In some families they go around the Thanksgiving Day table and each person is given a chance to share something they're thankful for or something good that happened in the previous year.
When it was my turn I'd be so thankful for my favorite subject-that would be boating-they'd have to shut me up or else the just-baked turkey would get cold.
Boating is my year-around Thanksgiving feast, my bread and butter. Office hours are long, but the activity usually doesn't sink to the pejorative category of "work." Boating also is my favorite off-duty recreation. Either way I'm around boats and I am thankful.
So thankful, in fact, that I am going to start talking up the idea of having a day set aside each year for boaters to be thankful for boating.
On Boating Thanksgiving each year, as we sit for the meal, each person would be thankful for something good that boating, just boating, has done for him in the previous year.
For myself, I am thankful for 25th anniversaries. Vic and I celebrated two recently, our marriage and our business.
I really enjoy chartering boats to people from all over the world so they can cruise the beautiful, sheltered waters of Southwest Florida. For this and for another year of helping boaters achieve higher levels of boating skills to maximize their fun sailing and power cruising, I am thankful.
I am thankful for a summer without storms, for happy hours on the dock and happy hours on the deck watching glorious sunsets with friends, and for many evenings afloat under the stars.
I am thankful for beach-combing treasures-sea-sculpted driftwood, colorful crab pot floats, and exquisitely-shaped shells that wash up on the shores of the sea shell capital of the world.
Boating Thanksgiving is for looking ahead to the next 12 months, too. I look forward to another year of cruising with our honorary first mate Star, our border collie. This year I'll introduce boating to our two newest kitties. Boat-trained cats make terrific boating companions, I'm told.
After everybody has paid their oral tributes to boating and voiced their exuberant hear, hears and clunked their plastic glasses together, it would be time to eat.
Every boating family will have to create its own menu for Boating Thanksgiving Day. I'll be serving up our traditional Florida feast of cold stone crab claws, hot oyster stew and corn bread stuffing.
Whatever you serve on this day, serve it with a cup of compassion for your fellow citizens, a pint of peace for the world, and a big scoop of hope for brighter days ahead.
Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts, yacht charters, and Florida Sailing & Cruising School, a liveaboard yacht school. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 800-262-7939 or visit www.swfyachts.com.