I mark time by Thanksgiving. Each one special. Each one different. I remember strange foods like Cashew loaf at the Seventh Day Adventist house. I remember breaking bread with strangers who were friends I simply hadn't yet met.
This year I'm in Jacksonville, planning on hanging out at a bar, Pete's Bar in Neptune Beach, a community tradition. I was invited by a friend I met this year, Kim Deas. There's a gathering nearby later. They are planning on preparing fried turkey. If you're not from the south, I guess you could say that's strange.
It's a day to give thanks for all our blessings, however briefly. The food is hot, the guests are gathered, everyone's hungry, hurry up and pray. The project manager in me wants to reorder the list of priorities.
If I may.
Giving thanks is what PMs call a "Long Lead Item". If you start early, you will discover an abundance of people and events you can be thankful for this year. I recommend getting a bite to eat, a blank piece of paper, a quiet place to write. Don't forget to bring an open mind and heart. Start from last Thanksgiving. Write your list.
Trust me, you will need extra paper. When you just can't write anymore, start calling. not text, or Facebook or email. Let them hear your gratitude in your own voice. Let them share theirs.
Twenty-one years ago, as I was getting ready to fly across the country to reunite with my Big Brother Lee on Thanksgiving day, I was asked on camera to share my advice on reuniting and rediscovery.
"I think Thanksgiving day is the perfect opportunity to reach out and reconnect with anyone who you've lost touch with. You don't need a reason, just pick up the phone and call."
May your Thanksgiving be: Just Another Day In Paradise!
(Now where is that list, I've got a lot of calls to make.)