Site brings back memories and friends
As I pause to consider the things that I am thankful for this weekend I will be adding a new item to the list -- you, the reader of Wrights Lane and its associated sites.
In the three short months that I have been producing this blog there have been more than 400 views, or hits, on my profile alone. Profile views are generally of a one-time nature. Repeat viewers generally bypass the profile because if you've seen it once there is no need to see it again. So you can multiply those 400-plus profile views at least four or five times to get a feeling for current overall viewership, far beyond my fondest expectations.
Particularly gratifying has been reconnecting with old friends in my hometown of Dresden through the Father and Son Turn Back the Clock and Championship Baseball sites. Linda Weese helped get the ball rolling by linking me with her http://www.dresden.ca/ site. Since then I have had direct contact with Donna and Terry Martin, Donna and Keith Babcock, Jarvis Cook and Betty Smith, all of Dresden. Ida Strong of St. Thomas, a former Dresden resident, was one of the first to respond and eventually contributed photographs of her great grandfather's blacksmith shop for Dresden reflections. Bob Peters, way out in British Columbia, is a regular viewer and has passed the site on to other former Dresdenites in B.C. -- Jim Bresett and Homer Smith. Bob's mother in Chatham, hale and hearty at 97-years-of-age, amazingly keeps up to date with us via her computer.
I reconnected recently with old school chum Jim Ruttle of Lambeth and his wife Isabel over lunch in Goderich and have ongoing contact Bruce Huff in London (he of the Sports Hall of Fame) and Danny Burns of Mississauga, a recent contributor to Wrights Lane.
So it is for the aforementioned folks, other friends and site followers, and members of my family that I will be giving special thanks.
Thanksgiving traditions sadly missed
On the subject of Thanksgiving, I feel that it is a shame that this occasion originally intended to give special recognition of all we receive, has been diminished by the changing social fabric in Canada. Traditional Thanksgiving observances and prayers have been rendered almost irrelevant for many families. We've let it happen. There is no one else to blame. We should not lose tradition this easily. Let's try to revive some of it.
Allow me to take liberties with the words of Edgar A. Guest in recalling the way it used to be, and still should be for us today.
It may be I am getting old and like too much to dwell
Upon the days of bygone years, the days I loved so well;
But thinking of them now I wish somehow that I could know
A simple old Thanksgiving Day, like those of long ago,
When all the family gathered round a table richly spread,
The youngest of us all to greet the oldest with a smile,
With mother running in and out and laughing all the while.
It may be I'm old-fashioned, but it seems to me today
We're too much bent on having fun to take the time to pray;
Each little family grows up with fashions of its own;
It lives within a world itself and wants to be alone.
It has its special pleasures, its circle, too, of friends;
There are no get-together days; each one his journey wends,
Pursuing what he likes the best in his particular way,
Letting others do the same upon Thanksgiving Day.
I like the olden way the best, when relatives were glad
To meet the way they used to do when I was but a lad;
The old home was a rendezvous for all our kith and kin,
And whether living far or near they all came trooping in.
Gathering round the fireside, how fast the hours would fly--
Seemed before we'd settled down 'twas time to say good-bye.
Those were glad Thanksgivings, the old-time families knew
When relatives could still be friends and all our hearts were true.
May you share some of that with your loved ones this weekend.