November has brought many significant events into my life. Both my brother Brian Hill and my husband Fred G. Nix celebrate birthdays this month.
In addition, the day after Thanksgiving in 1979 Fred and I were married in Reno, Nevada. That makes 39 years, more than half my life. Whenever someone asks me the secret for a long marriage, my standard answer is inertia and lowered expectations. That is not completely a joke. A child of divorce I had no idea what a long marriage entailed.
Guess what, being married isn’t going on a date with your beloved forever. It is money management, housekeeping and laundry not a lot of romance there. It is taking care of aging parents, both sets. One of the things Fred and I agreed on very early was not having children. After about 10 years, we revisited the subject and still decided we didn’t want children. Most of my life I had people tell me I would change my mind or regret the decision. I’m still waiting for that.
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This is the weekend we gather with our families to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. I hope that went well for everyone, as there is nobody that can make one crazier than the people who love us most. Growing up we spent holidays with members of my mother’s family. Daddy’s people resided east and south in Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee.
My favorite Thanksgiving memories include a sleepover on the floor in the den at my aunt and uncle, Pete and Nada Kirk’s house. My cousins from Tulare would be there. Their family had a son about my age, a daughter two years younger and a son about six years younger. The very minute they arrived in Madera my cousin Jay Berry Kirk would want to come to our house to be with my brothers while they swapped me for him. That made four girl cousins at one house and three boy cousins at the other.
I have no idea what kind of mischief the boys found but we girls played Barbies and house. We argued over which Beatle we were married to because we all wanted Paul McCartney. John Lennon was our second choice. My cousin Gay Marie Kirk from Tulare dropped out of the conversation by selecting Little Joe Cartwright from Bonanza. Kary Lynn Kirk and I swapped Paul and John back and forth because those British accents were so cute.
We would sleep on the floor of the den so we could watch the Macy’s Parade while eating cereal. We loved the balloons and the baton twirlers. Afterward, we would march around the backyard with toy batons trying to imitate the moves on television. Luckily, we didn’t hurt each other tossing the batons in the air and trying to catch them.
My cousins Jay and Kary lived very short lives. They both died in their mid-twenties. Thinking about them, I would give almost anything to have a time machine I could use it to go back and spend more time with them. We never know when the ones we love will leave us.
Thanksgiving is the time to gather to offer thanks for all the blessings in our lives. Retail therapy dictates that many of these same people will be Christmas shopping to buy more stuff for the holidays. The traditional Black Friday sales no longer wait until the day after Thanksgiving to be cranked up.
The brick and mortar stores are in serious competition with shopping on the Internet. Facebook, that great loud noise of social media is peppered with ads for merchandise that will be delivered to your door.
This weekend is Black Friday and Small Business Saturday followed by Cyber Monday. The one in the middle of that sentence is, in my opinion, the most important one. In Madera, if we don’t support small businesses we won’t have them very long. Spend your money with the people who have a stake in our community.
Long days and pleasant nights, have a great weekend.
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Readers, may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.