Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome to Mid-America

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving! I apologize for this late post. Since returning from our trip to Branson, I've been mixed up about the dates. This month is cruising by so fast. It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is less than a week away.

This is the first year in about 37 that I'm not fixing Thanksgiving dinner. My father-in-law doesn't drive or ride in a car any more (he's 90) and we have no other close relatives nearby except our daughter and son-in-law. And he's going hunting!

This month has been a huge culture shock for me. First Branson, then hunting. I'm a baby boom city girl. (Okay, I'm a grandmother in the real world, but in my heart, I'm still 19.) Have you been to Branson? I expected the retirees and the crowds, but still, seeing is different than imagining. Did you know it was filled with buses? Huge, fancy tour buses? They are everywhere. They take up all the spaces in restaurants and line up for what seems like hours coming out of shows. I can't even imagine what it's like in the summer, when there are also many families and bigger crowds. I'm not a country western fan, and I told my husband I wasn't going to any shows that my parents would have liked (Lawrence Welk, Perry Como, etc.) so I was rather limited. I know that's narrow minded of me, but I am a little hard headed at times.

Then my son-in-law announces that he's leaving for a hunting trip on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving. We were all shocked. Thanksgiving is a big holiday for us. Elk hunting is a big event for him. There doesn't seem to be a compromise. My question is this: Which numbskull Arizona beaurocrat schedules hunting season for Thanksgiving? That's crazy! The elk will be there next week! I know, I'm ranting, but really, turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and pumkin pie compared to staying outside in the cold and eating canned food or whatever over a campfire?

So, this month I was confronted with mid-America in the form of Branson culture and hunting on the holidays, and I got the impression maybe I don't know as much about small town life as I thought. But then again, I'm writing fiction, so perhaps in MY small towns no man would ever consider going hunting on a major holiday. Or, if he did, he'd immediately rethink his options and remember his wonderful wife. And maybe his mother-in-law! And there are no long lines, bad buffets and lumbering buses in my small towns. Or maybe the buses block the roads, and the hunters can't get out of town .... Hmm. Worth considering for a future plot.

In any case, we'll be thinking of him, sitting outside in the cold, as we go to a very nice restaurant for Thanksgiving this year. The food won't be the same, but I may like it so much that we'll go next year, too. Have a very nice Thanksgiving with your family and friends, if you're so lucky to be with them this year. Eat a piece of pumpkin pie for me! Happy holidays,

1 comment:

Michele Dunaway said...

My cousins live in Springfield and my kids and I were in Branson 2 springs ago. Did you do the Titanic museum?

Branson is the setting for my March release, Twins for the Teacher.

On the brightside, one of my best family Thanksgivings was when my dad took us all out to dinner. No cooking, no cleaning, and no one could escape to the TV.

I do remember one serious boyfriend having to go deer hunting when I had something major he was to attend. He went hunting. I think it's a guy thing. Isn't it nice that in our books they choose us?

Hope you have a good Thanksgiving anyway!