Giving Thanks

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m a fan of the Americans. Not because all they do is spiffy but because they have forged a great nation out of the hopes and guts of a pile of penniless immigrants. And, if you go there—bearing in mind Mark Twain’s superb observation that we are “two peoples separated by a common language”—you’ll find them generous, sociable and optimistic in a way that sundry Europeans could learn from.

The other cultural high point of their year besides 4th of July is a mystery to most Brits. Today is Thanksgiving. Always on the 4th Thursday in November, Americans try to get home to be with family celebrating the survival of early Pilgrim settlers, thanks to the generosity of their Indian neighbours. The ritual meal served (turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, yams, pumpkin pie, etc) surpasses English Sunday roast and Christmas dinner all rolled into one.

The four day weekend is spent stuffing yourself with food, catching up with family and getting started on the Christmas shopping. The Friday after (always a holiday too) is usually the peak retail turnover day of the year. Since I have no American family, I have left them to it and returned to Scotland after four weeks over there. My own Thanksgiving is to all the people who still made what was a difficult trip into another series of memories and experiences that I will treasure.

What follows are some snaps that try to capture some of the warmth shown me during the trip (including breakfasting in shorts outdoors in the middle of November)

Sharon & Bill—my Hosts at Princeton—outside their House

Exotic Food and Entertaining Chaos at Reading Market, Philadelphia

Idyllic Miles of Bike/Walking Path along the Delaware & Ruritan Canal, New Jersey

The Brand New Apple Store on University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA

“Dr R. Boles”—Tree Surgeon and Poet Extraordinaire Bob Evans (with Truck), Palo Alto CA

Martha’s Coffee Shop, Noe Valley, San Francisco—Java Joint/Meeting Place/Civic Hub

American Excess: Mobile Home on Highway 1, Half Moon Bay, CA

The Classic View—San Francisco beyond the Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Headlands

Bloomingdales Department Store, SOMA, San Francisco

The Kelp Forest Tank, Monterey Bay Aquarium, CA

Original 100-Year-Old Wooden Rollercoaster, The Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, CA

Duarte’s Tavern, Pescadero, CA—Best Artichoke Soup & Ollallieberry Pie Anywhere

Winetasting, Nicholson Winery, Santa Cruz, CA

Silicon Valley Escapees and Mine Santa Cruz Hosts—Susan and Stephan in Henry Cowell Redwoods

About davidsberry

Local councillor, tour guide and database designer. Keen on wildlife, history, boats and music. Stood for the Scottish Parliament 2011; lost by 151 votes.
This entry was posted in Community and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s