Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Traditional Thanksgiving

By Keith N Fisher

When I served a mission in the Maritimes of Canada, I celebrated four Thanksgiving Days. Two, on the third Thursday of November and the other two, were celebrated in October. Canadian Thanksgiving was a great day to get together with members and investigators and have a great traditional dinner. The US traditional holidays lost something in the translation.

On one of those US holidays, I invited my district for a picnic in Victoria Park. I’m sure the natives wondered what the crazy Americans were doing in the park in November, but we enjoyed the privacy.

On one occasion, I asked my friend what Canadians celebrate on Thanksgiving. He stated, “The same thing you celebrate in the States, I guess.”

“Oh? You had a group of pilgrims eat dinner with a bunch of Indians, Too?” Of course I was being facetious, but the truth is it’s always a good idea to take a moment and remember your blessings. Especially in light of who gave them to you.

This year, I sat in the restaurant buffet surrounded by three hundred of my closest family and friends and pondered the eating part of the holiday. My mother had decided to have Thanksgiving at Chuck-A-Rama. My brothers, in turn, complained about it for different reasons. With the exception of the long lines, I didn’t care one way or the other.

I had roast beef and mashed potatoes, (one of my favorite meals), and considered our traditions. Then I noticed the characters who paraded in front of me, on the way to the food tables. I’ve mentioned my inclination toward watching people and writing a story to match their actions. That is what I did, then it was time to go. My wife took me and my daughter to a movie and that was Thanksgiving.

What do you do with your non-writing time? Take a look around you. Is there something happening in front of you? Can you use it in your current work in progress?

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.

3 comments:

L.T. Elliot said...

I love those moments when you see a feast of people who could serve as characters. I just eat that stuff up!

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

NoSurfGirl said...

I definitely think we all draw on life experiences in our writing. I love people-watching, too... for the same reason.

There's this man who walks up and down university avenue in Provo wearing a giant backpack. He's obviously without a home. I have been fascinated by what his story might be for a long time. I've made up several in my head, but never written them down on paper :)

Michael Knudsen said...

There's a story in everything as long as you're willing to invest the time and imagination to bring it to life.