Maybe where you live the preparations are already underway. We're borrowing chairs from neighbors who were planning on borrowing them from us. A search party to locate card tables has been formed, place has been cleared for the kids' tables and the aromas already emanating from the kitchen are causing mouths to water.
Thanksgiving may be the only holiday in America where many of us become, if just for the day, math majors as we try to compute how many hours how large a turkey needs to be in the oven at how many degrees so that it can feed a houseful of family and friends we've invited to join us for dinner. And let's not forget how many side dishes and who's bringing what--all important elements on our national Day of Thankfulness.
No matter how rough times have been leading up to this week, and for a lot of us they sure have been tough, we still make that extra effort as we put a smile on a care-worn face and enjoy the warmth of home and hearth.
Let's face it, the smiles have been in short supply in recent years as times turned bad and then stayed that way. Many of us have seen local businesses fade and then close and neighbors move on and away in search of something more than we have right here, right now. And in those households still here, a lot of us are doing a little more with a little less than we did last year.
Despite what you may think, we're the fortunate ones. When you talk to those who help out at food pantries and kitchens such as Saint Vincent de Paul Place, they'll tell you how the need is again greater this year than it was last year and we all remember how last year too many were in need of too much.
We already knew that. The army is stretched thin-in this case, I mean the Salvation Army, which has been deployed with its red kettle and ringing bell for more than a few days and who'll use anything you can spare and share. So thanks in advance for your generosity.
And while the big headlines on newspaper front pages in recent weeks scream about the legislative Armageddon to come in Washington DC in January, closer to home, many of us whisper and worry about the cost of heating oil and a winter that has yet to arrive.
On a brighter note, Saturday at one is the Winterfest Parade followed by Light Up City Hall. The parade kicks off at Chelsea Parade, and concludes in what, for decades, was the heart of downtown Norwich, Franklin Square. From there, it's a short walk for all the activities planned around an afternoon near City Hall capped at six (ish)when Santa himself illuminates the building.
Ready or not, the holidays are here and as we gather family and friends closer to celebrate, and hopefully in the rush and crush of events we can remember strangers are friends we haven't yet met and light up a life the way we'll light up City Hall as we give one another hope when we celebrate Thanksgiving.