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For these blessings

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For the first time since our second year of marriage there would be just the two of us for Thanksgiving.

The children, all four of them, would have Thanksgivings of their own - in the military, visiting in-laws, at home in distant cities. We told each other we hoped they would all have a happy day and tried not to sound too sorry for ourselves.

We did pursue alternatives. Years before, when only the youngest boy was still at home, we called the college in town and located a couple of homeless students who came within a slice of bread and a turkey neck from eating us out of house and home. But they paid in full with their buoyant spirits. This time my wife checked the cupboards and refrigerator and told me to try it again. Too late.

Too late with friends and neighbors too. Too timid to drive through the streets and, in a Hollywood scenario, pick out at random a ragged guest or two. Too burned to plan on Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant: we had tried that before and learned that elegant decor and fine food do not necessarily make a Thanksgiving.

We passed the ball back and forth. Our parents? My wife objected. It wouldn't be right to invite ourselves on such short notice, and the trip here would be too hard on them.

November matured from its teens to its 20's, and we were no closer to a resolution. My wife would tell me to put the newspaper down or leave my typewriter alone or turn off the record player, and talk to her about it. We proposed, we discussed, we temporized.

We could try one of the social service agencies. Inquire at a home for the aged (it was the pre-Senior Citizen era). Check the churches, a children's home, the country farm. Any one of these sources could have led us to our unknown guest, but we did nothing. Later I realized why.

As I was leaving for the office the morning before Thanksgiving my wife asked if I had decided what we should do.


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