Words & Banter

Even Thanksgiving Is … All About The Shoes

Photo courtesy of Red’s eldest daughter, Natasha


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At the risk of asking you a warm and fuzzy question, have you thought about what you’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving?


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Yes.


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I should’ve guessed that you’d take the question literally. Could you expand on that a little, or at least give me a hint?


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Friends.

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I should’ve guessed that too since John’s been in the hospital for the past several weeks and is one of your oldest friends.

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Not sure “oldest” is the kindest way to define it, but he and his wife have been my closest friends for over 35 years. To the point that John calls me his “second wife,” although he’s only been legally married once.

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That’s funny, but on my recent fall foliage trip, I realized it was so much more than chasing leaves as I experienced the joy and appreciation of visiting a dear friend and her family. And while phone calls, texting, and even FaceTime are great, it’s just not the same as spending time together.

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I was going to mention that when you first told me you were going to see Sawyer in Nashville and also spend some time at Amy’s in east Tennessee, but figured you already knew that friendships can easily be taken for granted … until something makes you fully appreciate them.

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That’s so true. Although I prefer to have a small group of friends, and most of mine I’ve known for decades – either from elementary school, college, or my years living in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, though, none of them now live near me.

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Friends do not require living in the same town, although that is usually how friendships begin. And, while we may not stay in touch as frequently as we want, over time, we see who our true friends are … they are the ones who are always there for us, during good times and bad. And, in my case, are brave enough to point out when they do not agree with me.

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Very brave. My friends have it easier, but I count on them to give me an honest perspective no matter what, although I prefer when they agree with me.

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Of course, you do. And, your friends should be thankful you are so easygoing.

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Well, at the risk of sounding corny, with Thanksgiving just days away, it’s the perfect time to be truly thankful for our dear friends.

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It reminds me of the photo that Natasha sent us last year when she was celebrating “Friendsgiving” with her friends in England.


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Besides not realizing it was an actual thing and not Natasha combining the words “friends” and “Thanksgiving,” I was expecting photos of her attempt at making sweet potatoes or other traditional Thanksgiving foods, or maybe a bunch of Brits sitting around the table with the lone American. Not a photo of everyone’s shoes in the entry hallway.


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I never thought of Thanksgiving as being “all about the shoes”, but that image sums up the true meaning of the holiday.


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Tell the truth; everything’s always all about the shoes for you. But, given this Thanksgiving will be the first without Mom, the image’s a wonderful reminder of the importance of friends who’ve been there for me this year. And I include you as both family and friend.


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Once is enough for me. And, as the saying goes, you cannot choose your family but (like shoes) you can choose your friends. So, pick carefully, and then appreciate them.
Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock

Are you taking the Dry January challenge and not having any alcohol for the month? Or, maybe you plan to drink less (but not nothing), which makes it Damp January. Or, maybe this is the first you’ve heard of it. (If so, there’s still time to start!)

Well, nothing much has changed from our approach to Dry January last year, except the one who had started drinking more last year is continuing the trend …



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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK , started Dry January , where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
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It’s January, and everyone’s probably tired of reading about New Year’s resolutions.

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Not me. Since I never make them, I never feel the need to read about them.

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Of course, you don’t. So, what should we write about?

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How about that we celebrate some of our favorite things in January?

So many “National Days” in January are fun (we’ve written about them over the years) and remind us of some of our favorite things. (Can you pick which are Red’s favorite holidays and which are Black’s?) And whether or not you make resolutions, it’s always important to have a sense of humor and enjoy the simpler things in life …

Answer: Red’s favorites are Bagels, Popcorn, and Hugging. Black’s are Clean Desk, Bagels, and Backward.

Wishing you Happy 2024 – with new beginnings and much more!