Monday, November 02, 2009

Lefovers and Laughter

You know that just before that first Thanksgiving dinner, there was one wise old Native American woman saying, “Don’t feed them. If you feed them they’ll never leave.”
Dylan Brody

Thanksgiving is an emotional time. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.”
Johnny Carson

Last Thanksgiving I shot my own turkey. It was fun. That shot gun going “Blam Blam!” Everybody at the supermarket was just staring. Why track them when I know where they are?
Kenny Rogerson

My brother and his family no longer live with a refrigerator. Oh, they have 2 ice chests with frozen jugs of water that they have to replace about every other day. They make the kids do that. And what prompted them to go back to this 17th century way of living?
Leftovers! Leftovers? Yes, leftovers were one of the reasons they gave up their refrigerator. It wasn’t the only reason, but it’s the one that stuck out in my mind.

November is filled with national ‘food “days. There is Candy Day, Deviled Egg Day, and Cashew Day (which goes with the fact that it is National Peanut Butter Lover‘s Month.). November includes “Cookie Monster’s” birthday and the day that William Tell took a bow and arrow and shot an apple off his kid’s head. (NOTE: Parents, this is not legal.) Halloween candy that was hidden under the bed has now been found by a younger sibling. Aunties and Grandmas are making fruitcakes and cupcakes, oodles of noodles, cookies and tortes, candy wreathes and three story gingerbread houses and last but not least…..there is Thanksgiving.

People from the good ol’ U.S. of A. gobble up 690 million pounds of turkey each Thanksgiving. I have no idea how many pounds of stuffing, mash potatoes, yams or cranberry sauce/relish are made. I do know there will be leftovers.

Food is not the only leftover. There are left over people lying on your sofa, left over rude cousins that don’t know when to go home and there are leftover dishes and arguments as to whom or what will do the dishwashing. There is leftover trash outside created by city wildlife. Leftovers can be so overwhelming. What’s a person to do?

Humor, once again, may be the best defense you have to any kind of leftover. Think of it as an emotional antacid. When tensions arise from the holiday planning or holiday crowding, (in your living room), try reaching for some quiet time with the Sunday funnies. How about one of those silly holiday movies that make you laugh and groan and laugh again? You can also say to Aunt Mildred’ “Let’s listen to Bill Cosby (or some other comedienne), while you both do the dishes. Either she will love it or she will leave the room. Either way you win. Most important, learning to forgive yourself and chuckle at your humanity helps deal with the leftover blues.

November 14th is National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. You can then prepare the space for leftovers without over crowding. Clean out and make room in your emotional refrigerator (where you get nurtured) for more humor, laughter, and joy, especially around this time of year. Take a daily dose of mirth as a re-laxative. It can prevent hardening of the attitudes.

My brother may not have many food leftovers and he certainly doesn’t have a refrigerator to clean out. However, he and his family have plenty of leftover mirth, mayhem, silliness and laughter. Perhaps he can send you home with some.

Thanksgiving blessings of Gratitude, Humor, Laughter, Mirth and Joy,
Debra Joy Hart RN BFA CLL
Age Wise Care Management