Turning the calendar page to November always gets me to thinking about Thanksgiving. It also always reminds me of my dear mom’s birthday on Nov. 8. (She would have been 110 this year.)
I am very grateful this year for many things.
I am ecstatic over the Red Sox World Series victory, having been a season ticket holder for many years — in Section 23 on the left field side. In 1986, we watched Sox pitcher Roger Clemens strike out 20 batters, a record that still stands.
We saw Yaz hit his 3,000th hit in 1979, and 1986 was the year the Sox almost won the World Series except when Bill Buckner let the ball roll between his legs against the Mets. We were there when Carleton Fisk hit his 12th inning home run in the 1975 World Series. Bucky Dent’s pennant-winning homer in 1978 was a sight for sore eyes.
Despite a number of ailments, I appreciate reasonably good health. I am so lucky that the stroke I had two years ago left me still able to walk without a cane, though unsteady. I am taking my extra poundage to Weight Watchers, where I have lost more than 20 pounds.
I am especially gratified that my annual golf buddies from Ireland and the U.S. are still keeping in touch with me, even though my infirmities are preventing me from playing in Round 6 in Spain next year. I’ll be with them in spirit, though. The AMBGS group that I described in an earlier Pilot column has made me captain emeritus for the U.S. team.
My five-year stint as class treasurer is thankfully over as I almost had a nervous breakdown every month trying to get the books to balance. I was gratified to accept an award for my service as an alum. It reads: “Your devotion and service to your class and college have been long and extensive, and we are pleased to be able to express our appreciation by presenting the Class of 1958 Williamson Award.”
November also pulsates with college and professional football, which I love to watch. In high school, I was the only quarterback who never threw a pass because my halfback was much better at it than I was.
I am appreciative of some great television series such as “Hell on Wheels,” a story of completing the transcontinental railway; “Downton Abbey,” a collection of subplots that are scintillating and keep my interest piqued; and “The Paradise,” about a rags-to-riches country girl who comes to the city to work in a London department store. Having lived in London with a short walk to Selfridges made that series come alive, although I hadn’t realized that Mr. Selfridge was from Chicago.
There is something about lighting the first fire in our fireplace, which usually happens in November and is a cozy fall treat. The smoke from real logs is wonderful — as long as it stays in the fireplace and out of the room.
Any reflection of this seasonal gratitude should definitely include my lovely family, whom we will visit on Thanksgiving Day, in New Jersey, all 10 of us.
Thank heavens we get some fall colors — perhaps not as rich as New England, but bright enough to invigorate us North Carolinians.
I could recite many other blessings at this special time of the year, but will keep them to myself in favor of the ones I have already mentioned.