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One Week To Thanksgiving

November 15, 2018

Snow. The snow is coming in tonight. Here in the Capital Region, we talk about snow. A lot.

It’s hard for me to comment on the weather because I don’t have a ton of winters under my belt. I also have a tendency to forget them once they have passed. But it seems to me like the cold weather came later this year, and the snow is coming earlier.

One way I avoid commenting on winter is that for the past few years I’ve decided to adopt Kurt Vonnegut’s approach to looking at seasons in the region. Under his framework, nothing is surprising, and winter is broken up into three very manageable pieces.

November and December are called “The Locking”. These are the months where things die to prepare for the barren wasteland of winter. However, winter itself is only two months. Granted they are the coldest and most brutal two months of the year: January and February. In March and April, regardless of how cold it may be, we’ve approached “The Unlocking” where it may not yet be spring, but the worst is behind us.

So we have a November snow? It’s just part of the locking. No big deal. And a little snow shouldn’t stop you from getting out of doors. It’s amazing how people take shelter during the winter months.

In the spirit of thankfulness, I’m thankful that Kurt Vonnegut spent some time in the Capital Region, and that his wisdom lives on. I’m also thankful that Thanksgiving is just a week away!

Surely, there are people who do not look forward to Thanksgiving. But I do. And it has nothing to do with the food. It’s all about the people. For some, I’m sure, their families are a nightmare. Some have families that are a nuisance. But my family is so spread out, and everyone is so busy, that Thanksgiving is one of the rare times we come together.

And it’s just good to be together. Of course, it’s good to eat together too. But that’s just part of the feeling of togetherness.

If you are reading magazines, or looking for inspiration on the internet, I’m sure there are all kinds of beautiful perfect pictures of finely set tables, complete with matching place cards, and centerpieces, and yada yada yada.

People drive themselves crazy in the pursuit of a perfect holiday.

Now, if you derive true pleasure from that, don’t let me stop you. Knock yourself out. This isn’t about shaming anyone for what they do. Rather, I’d like to take help the pressure off those who are feeling the crunch. Because the crunch is real.

So here it goes.

It would be hard to find someone who cares as much about food as I do. And if my Thanksgiving dinner was a supermarket rotisserie chicken, with a can of cranberry sauce, some bread, butter, frozen string beans, and some wine, I’d be a happy man.

The purpose of the food is not to be opulent for the sake of appearances. And the last thing of all one should do is be driven to feeling resentful about the work required to pull off a holiday dinner. Because if your guests demand a particular kind of stuffing, they can make it themselves.

Of course that’s easy for me to say. My favorite stuffing is my Aunt N’s favorite stuffing, and she makes the holiday meal. For that, I’m very thankful.

I’m also thankful that I had the foresight to have an appointment with the mechanic today. Now it’s time to get my snow tires on! I’ve never timed it so well in all my years up in Albany. Maybe I’m finally becoming in sync with the place.

Who would have ever imagined?

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