Guy Farmer: Talking about Thanksgiving

Let’s skip politics today and think about Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays. I was thinking about saying “thank you” to all of the important people in life as I sat down for a scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner with friends in Carlsbad, California, on Thursday.

I’m not going to name all the people who deserve “thank yous” because I’d leave someone out, but I can name my loving and supportive family members: my beautiful and accomplished daughter Maria, a certified English/Spanish courtroom interpreter; my brilliant son-in-law Rich, a senior manager at Amazon in Seattle, and my 15-year-old twin grandsons Duncan and Vincent, “A” students in their first year of high school in suburban Seattle. Sorry for bragging about my family, but I’m a proud Grandpa and just can’t help myself.

I certainly can’t leave out my loving sisters Dianne and Joan and their respective spouses, Larry, my favorite Washington State Cougar (Go Huskies!), and Coe, our family Car Guy, or several kissin’ cousins who live in the Greater Seattle area, or lifelong high school and college friends who have stayed in touch through the years including Doug, my brother who’s not really my brother. And last but certainly not least, my favorite traveling companion and Significant Other, Bev, a military widow who makes me a better person. I’m thankful that all of these fine people are in my life.

Turning to Carson City, my adopted hometown for more than 50 years, I want to thank all of the people who help an Old Guy enjoy life. You know who you are and I treasure your friendship. Most particularly, I want to thank the loyal readers who have stuck with me for 23 (!) years. I never thought I could write more than 1,100 columns, but the Appeal archives don’t lie.

I ran into one of my loyal readers the other day who told me, “You make me so mad sometimes, but don’t stop writing your columns.” I thanked her for reading my columns and for sharing her opinion with me. I assured her that I don’t care whether readers agree with me on the issues, only that they find my political columns thought-provoking and worth reading.

Speaking of long-running, meaningful friendships, I’m grateful to my politically savvy Monday lunch buddies, the ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out), and my Saturday morning coffee companions, liberal Democrats who keep me humble. And I thank new friends I’ve made in Ty Cobb’s National Security Forum (NSF) in Reno, and McAvoy Layne’s (aka Mark Twain) “Never Sweats,” a group of distinguished Nevada writers and historians. I don’t know what I’m doing in that group, but there I am.

As I think about Thanksgiving I remember unusual places where we spent this most American holiday during my U.S. foreign service career. One of our memorable Thanksgiving meals was fish-and-chips at a British pub on the southern coast of Spain and another was with embassy friends in a small town in the Peruvian Andes. The locals didn’t know what to think when we pulled frozen turkeys out of gunny sacks. They probably thought we were going to perform an exotic religious ritual of some sort, but the turkeys had already been sacrificed to start the ritual.

Was this column too personal? Probably, but it’s never too late to put our differences aside and thank those who enrich our lives. These are the people who provide me with friendship, love and stability in turbulent times. And I can’t sign-off without thanking Adam Trumble and all of the Nevada Appeal editors and publishers who’ve put up with me through the years. Thank you!

Guy W. Farmer, a retired diplomat, has been writing Appeal columns since June 1996.


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