Like most of you, I come from a family that celebrates Thanksgiving with a laden table. Ducks, turkeys and chickens graced the table, with dressing that varied from a spiced cornbread laden with herbs to a fiery rice jambalaya with Cajun. sausage. For the record, in the old Confederacy, you "stuff" pillows and "dress" game.
I despise Christmas creep, commercialization and the urge that drives people to shop on days once reserved for family. Remember that time a woman returned a turkey?
Today, I rode my bike to Starbucks (1.72 miles). I take the pedestrian underpass (and manage not to tumble when taking that 180-degree turn onto the path under the bridge) and walk my bike up the slope by the hotel. What. You think I can pedal that?
I hear voices and think I'll wait to get back on the bike. Plus, I decide to not to try and cross there, since it is so busy. I walk past a group of German tourists who are super-excited that there are lights in the palm trees.
Just past the Bayfront Inn at the corner of Goodlette-Frank and US 41, I see a gray Honda with Hinds County, Mississippi plates. I play the license plate game sort of part-time, and plates from the two poor Gulf Coast states are rare. The driver waits for me to get back on my bike.
As I pass the vehicle, he rolls the window down and honks. A lost tourist who can't find the relative's house on Thanksgiving.
He's looking for Tamiami Trail North - and he has a quarter-fold sheet of paper with all sorts of directions scrawled on it. This guy is lost.
I tell him how to get there - go up to Central, turn left, look for the Mobil station and the Starbucks. That's Tamiami Trail - although I tell him that it will have several names on maps and street signs - like US 41, 9th Street North and Tamiami Trail.
He sighs and I wish him "Happy Thanksgiving."
Then, I make my fatal, fatal mistake. I decide to be "more helpful" and ask him what neighborhood he's looking for, or if he has a landmark.
"I'm looking for the Rooms To Go."
I tell him to turn right on 41 and then you can't miss the ugly glass palace on the right.
He drives off.
|Screenshot from the Roomstogo.com website on Thanksgiving Day.|
Really people. Stay home. Eat some turkey. Almost nothing you have to buy is so important. I guarantee it is not at Rooms To Go. Shame.
On this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for my friends. As someone who travels life's road without family, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
Each hug, postcard, cup of coffee and text at 3 am reminds me that I do have a family out there.
Hold tight your loved ones this holiday season, whoever they may be.
Header credit: fotokuchen.wordpress.com