Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful.
And every year I give thanks that I’m not on the Mayflower.
You’ll probably think I’m making this up, but one year I was — and lived to tell about it. Barely.
The days leading up to Thanksgiving had turned wintry — much the same as the weather is now — when our little family planned to do something different for the holiday.
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“Look at this advertisement in the newspaper,” I’d announced to my husband, Bill, one morning as he worked on the daily crossword puzzle. “We can experience Thanksgiving like the pilgrims and even have a view of the Columbia River.”
He looked at me quizzically, “What exactly does that mean?”
“Well", I paused as I glanced at the ad again, “it says that we’ll eat dinner on the Mayflower!”
He nodded his approval and off I went to make reservations. At the time, it seemed like a good excuse for me to relax and not be in the kitchen since my schedule had been super hectic. We’d have dinner at a fine restaurant; together we’d create memories.
It was a memory that gave eating out a whole new meaning.
Dressed in our “Sunday go to meeting” clothes, we arrived at the hotel’s restaurant — minus coats — ready to warm ourselves by a toasty fire and dine on an elegant Thanksgiving feast. We smiled as a “pilgrim” in black welcomed us warmly and then led us graciously to our dinner experience.
I must admit that I began to feel some waves of doubt washing over me when we spied the Mayflower MOVING VAN just beyond the asphalt parking lot. However, not wanting to jump ship, we carefully climbed the steps to our table in the narrow dining room — one with an upfront river view.
The wind blew. Temperatures dropped.
Before long, our frosty breaths began to cloud our view of the Columbia River through the open rear doors. Our family hovered near the centerpiece candle and dined to the music of our chattering teeth while our meals congealed on our plates.
Others left. We finally got the courage to leave — but not brave enough to ask for our money back.
And to this day as we gather around our Thanksgiving table and retell the story, we totally understand why the pilgrims rejoiced. They were as grateful as us to get off the Mayflower.