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Turkey time flies

| Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2004

My Life Partner, always bursting with surprises, sprang it on me.

"Do you realize it's Thanksgiving already?" she said.

"Thanksgiving!" I exclaimed. "Seems like we just had it."

"That was last year," she said. "Time does slip away."

Isn't that the truth• Seems like only yesterday when our twin sons were three or four and they wanted to pet Tom Turkey.

So we pulled his frozen carcass out of the refrigerator, put it in a pan and let them pet until their hands got cold.

Now they're married and have children of their own to whom they tell the turkey-petting story.

"The older I get the faster time seems to slip away," I said.

She suddenly became scientifically intellectual. "It doesn't actually go faster," she began. "The aging process has knocked your mind out of synchronization with the regulated pendulum swing of daily life."

"Oh," I responded, intellectually. "I'm happy that my pendulum is still swinging!"

"If your watch stops and you try to reset it, don't you have to find out what time it is first?" she said.

"Of course," I said. "But first I have to find my glasses."

"And when you do," she continued, "you set the time and put yourself in sync with time. With the present."

Ah! The Present! Which we should acknowledge in a spirit of obeisance, especially at a time when, of all times, we should send up a special prayer of thankfulness for all we have.

"The other day I read that when a child comes into the world his or her fists are clenched, as if to show determination to establish presence among the rest of us," I said.

"The youngster is ready to fight the fight of Life," I said. "And when, 50, 60, 70 maybe more, years later when the child dies that person's hands are empty, the palms open, as if to show that that person has given up the fight."

"you have such maulding thoughts....." she began.

"Now, wait," I countered. "The point I'm trying to make is that for some, life is a constant fight to survive, constant, despite all of their efforts. They can never unclench their fists."

"They have nothing to be thankful for, then," she said. "Thanksgiving Day is just another day to them."

"Precisely," I said. "Now, doesn't that remind you how lucky we are to have what we have - a roof over our head, food, clothes, heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, creature comforts such as water and electricity, everything we take for granted?"

"I never thought otherwise," she said. "We are lucky and we should be thankful...and help those who are not as lucky as we are."

"Amen," I said. We should show more compassion."

A pall of gloom had descended on the dinner table.

"Toward that end," I said, "I've decided that you don't have to pull your Woolrich coat and bright, orange ball cap and trek through the woods, hunting turkey. Simply use the gift certificate your sister Jeanne gave and go pick up a 15 pounder at Giant Eagle.

"For better or for worse," she said. "Thanks. Happy Thanksgiving!"

Community Columnist John Gibson, of Washington Township, is a retired Herald reporter.

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