Five Sleeps Until Thanksgiving

Frank Sinatra sang that ‘Chicago was my kind of town,’ and I can add to that sentiment that St. Louis is my kind of town. MJ and I just returned from an overnight stay in the Gateway To The West…and as always we enjoyed the sites and sounds…and the flavors of the City that is nearest to us. We had been traveling to St. Louis for many years when in 2013 MJ needed surgery. The surgery was successful and the follow-up care has been terrific. MJ took the diagnosis of breast cancer with courage and warmth and strength…I was a basket case… The wonderful professionals at Mercy Breast Center in West County…calmed my fears. So, during February and most of March of 2013, we lodged at the Wildwood Inn in Wildwood. It seemed to me that everyone that we encountered was angelic in their kindness to us. We sampled a multitude of restaurants and at least once a week, Cuentto House of Pasta… on The Hill. We became friends with a young man named Tim who tended their wonderful Bar. We had dinner at the Roadhouse that is located on historic Route 66. I felt like that I had developed an extended family in St. Louis.

So…we have been making trips to St. Louis for medical check-ups…for nine years. Yesterday we had lunch with our good friend, Liz. We first met Liz at an Art Show at the Hyatt in St. Louis. She is a wonderful person and a lot of fun to be with. As I looked around at Plaza Frontenac on Thursday…I reveled in the lovely Christmas decorations that they had displayed…and Santa Claus visiting with all of the good little boys and girls… Their Christmas Tree is simply…magnificent! Nieman Marcus amazes me with their ornate decorations…and the prices of their Christmas gifts. I was reminded of so many holiday seasons that we have shopped and visited St. Louis during the Christmas Season. I recall my visiting the Fairfield Heights Mall one year…many moons ago…to purchase Christmas gifts for MJ and Aaron and Jonathon. I was a man on a mission. Money was no object…and the bills in January exhibited the truth of this claim… I love Christmas because it rather sweeps me away…a bit… I find myself in the land of Scrooge and Tiny Tim…and Santa Claus….who I still believe in…

‘Goodwill to all men!’ The Season of happiness and cheer is upon us. Advent is almost here. The celebration of waiting for the birth of the Messiah. Hope for the hopeless…inclusion for those who have been marginalized and discarded…and who look to the Christ Child…for succor and remedy… People are homeless for a multitude of reasons. Most would rather be warm and fed. Most did not choose the life of the open road…as the romanticism of that proposition is for the most part a fantasy.

There is a reason that so many Holidays fall at the conclusion of our year. We seek to balance the books. We look to recognize our good fortune and help those who are less fortunate than we have been. We peer into the clouded mirror of our future and know that we must try to share our abundance with those who live in penury and poverty and who if they had our lifestyle…they would feel as if that they were millionaires…

Happiness and a more than full stomach await many of us this Thursday…and we will rest ourselves on our comfortable couches and automatic easy chairs…and think of what we will buy and where we will go and the Christmas Joys that await us on Black Friday… Others will be cold and hungry and wonder why life is so hard for them and their children…and wonder what all the hype is about when we say…’Peace on earth…goodwill toward men…’

Alfa Romeo was the name of the automobile that was on display in the hallway of the Plaza Frontenac. I thought what a handsome automobile. The sticker price was 212 thousand dollars…and it got 15 miles to the gallon. I have heard it said that there will always be people that have more than you have…and there will always be people that have less… The Season of Giving is upon us. Let us be happy with the blessings that we have been afforded and share part of our abundance with those who are desperate for bread….and shelter…and a mentor…

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