Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!

Today is a statutory holiday in most of Canada as we celebrate Thanksgiving. I've never really understood why we do this on a different day than the Americans. For us, it's the second Monday in October. For them, it's a full 6 weeks later, on the fourth Thursday in November.

Wikipedia has an interesting history lesson on how the tradition has been celebrated north of the 49th parallel - - but it doesn't explain why our countries give thanks for the harvest on dates so far apart. Perhaps because the southern states have warmer climates which means they bring in their fall harvests later in the year? The Americans often refer to the first dinner at Plymouth Rock in 1621, when European settlers shared a meal with the Native Indians, but even that might not have been the first Thanksgiving, according to Wikipedia, which cites an earlier celebration in 1565 as a possible contender.

Both countries celebrate with turkey dinners, family gatherings and football games on TV. This year, I am doing none of the above today. My mother is out in Alberta this week, visiting my two brothers and their families. My sister and I headed up to the cottage on Saturday, which was a beautiful but cool day, intending to stay for the entire long weekend. Lots of sun driving up, the changing leaves were gorgeous to look at, multitudes of pumpkins for sale at roadside vendors. However, when we got there, we discovered the power had been out and when it came back on, for some reason, the water pump wasn't working. We ended up filling several buckets of water from the lake (harder to do since we took the dock out a few weeks ago) and using them to flush the toilet when required, boiling said water to wash dishes, etc. It rained overnight and Sunday morning dawned cold and grey with gale force winds coming in off the lake. We hung about inside all day, happily beading (see photo of Janine's travelling bead stash on the right) and watching Coronation Street and various DVDs (finally saw "Slumdog Millionaire", it was excellent!) but by late afternoon, we got to thinking, why exactly are we here? So we decided to pack up and head back to the city, and shared a pizza dinner when we got back instead of the roast dinner we had planned to have up north.

So today on this day of giving thanks, among many other things, I am grateful for our cottage neighbours who brought over homemade cranberry sauce and offered the use of their washroom, hot water in the tap and a heated apartment, electricity to light up the rooms on an otherwise grey and dreary day, and the affection of a purring cat who was glad to have me back early. And for the reminder (not that I really needed one) that it doesn't really matter where you are or what conditions you're coping with, it's who you're with and the fun you can make just by being together that makes any day special.


Sharon said...

Amen! Happy Thanksgiving Cynthia. I am grateful you are my Friend. Sharon

Cynthia of Cynful Creations said...

Thanks, Sharon. Right back at ya! xo