November 25, 2009

Over the river...

My parents never went over the river and through the woods.

I never went over the river and through the woods.

My children didn't, and certainly my grandchildren have not.

Nevertheless, the lyrics of the quintessential elementary school Thanksgiving song plays in our heads, the melody rings true in our minds.

Thanksgiving…when we want to pause from our everyday lives…reflect on all that is good in our lives…and remember the Thanksgivings past.

Tonight at dinner we talked about our Thanksgivings of old. I remember Wednesday nights, home from college, spent catching up with high school friends.

Later, when the children were young, Thanksgiving eve was a time of hectic travel: either with the children, rushing through airports, or us, at the airport, waiting for the inevitably flight-delayed flights from New York.

Still later, children married, with children of their own, Thanksgiving has been a time for us to travel to them, rejoicing in their new traditions – who would have thought crab was a great Thanksgiving day dinner? – and trying to let them do it their way.

This year, we're home. Way back when it would have made sense to make plane reservations, travel was not an option. And so we're home, planning a day with good friends.

No grandchildren will not come through the woods to our house this year, and we miss them.

Nevertheless, there is much to be thankful for.

First and foremost, our health. We've rounded the corner and are definitely mending.

Our family. Our children have married wisely and are raising their children well, with good values.

Our friends, with whom we laugh and cry, celebrate and rejoice.

May each of you -- friend, family, neighbor and acquaintance -- have a peaceful and thankful Thanksgiving.


  1. Yes, the old rhyme...I know it well. We did go over the river to Grandmother's house (in Margate), singing this tune every year. That bombastic meal and weekend was the core of our family's life - we all treasured the getting together to cook, lay a beautiful table, share a huge feast. It was a multigenerational Fox gathering which astounded me as the Hessans did little for the event - I thought they were so extraordinary. Now I find myself in SC with Tony and his new baby and little wife Carrie, about to make a feast with her family (of about 15). It won't be the same but very similar. I think my Emily will do the same with Peter's family in LA. I feel the message we gave these kids is that this family gathering and connection is important enough to make the effort to re-create the days of yore and keep the strong family value for the next generation. I'm so happy to see my kids doing this and to be part of it myself! So, I think I know how you feel, and am delighted that we share on yet another level. Lots of love, v

  2. Much to be thankful for indeed... Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!