Thanksgiving is past but I did want to drop a word here about my wonderful friends who invited me into not just their homes, but also their hearts, as there were several.
One friend, like me, has very little family or contact with the family she has left, invited me to travel to West Texas and join her father, 92, and her for the holiday.
This was such a good idea. I love it when she shares her father. She did this last Father's day as well. He is sharp as a tack, independent and as healthy as any retired WWII pilot his age. He has stopped driving and when he loses his hearing aid it is like watching Laura and Hardy, for those of us from that era, when father and daughter attempt to converse. Sometimes I think he likes pushing her buttons, sometimes I think they are just too much alike. The Jury's out on that one.
Being let into a part of someone's very private life, like this, is such a gift for those of us who tend to peek into our rearview mirrors a little too much at the life that passed us by.
There was the expected holiday dispute about what time to go eat, since we were not going to cook for three. He said mid morning, she said too early, I could have eaten both times but was a passenger so I only observed.
When we finally made it to the resteraunt, the line was out the door and into the parking lot. I am 30+ years younger than Jack and I could not have stood in that line.
Not too discouraged, the father and daughter talked (argued) about where to try and how to get there, which road was best, the fastest, the closest. We ended up in a tiny town near theirs at a small truck stop. It was tiny when one thinks of the major names, such as the supersized truckstops, that line highways coast to coast.
This small truckstop had a buffet that tasted so good I thought angels came down and cooked for us, also I was really hungry so that canned cranberry sause was tasty! We loaded up our plates in a short, fast moving line around the food, like a well choregraphed dance.
It was only after I sat and began to look around that I realized there were many "Larry the Cable Guy" look alikes with sleeves ripped off flannel button up shirts and the waitresses were right out of the 50's, many may have been born in the 50's. Almost half the patrons had ink peaking out at us the other half were like us, older with no children. There were only a few children, most were working, getting from A to B and there were some like us, looking for a good meal and all of us seemed to be enjoying life.
I took in the smell of turkey and cigarettes and realized, it was perfect. Women came in after just waking, not even bothering to brush their hair and as I looked beside us, the ladies were in their Sunday best. A perfectly eclectic truckstop Thanksgiving!
That day I could not have been more at home, more at peace with where I found myself and more at ease with where life sat me down and said, "Breath, relax, enjoy, and accept the love offered by caring friends."