Here’s what I’m Thankful for on Thanksgiving

the mayflower ii in plymouth massachusetts
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Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving this week. It’s a day of football, turkey, gathering around the table and giving thanks for food, health and family. There are plenty of things to be thankful for. I want to share some of the things I’m thankful for on this day where everyone is giving thanks that they’re not a turkey.

What I’m Thankful for

  1. I’m grateful for my children and spending a couple of days with them. They’re grateful for extra days of screens and Roblox and Minecraft. They’ll be even more grateful if I leave them alone to play Roblox and Minecraft.
  2. I’m grateful for food and a chance to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with my family. My kids will be grateful if they can skip dinner and just have pie.
  3. I’m grateful for football and a chance to watch it with my children. Bonus points if we can hit Canton High School to watch Stoughton play. My children will be grateful if there’s something else on TV.
  4. I’m grateful we live so close to Plymouth, America’s hometown. It gives me a chance to take in some history. The Boy will be grateful if we can just go home. The sooner, the better.
  5. I’m grateful for our health and being able to walk and get other types of exercise. My children are grateful for heated cars that drive them where they want to go instead of suffering outdoors.
  6. I’m grateful for school. It teaches my children. My children are grateful for holidays, snow days, and anything else that will get them out of school.
  7. I’m grateful for my wife. My children are grateful if they can get time alone with her, and I can leave them alone.
roasted turkey on white ceramic plate
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Happy Thanksgiving

Yes, there are plenty of things for me and my family to be thankful for. Sometimes we need to remind our children of this, and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of this. As you sit down to your turkey this week, I hope you’ll take a moment to see what’s around you and give thanks. We should do it more often than we do, but this week they gave us a holiday to set aside time to actually do it.

Flying to Florida for a Vacation with Your Children

A family from our neighborhood moved to Florida. This was a family that watched football with us when we had our outdoor football parties during Coronapalooza. We grilled. Their kids came to our house, and our kids went to their house.

The Oppressed and The Boy had a couple of days off one week. This, coupled with the weekend, seemed like a great time to travel to the Sunshine State for a little reunion.

Flying to Florida

Our trip took us to Sarasota. I had never been there. I’ve been to Tampa. I’ve been to Orlando and, if you count layovers, I’ve been to Miami once.

I was very much looking forward to this trip. For one thing, I like to travel. Another, I love doing things with my children. Our trip down to Florida included a three-hour layover. I was imagining a nice lunch with the kids but I’m getting ahead of myself. There were adventures before the plane even took off.

Adventures at Logan Airport

Getting to the airport wasn’t a problem. It was getting from the car to our gate that was fun and adventurous. I didn’t get the greatest spot in the garage. Me, two kids and three carry-ons needed to get across the airport to our gate.

I coached the children as we made our way through the garage, I told them we needed to hustle if we were going to make our flight. We got to security. Everything needed to be emptied out of pockets. Some devices needed their own tray through the x-ray machine.

Looking out an airplane window. Outside are clouds and an airplane wing.
The view from 30,000 feet.

We were running out of time. Our flight was leaving soon. We made it through security. My belt needed to get back on. I cheated and didn’t use all of the belt loops.

The children and I continued to hustle through the airport. Our gate just happened to be the last one in the terminal. We got to the gate with a couple of minutes to spare. I don’t know how we did it, but I let the children know what a great job they did in making it to our gate.

Lunch in Baltimore

We had a layover in Baltimore. There were three hours to kill. It was decided before leaving Boston that we would eat something during our layover. It’s exciting to eat in a different city and see what the locals have to offer. The airport isn’t our first choice, but we couldn’t leave and go back for our flight, so we made the most of it. Speaking of eating locally, The Boy wanted a crab cake. Wife would have been so proud.

A crabcake sandwich with a pickle slice on top and french fries on the side.
A crab cake sandwich in Baltimore.

We stopped at a store after lunch for some snacks. We still needed to fly to Sarasota, and they don’t give you candy on flights. Done with our shopping, we find seats at our gate. The flight is on schedule. Children settle down for a little screen time and maybe check out the plane while I settle down with my book and wait for us to be called to board.

On to Florida

It’s an uneventful flight. We have snacks (no candy) and drinks. The Oppressed and The Boy look out the window occasionally. I keep reading my book, and it’s looking like I’ll finish it before our trip is over.

The plane descends. I pack what we used during the flight. The Oppressed keeps checking to see if I have my seatbelt on. The Boy is asking what the weather is like and how much longer until we get to the house. I assure them it won’t be long; we just need to stop and pick up the car.

Landing in Sarasota.

It’s a van. Something that will hold us and potentially some extra passengers as we go to and from different destinations during the trip. The children and I wait for the rental. They’re getting it ready for us. Once the car is ready, we load our stuff, get in the car, and we’re off to see friends we haven’t seen in months.

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Taking Your Children to King Richard’s Faire

The Oppressed wanted to go to King Richard’s Faire earlier this season. I’ve heard of it, but I had never been there.

Other than being parked at the fair, this has nothing to do with the fair but I thought daddies and mommies would appreciate the van.

She was very excited to go. Wife even got her a Rennaissance-style dress to wear for the day. I’m not sure what she was most excited about. Going to the fair or having a dress to wear to the fair.

Arriving at the Fair

The big day arrived. It was me and four of the children. Wife and Lovie weren’t able to make it due to an unforeseen circumstance. We got out of the car and saw that The Oppressed was certainly within her element.

The Oppressed graciously accepting her award.

She was not the only one to dress up for this day. There were many people who took the opportunity to dress up for this grand day at the fair. Some were dressed up in Rennaissance clothes. Some were dressed in Harry Potter costumes. A lot of people were dressed up in some type of period or specifically themed garb.

I was dressed in regular, 21st century clothing. That’s right. I was dressed in modern clothes. Wife can’t say anything about how I was dressed on this day. (She tends to think my dress is old-fashioned sometimes.)

We joined the throngs who had assembled outside the gates. Lords, Ladies, and commoners alike waited their turn. There was no privilege granted to anyone. Everyone had to wait their turn until the gates opened.

When they did open, we walked into a completely different world. There were games that tested one’s strength and skill. There were stands that sold handmade items. Some vendors sold food. Some sold mugs, journals, or some other type of trinket. Everything was handmade and nothing was cheap. Children got trinkets and souvenirs.

The slogan for King Richar’s Fair should be, “Enter a lord, exit a pauper.”

Rides and Games

A manually operated ride.

There were plenty of rides to go on. All of the rides were powered manually. The people charged with operating the rides certainly earned their money. I had no idea they made rides like that.

In addition to the rides, we also saw games that tested your strength and skill. The Oppressed went for the skill games. Slugger went for the strength games. The Oppressed showed her determination and was rewarded with a royal proclamation that recognized her efforts and achievements. She graciously accepted her award.

Fun and games were briefly paused for food and drink. We got in another line to buy our fare and refreshments and I handed over another small fortune. The slogan for King Richard’s Fair should be, “Enter a lord, exit a pauper.”

We left for home that afternoon. Wife and Lovie were happy to see us after our day at the fair. The children were excited to show off everything they got at the fair. The Oppressed was happy showing Wife what she got and what she wore while getting it.