The blessing of the harvest happens around the world signaling that the growing season is over, and one should start thinking about hunkering down for the winter. I always start the holiday season by thanking whoever it was that decided to have us celebrate Thanksgiving on a Thursday, thus guaranteeing us a four day holiday. This gives us three days to recover, to visit with family and to renew old friendships.
Thanksgiving is a straightforward name for a holiday. It is a command and is an opportunity. We are given this day to be with our family and friends to express our appreciation for our good fortune. I am always comforted, and I am truly thankful when I look around after dinner and see a well fed family warmed by good feelings for one another. I am also often thankful for a quiet moment alone after overeating once again.
Thanksgiving is a holiday when we do not shop because we are being thankful for the things we have and are saving our energy for Black Friday. Thanksgiving is a time to relax, tell well worn family jokes, watch the Lions and then recover from watching the Lions.
We will gather at our house in 2019 with three generations of talkers, all with something to say. There is no longer a kiddies table and an adult table. We will have one adult table and one adult conversation. Well sort of adult, as we have accumulated enough tales to tell that will bring guffaws, sly smiles and happy tears to our eyes.
a Thanksgiving Poem by Billy Collins
Outside, the scene was right for the season, heavy gray clouds and just enough wind to blow down the last of the yellow leaves.
But the house was different that day, so distant from the other houses, like a planet inhabited by only a dozen people
with the same last name and the same nose rotating slowly on its invisible axis. Too bad you couldn’t be there
but you were flying through space on your own asteroid with your arm around an uncle. You would have unwrapped your scarf
and thrown your coat on top of the pile then lifted a glass of wine as a tiny man ran across a screen with a ball.
You would have heard me saying grace with my elbows on the tablecloth as one of the twins threw a dinner roll across the room at the other.
Giving thanks is very personal. Ordinary things happen in our lives that we take for granted until Thanksgiving. On this day we give thanks that there will be someone to stand up and give us a hand or a nudge when we need it. We remember all the unbelievably beautiful moments that have filled our hearts with pure joy or made us lose control with uncontrollable laughter with a friend. We remind ourselves of the good feeling when we can bring some comfort to someone by our actions. We recognize all the good people who have resisted and who are standing up to power. We are especially thankful for all those who listen and care. These are extraordinary gifts.
Thanksgiving in colonial times was a harvest holiday in which the colonists offered thanks for a good harvest. Thanksgiving became a regularly celebrated national holiday only during the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of national Thanksgiving in 1863. The holiday later became fixed to the fourth Thursday in November by an act of the United States Congress in 1941. I am thankful that they did. Also,
I am thankful for family and friends.
I am thankful to those who saved my life a couple of years ago.
I am thankful that my children and grandchildren put their phones away when we are talking.
I am thankful to God for my life, my purpose and my many reasons to be thankful.
I am thankful for all the good people at the Dirty Dog.
THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ
I give thanks for the polite and respectful folks who will come out to the Dirty Dog for three evenings of Detroit jazz this week. The Dirty Dog Jazz Café will be closed and the music muted on Thanksgiving Day. Don’t despair. On Wednesday, Friday and Saturday the Dog will be filled with Alvin Waddles’ positive energy spurred on by a room full of appreciative faces and clapping hands, all performed at the appropriate moments. There will be plenty of jazz, good food and thankfulness for all.
Alvin knows how to bring the holiday spirit into a room. So, take a break, leave the dishes and leftovers for a moment and come with your friends and family to a warm place where large helpings of smiles and service come with the music, food and drinks.
Everyone at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café wishes all their friends and musical family the warmest of Thanksgivings.
November 20, 22, 23
Pianist, singer, composer, musical director and good guy.
Wow! What better way to celebrate the Thanksgiving break than to come out to the Dirty Dog to hear a Detroit original, Alvin Waddles. Alvin will swing into the Dirty Dog Jazz Café this coming week. Alvin in old English means elf friend, making Alvin’s parents a little prophetic. Alvin does have an elfin twinkle in his eye when he performs. He has enormous talent that he uses with grace. For many of us he is the friendly face of jazz.
Alvin’s musical career is a Detroit story which includes a generous and gifted teacher that showed up at the right time. For Alvin it was Mrs.Gusseye Dickey who took the gifted 8 year old Alvin under her wing. Alvin says that it was Mrs. Dickey that first instilled in him his life-long love of classical music. Alvin took his early lessons at Cass Technical High School, the Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Michigan School of Music and added his rich Detroit culture to become a multi-talented master musician.