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Giving Thanks

November 23, 2011

Milestones are important.

Life has a way of getting away from us. Maybe not all of us, but certainly from me. Days fly by. Weeks are over as soon as they’ve begun. Months come and go. Years quickly add up into decades.

It may sound corny until a person asks you a question about when something happened in the past, and your answer is off by ten years. Yeah, that’s happened to me. And then you realize that life events both large and small help provide landmarks in time. So it is wise to celebrate the joys, and take time to mourn the losses.

Today there is a little of both. First the joy.

This post that you are reading now is the 800th I have written on the FUSSYlittleBLOG. Actually, I’m taking WordPress at its word on the matter, since I have no intention of going back and counting them all.

At the rate I’m going, it only takes me about seventeen weeks to do 100 posts, which puts the FLB on track to do over 300 in the course of a year. Although I’m really hopeful that Eric Paul takes me up on my offer, and decides to write a few posts on cheese sometime down the road.

The highlights of the past 100 posts in no particular order:

Tours
The lead up to the 2011 Tour de Donut
The best cider donut east of the Hudson
The discussion about upcoming tours

Cocktails
Reader support for The New York State of Mind was truly inspirational
Doc Sconz encouraged me to try a flavored whiskey, and oddly, I liked it

Restaurants
Ala Shanghai & the FLB debuted a winter feast for eight people (only $160)
Banh Mi came to Albany and it made me surprisingly grumpy
Jack’s Oyster House got a minor menu makeover
Colonie Restaurant Week fought back against Albany’s lackluster RW attempt

I am thrilled that so many of these stories involve actual events where I’ve been able to engage with readers, chefs, journalists, bloggers and restaurant professionals in person. It is one thing to have readers. It’s another still to have a community of commenters. But I am most thankful that so many of you are willing to get out from behind your computers and help make the FLB come alive.

While today is joyous, it is also sad. It marks the two-year anniversary of my Grandfather’s death. When I was small, he was Pop Pop. As I got older it got shortened to Pop. But my uncle said Pop always wanted to be called Papa, and that’s how he was known to my kids.

Pop passed away November 23, 2009. And remember that thing about life getting away from us? I cannot believe that it has already been two years without him.

I have a lot of great memories of life with Pop Pop. At a very young age, he bought me a motorized police “motorcycle” that had my name on the front. I can still remember the feeling of seeing it on the very top shelf of the toy store, and the excitement and anticipation of watching the clerk climb up a ladder to bring it down. Waiting for its battery to charge was sheer torture. But once it was ready, I drove it around his cul-de-sac beaming with joy.

But as much as anything else I will remember Pop for his chocolate malts.

On one level, having lived through the Great Depression, he never really understood things like my obsessive desire for a great cappuccino (I should be lucky to have coffee at all). But then again, he was the one who insisted that his chocolate malts be made only with Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream.

Less than two weeks before he died, I wrote this post on chocolate malts. His legacy lives on in the Fussy household, as I am now in possession of the drink mixer Pop used to make these frozen drinks. Now it is used more for mango lassi than milk shakes.

But to commemorate the occasion, I bought a pint (really now just 14 ounces) of chocolate Häagen-Dazs. Maybe later today, sometime in between errands and packing for our Thanksgiving trip, I’ll find the time to make a batch of chocolate malts. Then I can sit down with the kids, and remind them of their great grandfather who surely is becoming a fading memory in their developing minds.

Tomorrow we’ll be thankful for everyone who remains with us, and for those of us who are blessed with good health. We’ll be thankful for our families and our friends. And I’ll be quietly thankful for having so much good fortune that I can be particular about what I eat.

Have a great Thanksgiving, and don’t forget to check back in on the big day. There will be something fun here as always. I promise.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jean Patiky permalink
    November 23, 2011 11:24 am

    With tears of joy because you are my son and you can articulate your thoughts, feelings and memories so well and with tears of sadness and loss on the anniversary of losing such a dear man,

  2. Sister permalink
    November 23, 2011 1:21 pm

    Pop was the greatest, thanks for the tribute. Can’t wait to see the Fussys tomorrow.

  3. Ellen Whitby permalink
    November 23, 2011 11:31 pm

    It’s a great memory and a tremendous legacy. Being thankful seems to have gotten lost somewhere between the indulgent meal and the Black Friday shopping list. In our family, we don’t have a thanksgiving tradition. When we have shared it with the people we “should” be with, it’s been less than pleasant (which is way more than they deserve credit for). Instead, we’re looking for new traditions and I think this year we found a great one.

    I took my kids to the thrift store and gave them each a budget. I told them to pick out clothing that kids need that they might not have. We left with an assortment of winter coats, boots, gloves, fuzzy slippers and cozy pajamas. Our next stop was an organization that provides shelter, care, counseling, rehab, etc. to parents and kids. We donated the clothes and my kids explained how it was important to share “with people who aren’t as lucky as we are.” This from the mouth of a 10 year old.

    Of course, the Nintendo DS is still on his wishlist and I’m still the worst parent in the world for denying him this basic necessity.

    I’m blessed to be able to share this with my kids and for them to learn about sharing and being thankful. Tomorrow we’ll do the turkey thing but that will just be the icing on the cake.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Profusser, to you and all the Fussys.

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