Monday, November 25, 2013

"I'm Thankful For..."

     A local car dealer runs a commercial consisting of short video snippits of each of his offspring -- they're up to grandkids by now, at least -- sharing whatever scripted-cute thing they're thankful for.  While a jaded eye notes the ads are updated only at long intervals, presumably whenever there's a new crop of photogenic young, and it is likely no few of the "kids" have diplomas and dependents of their own while we're still cooing over their tongue-tied efforts, it is a sign of the season and a reminder to consider what one might be thankful for.

     I'm thankful I'm not in Texas just now -- or Oklahoma.  Or in any of the locations the TV is telling me are going to get ice-stormed good and hard over the next few days.

     It's no coincidence the bigger holidays generally fall when the weather's lousy: they started out dodging around the necessarily seasonal work on farms.  Halloween provides a respite as harvest winds up and by (U.S.) Thanksgiving, you'd about have the crops all stored and all the canning (etc.) done, with any surplus left for the feast.  Another month of make and mend, and you're ready for the shortest day of the year, a time spent in religious observance and/or with family.*

     But that means the latter two come along as the year is winding up for a final bad-weather onslaught.  It means the tradition of gathering doesn't keep us in our homes and communities, but traveling to connect with scattered families.

     Spare a thought for the season's travelers, if you would, and for all their kith and kin.  Especially this year.
* Snark back and forth at one another all you like about the happy coincidence, Cosmic Good Planning or cynical manipulation responsible for Christmas falling so close to the Winter solstice.  'Tis when it is either way and even the most long-standing of arguments over calendars doesn't move it much.


Stranger said...

One of my astrophysicist acquaintances claims the correct date for Christmas should be July 4, and this year should be 2020. Because that is the date the planets lined up just right to make the Star of the Magi.

But of course, Yule just happened to be there, and people were "mending harness" instead of working. So we get Christmas when it takes longer to get the idiot mittens on to go play than kids are to endure the chill outside.

Robert Fowler said...

That's on thing I don't miss about Texas.

LCB said...

I do wish Christmas or New Years was more in the middle of winter. After it's over...just seems like one LONGGGGG gray day until I can get the Honda out and ride again.

rickn8or said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rickn8or said...

Meh. SOME people's HTML-fu is just too good to use the "Preview" option...

Stranger, is this the result of an accumulation of Denny the Dwarf's "Measure it with a yardstick, mark it with chalk, cut it with an axe" errors?

Windy Wilson said...

Interesting, LCB. I wonder how it works out for the Australians and New Zealanders, then? Maybe it's in the middle of the growing season, and the farmers and ranchers just take time out from preparing for the harvest. -- Does Australia, etc. even have a Thanksgiving, or is that strictly American and not Anglophonic?
I had never thought about when the holidays occurred, other than after the harvest, Veteran's Day, (nee Armistice Day) was the actual ending date, while Memorial Day, (aka Decoration Day) in a similar fashion memorialized the end of the Civil War. I believe it was the Premier of British Columbia who, disturbed by the lack of a holiday in August declared August first to be "The Holiday of August First" or something like that.

DJ said...

"I'm thankful I'm not in Texas just now -- or Oklahoma. Or in any of the locations the TV is telling me are going to get ice-stormed good and hard over the next few days."

Well, I am very pleased that I am in Oklahoma. We've had our first taste of real winter weather a bit early, and I like it.

I lived for 26 years in the St. Louis area, where I once watched a 1/8" dusting of snow bring the whole place to its knees, and I've lived in the mountains of New Mexico, where we didn't even notice yet another 8" snowfall.

The problem isn't the weather, the problem is that the weather changes and people don't deal well with it. It "freaks them out", as we said when I was younger.

Want an example? Go watch people in Los Angeles deal with ONE QUARTER INCH of rain.

I like real weather, and the weather here is very likable, in my unhumble opinion. Your mileage may vary.

CGHill said...

In Oklahoma City, anyway, the ice storm was more of a slushfest: all the serious snow fell in the western sections of the state (which needed the moisture, really), while we got just enough sleet to justify calling out the sand trucks.

Anonymous said...

The Big Bend area of Texas was not so bad as far as roads went, but the ice accumulation on power lines brought lots of them down, leading to power outages in Marathon, Alpine, Fort Davis, Marfa, Presidio, Valentine, and surrounding areas. The area around Fort Davis (Jeff Davis county), which includes Fort Davis National Historical Site, Davis Mountains State Park (with Indian Lodge), and McDonald Observatory, took longest to restore (about 4 days.)

Presidio was powered from Mexico and the 4 megawatt NAS battery system during the outage. Interesting project, that battery.