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From the Farm

Be thankful for football, turkey and socks

November 28, 2008
By Kerry Hoffman

Ah, Thanksgiving is over again for another year. By now, a person should be able to function normally and that oh-my-gosh-I-ate-too-much feeling should be dissipating.

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln declared our nation needed a day of thanks giving on the last Thursday of November? It wasn't until 1941 that it became a national holiday. And you thought Congress took a long time to make decisions now.

Did you know it was a woman who led the effort to make it a holiday?

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Kerry Hoffman

Do you think that if she knew of all the work she was creating for women everywhere, she would have persisted? She should've thought about starting a national holiday where every restaurant in America has to be open from midnight to midnight, and grocery stores have to be closed during that same time. Then all families could go out to eat and enjoy the holiday with family and friends, rather than spending all day in the kitchen.

Now that, to me, is a real holiday.

For those of you who enjoy cooking the meal, you are part of a tradition that involves that big white bird called a turkey. How come, whenever I type "turkey," I have the urge to type "Steve?"

According to statistics, Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state. Americans will consume 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. On average, those turkeys weigh in at 15 pounds!

My favorite part of a Thanksgiving meal has to be the cranberry sauce. I am not talking about home-made cranberry sauce either. I'm craving the cranberry sauce that has to be practically dynamited out of the can. Finally, it burps and out pops a tube of cranberry sauce.

This year, according to statistics, almost 40 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles to spend time with family. We could look at it from another angle. Maybe those 40 million people are driving 50 miles to get away from the "other" side of the family.

And what is Thanksgiving without a football game?

Earlier this week, Steve was whining that Detroit always plays on Thanksgiving.

"Ever since I can remember football being played on Thanksgiving, it's been Detroit or Dallas," Steve complained.

I hate to disappoint him, but the Detroit Lions football team has been playing on Thanksgiving Day since 1934!

When a football player gets drafted by the Detroit Lions, he knows he better not ask for a vacation day on Thanksgiving Day. It would be a cold day in Detroit before that would ever happen. Up until 1956, fans had to hunker around the little box called a radio, and everyone complained because they couldn't hear the radio. After that, fans could hunker down by the little 12-inch square box called a television and everyone complained because they couldn't see the television.

Now people invite the entire neighborhood over to watch the game on televisions with screens as big as the table on which the turkey was served.

But that brings me to another thought I have about Thanksgiving.

We all have so much in our lives for which we can be thankful.

It seems to be to be more important this year, because I just finished reading "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." It's a story about living in the tenements of New York City during the early 1900s. It showed me how, even with so few possessions, one person can be totally happy and content.

We all need to sit back and think about what we are thankful for - think of small things - like socks. My bare feet are freezing right now, and I have a drawer full of warm, cozy socks, but I am on a writing roll, so I can't walk away from my desk.

Or that bowl of Frosted Flakes you have each morning? (I'm hungry too.)

Be thankful for your dog. Even though she jumps up and embezzles three pounds of round steak, that you wanted to use in the stew, you still think she rocks for a witless Great Dane.

Just be thankful for all you have.

For questions, or comments, e-mail me at



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