By Jacob Hatcher
For a lot of folks, Thanksgiving is a feast and black Friday shopping. It’s a year’s worth of anticipation for all the different foods they love but only have when the calendar says it’s ok. For many it’s a sacred day of gluttonous overeating followed by a nap that could often be mistaken for a coma. I prefer to eat the same thing every day of my life, so the food aspect of Thanksgiving has never appealed much to me. With the exception of my Aunt Connie’s chess pie, of course, but given my druthers I’d eat that every day of my life too. No, I don’t spend the time between Novembers waiting for the day I can relish in the one socially acceptable day to eat my bodyweight in carbs. For me, Thanksgiving is about some of the smaller things. It’s about an orange Tupperware pitcher full of the sweetest tea you’ve ever had. It’s about a cast iron skillet that was cooking cornbread before Sherman marched to the sea. It’s about a flat patch of grass behind the tool shed that transforms into Bryant Denney stadium between dinner and dessert. Sometimes in the rustling of the fallen leaves, I swear I hear my uncles hollering, “Down! Set! Go!” Thanksgiving for me is about sitting around the table, listening to the grown folks talk about politics, theology and what kind of dog that stray Hobo was. It’s hearing the story of each Christmas ornament for the millionth time as we all take turns hanging our favorite ones and it’s circling your favorite toy out of the Sears catalog so you can spend the next month daydreaming about it. It’s seeing the sun going down and knowing that the darker it got, the sooner Daddy was going to say, “Well Mama, we better load up. We got work in the morning.” It’s staring out the window of a Crown Victory on some dark Tennessee backroad listening to Bob Kingsley’s country music countdown, doing your own countdown to the day you to get to do it all over again.