Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

Service of Nameless Friends

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Craft Santa 2016 turned

I love traditions and one I’ve kept for 15+ years is to visit the Dutchess Community College Foundation annual craft fair in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., Thanksgiving weekend. I arrive by 9:45, after a stop for coffee and munchkins at Dunkin’ Donuts, to get a good parking spot—it starts at 10—and to stand at the door when it opens to be among the first at an exhibitor’s booth. Stephanie Stillwell has a fan club and sells out of her best pieces early. [See an example in the photo above.]

A mother with grown daughters—also Stillwell fans—usually wait with me. We recognized each other the second year and enjoyed chatting ever since.

Last year they weren’t there.

Stephanie told me that one of the daughters, [in her 50s], had suddenly died and that the family was having Thanksgiving out of town. She promised to send me contact information so I could offer my condolences—I don’t know their names or where in Dutchess County they live.

Again this year they weren’t at the entrance so I rushed to Stephanie’s booth with others. The first thing Stephanie said, even before saying “hello,” was that she couldn’t find the mother’s address and apologized for not getting back. I started to pick some wonderful quirky gifts when the mother appeared. We hugged for a long time and spoke for a short time. She said she was OK.I still don’t know their names.

When I was a kid, my mother said “hello” to countless people on the street and in the grocery store in our Manhattan neighborhood. She was better than I at names but often she’d respond, when I’d ask, that the person she’d greeted was Miss O’Reilly’s friend or someone she saw repeatedly at Mr. DiMaggio’s deli and that she didn’t know their name.

Are there people whose paths you cross of whom you’ve grown fond and/or are happy to see whose names you don’t know?

Nameless

 

Service of Thanksgiving

Monday, November 19th, 2012

thanksgiving1

I’m surprised I haven’t written a post with this headline in all the years.

Apart from the season, what made me think of it was something that happened in the 14th Street Subway station the other day.

thanksgivingparadeI’ll get back to that in a minute, but first a word from our sponsor [me]. Strange how Thanksgiving reminds me most of my father who was French, didn’t share a turkey and cranberry sauce tradition and moved to this country in his 30s. Until I married and moved away first to Illinois and then to North Dakota and Turkey [as in the country] my Dad and I never walked across Central Park from my parent’s apartment on the east side to see the Thanksgiving Day Parade every year.  And while Thanksgiving continues to be a favorite holiday–I love baking pies, making cranberry sauce and stuffing and eating leftovers the next day–I also feel sad moments missing friends and family.  Just think how those who have lost all their belongings and/or family members in Hurricane Sandy must feel. They are not yet over the shock.

subway-14th-stBack to the subway: I’d been jotting a note on my mobile phone while riding downtown. I dashed out, trotting briskly toward the stairs, when I heard a man yelling “Lady! Lady! Miss! Miss!” He was running after me, waving my gloves that he’d just scooped up off the platform. I was so thankful! I often see a belt, scarf or a glove on the ground on city streets and in public places and wonder, with crowds everywhere, why someone hasn’t rescued a dropped accessory and returned it to its owner.

lostphoneDavid Reich, a colleague, found a phone on the street and left it off at the T-Mobile store so that the staff could reunite it with its owner. We found an abandoned phone at the American Craft Show NYC at the Javits a few weeks ago. While my client, Richard Rothbard, was placing calls to see if he could identify the owner, the phone rang and it was the owner’s sister. Both were still at the show. The owner was beside herself with gratitude as she hugged her phone. [When my husband lost his mobile phone a few weeks ago, nobody returned it–more typical perhaps?].

More apt, I am thankful that my husband is beginning to feel better after being sick and debilitated since spring. He is recovering from chronic tick-borne diseases that it took months to diagnose. A doctor in Pawling, NY has been unraveling the physical mystery since August. 

dsc022581While this is beginning to sound like an Academy Award acceptance speech, I am thankful for my family-and I count close friends in this category-to Lucrezia the loyal commenter on this blog and to all the others who take the time to share their thoughts; to my office colleagues, clients, media and association contacts, the students I’ve mentored for their camaraderie and loyalty and fellow mentors, many of whom have become friends.

Far more important than my Thanksgiving memories and anecdotes are yours. I hope you’ll share.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Discussion after Thanksgiving dinner

Discussion after Thanksgiving dinner

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