Sunday, October 10, 2010

Thanks for WHAT?

On January 31, 1957, parliament proclaimed "A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed", and fixed its date of celebration as the second Monday in October - NEXT Monday, in fact.

In the course of any given year, we all will find things or people or circumstances that get up our noses. Before I have my coffee, I can find a dozen or so on any given day. We live in a world whose pendulum seems to be swinging in the wrong direction, where community has been replaced by commodity and the only reason for other people to exist is that we might be able to sell them something.

We have stopped living in houses, and have moved into barred, alarmed and monitored strongholds, and we're afraid to leave them in case some of the people "outside" try to take what we have. We're alone, we're afraid and we're generally pretty unpleasant about it - so what the HELL do we have to be thankful for?

Here's my list:

There is a Tall and Lovely Lady who lives in the same place that I do. Every day, she puts the lie to all of the things that I wrote above. She is my joy, she is my delight, she is my better half in all truth, and many days, she is my hero. Her smile is sunshine, her laugh is music, her mind is quick, and her heart is gentle.

I'm thankful for her.

Scattered all over the map there is a species of slow, strange, solitary homonids who bear the name "MacPherson". They come together only for weddings, funerals, milestone anniversaries, Christmases and Thanksgiving celebrations. We see each other infrequently, but I know that if I'm in need, they'll find out and be there to help. I hope that they know the same about me. I'm very thankful for my family.

I live in a nineteen unit housing co-op in the East End of Vancouver. We are like a small village or a big family. Everyone knows everyone else's business, and each of us believes that all of the others are quite, quite mad. When it works, though, it's brilliant. I'm thankful for my neighbours and for what they've built at Westerdale.

Since October of 2009, the Tall Lady and I have fostered thirty kittens in a two-bedroom apartment, in addition to our own two cats. Her floor loom has turned into a two-storey cat hammock, our venetian blinds are a jungle gym, and every night, our bed becomes the arena for the World Paperweight Wrestling Championship. Finally, the little heathens are adopted singly or in pairs and our hearts are broken for a little while. I'm thankful to my friends at VOKRA for letting us share this adventure.

I'm thankful for the Beatles, and I'm thankful for Blackadder. I'm thankful for Gene Roddenberry and I'm thankful for Ridley Scott. I'm thankful for William Shakespeare, I'm thankful for John Steinbeck and I'm thankful for George MacDonald Fraser. I'm thankful for charity, for clarity, for sanity, for humanity and I'm thankful for chimichangas.

I'm thankful for warm autumn days, my space on the seawall, libraries, buses, government medical care, honest, polite cops, support groups, community centres and single-malt scotch. I'm thankful for my health and the health of those I love - hell, sometimes I'm even thankful for the health of people I don't particularly like!

And finally, I'm thankful for your patience and advice.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving


  1. I've missed a few blog posts ... too busy finger-painting at home (just jealous, really). Sincerely, 'A Known Associate'... from the North Shore News:

    "If you need to produce a police background check to work or volunteer with children or other vulnerable people, you could be facing a wait time of anywhere from six weeks to three months or longer.

    New federal regulations, which came into effect last summer, reduce the number of search terms police use when running volunteers through their database. The change has vastly increased the number of innocent people who raise red flags on the way through, slowing down the process.

    Police check an applicant’s name, birthday and gender against a national database of sex offenders. But since an offender could legally change their name in another province, the search will return a possible hit if an applicant has a similar birthday and gender.

    With roughly 14,000 offenders in the database, most of them male, the chances of a false positive are good. That means fingerprinting hundreds of people and sending the results back east."

  2. It's good to have you back, DeeDee. Both of your keen eyes have been missed.

  3. I've got plenty to be thankful for too, Lee :) We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UK but have alternate methods of thanksgiving called "Harvest Festival"....mostly observed in schools and churches and it is not a public holiday.

    Here's to a great Thanksgiving with friends, family and kitties!