Breaking Traditions

picture courtesy of

picture courtesy of

Thanksgiving is often fondly remembered by its traditions.  Yet the most memorable ones were often those when we broke tradition.

In 1979 my mother posted a notice at a local military base with an offer to anyone with no place to go (for Thanksgiving) was welcome at our house.  Though they were strangers to me, I really enjoyed meeting new people and making new friends.  I always remembered this as an act of kindness and thoughtfulness.

In 2005 I worked and didn’t have a Thanksgiving meal…kinda depressing.

In 2006 I found myself unexpectedly homeless and was living at a shelter.  On Thanksgiving day the city decorated the place where we received food, very festive with table cloths and flowers.  Normally when it was time to eat we stood in a line and were served cafeteria style.  Today we were seated restaurant style and were waited on by the city’s VIPs such as the mayor, the news media darlings and the successful businessmen of the city.  They really went out of their way to make us feel welcome and normal.  They were gracious and attentive which made me feel that was not just an act of duty, more like a privilege of being able to do something to help those less fortunate.  It made me feel surprisingly grateful, not for the food but for the genuine care they offered.  Two weeks later…I was employed and living in a house.  🙂

2007 was the year I reconnected with my daughter after a long estrangement.  That year she made her first Thanksgiving dinner for Rick and I.  It was the BEST meal that I had ever tasted.  I couldn’t help it, I took lots of pictures and made a photo book of it…she looked so proud!  It felt good to have family connection again.

It’s 2012 and we were told last night that we would have some unexpected guests for dinner.  I will be sprucing up the house a bit this morning…so happy I am not cooking!  Rick’s mother’s boss just arrived in town.  We’d actually been hoping to hear from him as he has spent the last few months sailing down the Intracoastal from New York to Florida in a boat he built from scratch.   I’m hoping he will let me interview him for a story…and take pictures….maybe even go for a ride…


Author’s note:  I had a wonderful Thanksgiving and was pleased as punch that Mr. Ludington was eager to talk about his boat and share his story.  To read more about it click here.