Today is a day filled with mixed feelings. It’s a happy day, filled with thanks. Yet, there are obviously hesitations when it comes to who to see, what to do, where to shop…
Many of us have done very little, except hold onto hopes that we can get through this pandemic intact.
As I thought about all of these things this morning, my mind gravitated towards the annual International Thanksgiving Toast that has become a tradition in my household, COVID or not. I thought to myself, “I’m going to walk the [very random and isolated] Turkey Trot with my immediate family (my everyday family), and then I’m going to try to pretend as if it’s a (somewhat) normal Thanksgiving. And then I’m going to wait to post a photo of my ‘toast’ later in the day.
Then, I realized that the Toast site had been “archived” on Facebook because the founder, Geoff Schutte, had voluntarily signed off from Facebook, understandably. But what about the Toast?!?!
Over the last few days, I had been waiting for Geoff to send me a notice about the Toast, but nothing came to pass. And then this morning, once I realized that the site had become archived, I decided to take it upon myself to get things going…
But then I thought, “I don’t want to promote anybody getting together during the pandemic…” I just want the immediate families to be able to show that we are still united and not defeated, and that we are attempting to show that we are behaving, yet appreciating a close-knit ‘togetherness.’ Alas, I decided not to take actions into my own hands – to let the winds blow as they might.
So I embarked upon a Turkey Trot ‘walk’ with my immediate family, to get some exercise outdoors, along with our dogs.
After about a 45 minute walk, I was passing by the Lexington Co-op, when I heard, “It’s on!”
The voice that I heard was that of Geoff Schutte, who had received my message about the Toast. He told me that he would reactivate the Facebook site, and that at 7pm today we would all be able to collectively toast, and then upload the images.
What is especially strange, and timely, about seeing Geoff, is that I rarely see the guy. We sporadically chat via email, but that’s about it. So to bump into him on Thanksgiving Day is actually very bizarre. Obviously this encounter was meant to be, as he shouted… “The Toast is on!”
To me, I could think of no better year, or time, to raise a glass with one or two people… to toast along with people from all over the world, and share the photos.
It’s something that I have come to expect every year, and love, because it is so heartfelt. It’s a time to think about what we all mean to one another, whether we know each other or not. A Thanksgiving tradition that is ‘born in Buffalo,’ yet so worldly at the same time. Is there anything else like it?
Happy Thanksgiving to you, and yours. Raise a glass at 7pm, snap a photo, and send it along… it’s something that we should be doing at least once a year.
Send your Toast photos at 7pm (or later) to this group Facebook page.
Perhaps this is the year when we are farther apart than ever–many relegated to smaller gatherings and less expansive affairs. And so then it feels perhaps more timely than ever to raise a glass together today.
It’s Thanksgiving Time and the 18th rendition of the International Thanksgiving Toast. The history, in brief, was that Peace Corps Thailand volunteers started this in 2003, during our first Thanksgiving away from home. And while many of us are closer now to our families, distance will always remain between us and all the people in this world we care about.
Today, at 7pm EST, please consider raising a glass together for a quick moment of thanks and togetherness.
Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving – Geoff