Black Friday at the Beach

I had a lot to be grateful for over Thanksgiving weekend.  I didn’t get pepper-sprayed, shot in a parking lot, or mugged at knife point after making my purchases at the mall.  Actually, I never went to the malls.  My husband, mother, dog, cat, and I all went to New Jersey to visit my oldest daughter.  She cooked a turkey dinner, we sat around and laughed and talked, and we watched Macy’s Thanksgiving parade and several football games.  Isn’t that what Thanksgiving should be?  I can’t understand why anyone would forfeit family time at Thanksgiving to save some money on a flat-screen television or a sweater.   Maybe our values are not really so different from our elected officials who don’t seem to be able to put human needs above personal interests.

On  Friday we all went to Smithville, a restored historical village five minutes from my daughter’s house.  There we went to our favorite stores.  One is an angel store with all things angelic.  Another was the Irish store.  We always go to the candy and fudge shop.  At night there were hundreds of  trees floating in the lake all lit in various Christmas colors choreographed to Christmas music.  It was wonderful!

The best part of Friday was the time we spent at the beach in Brigantine.  The temperature was in the 60s, we could park right next to the entrance to the beach, and we could easily walk the beach without tripping over people.  There were some other people at the beach, however.  Some were sitting in beach chairs, some were fishing, some were jogging or walking or sitting on the sea wall enjoying the warmth of the sun and the pounding of the surf.  I was certainly grateful to be able to go to the beach at the end of November!

One other moment made me grateful for what I have.  There is a wonderful older couple who lives in the condo upstairs from my daughter’s condo.  The woman had cancer a few years ago and is now dealing with a recurrence.  I saw her several times over the weekend out in front of the condos feeding the squirrels and birds.  She also puts food out for some stray cats in the area.   I am impressed by her determination to continue to live her life the best way she can.  I am also grateful that I have not had a recurrence of my cancer, and I can go visit my children and grandchildren and appreciate my family time together.

I don’t worry that I might have missed a great deal on Black Friday.  I had an unbeatable deal in the time I spent with family.  And the best bargain of the day was found at the beach.  What price can you put on the sound of the sea, the warmth of the sun, and the peacefulness of the shore?

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