Thanksgiving is such a special time of year. It is not as crazy as Christmas with all of the extra shopping, gift wrapping, extreme baking, and trying to put a lovely touch on every moment. It seems that the fall and brisk weather make for a perfect holiday and time for family gatherings. A fairly calm time, especially as family members now do most of the preparation and cooking, it makes me feel fortunate in many ways.

Thanksgiving, of course, brings the Turkey Trot. Although getting everything organized – posters drawn up, shirts designed and completed, PA system lined up, and banana and chocolate milk order ready – is hectic, this time also permits me wonderful visits with friends plus making new friends along the way. While I dread handing out posters and registration forms, whether in-person or online, once I get myself in the groove, it’s all very fun. Live meetings require extra time as I have to catch up with everyone’s 2021 adventures, but this invigorates me as I am reminded of the benefits of living in a small community. The timing for online connections has to be just right – too early and folks might forget; too late and people may already have plans for Thanksgiving morning – and even though it is just typing and clicks, responses pour in as I recognize that another glorious Trot is in store.

Once shirts are ready, the arduous task of delivery ensues. Lynn asks me each year why people don’t just pick their shirts up Thursday prior to the Trot, and some mornings I wonder the same! Some people do stop by our home to pick up their package, but balancing schedules can be challenging, too. Once the boxes are loaded and with my scribbled list in hand, I like exploring the area with my purple bags in tow knowing that with my prompt action the shirts can be worn Thanksgiving morning. Yes, the car and house are a blizzard of shirts and bags for several days, but again the storm soon subsides with the remaining shirts lined out on tables for those who come directly to Whitworth Rec Complex without pre-registration. Having shirts before and during does complicate determining how many shirts are needed each year, however, it all works out and extra shirts always find good homes. I will admit, beanies last year were easier as there were no sizes to determine and I loved the logo, shirts seem to be a hit with all participants.

I call the Alzheimer’s Awareness Turkey Trot the “Happiest Event of the Year”. Everyone is laughing and smiling – even the wrestlers who have an 8K run ahead of them bring positivity to the day. We have serious runners (and they are happy, too) as well as joggers, walkers, bikers, scooter-boarders, and more. The chatter echoes with joy which automatically makes the Trot a success. At the end as returners dash by to grab a banana and chocolate milk, everyone is refreshed and ready for further celebration. Starting at 8am, by 9:20am I am home, unloading tables etc. from the pick-up ready for a hot breakfast and maybe a hot toddy, too. I hope your day is as awesome as mine always is.

Off to another topic… On Bill Maher a few weeks ago, author Steven Pinker appeared as guest and spoke about his book Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, and Why It Matters. Intrigued, I purchased it and have been slowly working my way through the details. Lately, it feels like rational thinking – examining a topic from multiple sides, determining pros and cons, admitting one’s own bias based on life experiences to decide on potential solutions – has vanished. Attacks and death threats over minor problems and situations are rising, while discussion and compromise dissipate. I don’t always agree with other points of view, and I confess to being pretty stubborn, but I try to think and rethink the possible logic in an idea or action. Sometimes this works out well, especially if the point of debate is met with fact-based reflection, not knee-jerk reaction. At other times, arguments flare and agreeing to disagree is the sole escape. Rationality is not a book for every reader, but I do think it contains valuable points on learning or relearning how to get along through careful consideration of verified data and preferably multiple angles to ensure truths.