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Echoes From the Loafers Club Meeting

You’ve put on some weight, haven’t you?

I have.

How much?

A little over 189 pounds since the day I was born.

Driving by the Bruces

I have two wonderful neighbors — both named Bruce — who live across the road from each other. Whenever I pass their driveways, thoughts occur to me, such as: A car ahead of me blew through a stop sign. I figured the driver didn’t read sign language. That night, a car came at me with its bright lights blazing. I resisted the temptation to flash my brights in retaliation at the oncoming vehicle. I reckoned that it was bad enough that there was one blind fool on the road. It didn’t need two.

I'm a thankful receiver

I sang, “Grandma got run over by a turkey.” I sang it to myself due to popular demand. Thanksgiving is a great day even if we do nothing else but eat. It’s when gravy covers a multitude of sins and just like a NASCAR race, all foods need to travel in the same direction around the course — in this case, a table. Football has become such an important part of this wonderful day that the ideal fitment would be a combination dining table and big screen TV. I recall fondly the year that I was able to stay awake for an entire game. It was an amazing feat as besides the normal sleep-inducing segments of the game (with its 11 minutes of actual action) and the accompanying commercials, a plate of food the size of a small shed had been placed in front of me. When I asked which way I should pass the food, I was told that I wasn’t to pass it. It was all for me. Despite the copious quantities of food and a game that could have been a taped rerun from the year before, I maintained consciousness.

Thanksgiving is noted for its invasion of the big birds. It’s when we eat defenseless pumpkins and cooked carrots smell good to kids. It’s when it isn’t easy to get a piece of cake, but getting a piece of pie is a piece of cake. We always have enough food to feed Coxey’s Army. Coxey's Army was a protest march by unemployed workers, led by Ohio businessman Jacob Coxey. They marched on Washington, D.C. in 1894, during an economic depression. The expression "Enough food to feed Coxey's Army" originated from this march and referenced to the abundance of food needed to feed the large number of protestors.

Because of the vast quantities of food that is prepared, Thanksgiving and leftovers go hand in hand. Halloween should follow Thanksgiving. That way, it would be easier to get rid of the leftovers.

As I sat in clothes that had attracted gravy stains, I reflected upon another Thanksgiving. I’m grateful for many things — almost everything. I’m thankful that turkey smoothies aren’t a reality in my life. I’m thankful that I know so many kind people who have enhanced my existence.

I wish each of you an ample sufficiency not only on Thanksgiving, but also on all other days. On a day when I realize that many people would love to own my disappointments, I’m grateful for one more day — a day that wasn’t guaranteed, but was granted. For that, I’m most grateful.

Nature notes

Two bald eagles, each in its own pet carrier, were moved to a site not far from the Chilkat River near Haines, Alaska. It was a frigid November day and folks were dressed appropriately. Many people had gathered to see the release of two rehabilitated eagles. The eagles were stars. It was hard not to take a photo of someone taking a photo. To me, it was as if the world had been wrapped in bacon. That’s a good thing for a man who loves bacon. It was a perfect time and it got even better. My wife had the honor of releasing one of the eagles. She did her job well. When the eagle flew, the applause was loud, easily overcoming the handicap of gloves and mittens. My heart flew with the eagle and danced with my wife’s smile.

Love finds happiness in the happiness of others. It wasn’t all that long ago when I saw no eagles. They were ghosts. Francois de La Rochefoucauld said, "True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen."

I’m a lucky man. I’ve seen it.

Meeting adjourned

"If people were kinder, they would be happier. If they were happier, more people would be kindly. If more people were happy, the world would be kinder."--June Callwood

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