and let go.

I’ll be spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Hawaii. My son sent a ticket.

“Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday, Happy Mother’s Day, Happy Ground Hog Day!” he said.

I’m excited about the trip, even though I will be wearing the blanket-like support hose (felted in Lithuanian underground caves) in the tropic sunshine.

Traveling can be hazardous so my children have taken the precaution of getting me a fall monitor. This is not a supervisor for the autumn months. It is a device to summon help in case of an accidental fall.

The very first day, it fell on the bathroom floor. It flew off the waistband of those fabled support hose (fabricated in Scandinavia by Norwegian fishermen) and sailed as if propelled by a slingshot across the room.

As soon as it hit the floor, the device spoke.

“Medic Alert has detected a fall,” it observed.

Then it instructed me to hold the button down for eight seconds and then give it a quick click to signify a mistake. I was still trying valiantly to count to eight when the live person came on to listen to me gibber.

Fact is, the monitor works really well. In a real emergency, it would have been less than a minute after the fall was detected until 911 was called, even if I was unable to speak. I’m thankful for that.

Number Three Son wrote from California that he’s thankful for the smartphone.

In past years, he has not enjoyed his turn as chaperone for dances at the school where he teaches. As a chaperone, it’s his duty to discourage students engaged in what is described as “frisky dancing.”

Until now, he has had to rely on his repertoire of very reproachful and disappointed looks to restore order. This time he was pleased to find that unruly dance was not a problem because, even on the dance floor, young people now need to stop and check their phones every few minutes so there really isn’t time for anything else. He’s thankful for that.

I hope my son’s students remember him as I remember my sophomore American History teacher. Mr. Randall loved America, and had absolute confidence in the foresight of the founders who, he said, had left us with a sacred trust and all the tools we’d ever need for government by the people. You had to believe him. I’m thankful for that.

I will miss the turkey leftovers, being away from home for the holiday. Abraham Lincoln, was the first president to pardon the White House turkey, in 1863, after his decree of a national Thanksgiving holiday. The pardon came at his son Tad’s pleading. Presidents from Harry Truman on have followed suit when the mood struck them.

I guess that’s why there are so many turkeys around today. Mr. Randall would say we have all the tools we need to handle those turkeys, too. I hope he was right. I’d be thankful for that.

Dorothy Wilhelm is a professional speaker and writer. Follow Dorothy’s blog at itsnevertoolate.com. Contact her at P.O. Box 881, DuPont WA, 98327. Phone 800-548-9264, email Dorothy@itsnevertoolate. com.

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