Last week Annabelle and I celebrated our first Thanksgiving on Cape Cod, a mere 20 minutes from the original Plymouth MA site.
The Pilgrims sailing on The Mayflower arrived in Plymouth in 1620 and faced a devastatingly harsh first winter that resulted in almost half of them perishing. When the harvest of the following year proved bountiful, the Pilgrims invited the local Native American Patuxet and Wampanoag tribes, who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year, to join them to give thanks in a celebration feast that lasted 3 days. Thus was born the traditional origin of the “Thanksgiving” Holiday. The formal Holiday came into being under George Washington in 1789 and after changing dates a few times over the years it was finally set as the fourth Thursday in November by Congress in 1941.
We had a problem, The Platinum Pebble in the midst of its Luxury Bed and Breakfast refurbishment was without kitchen, power or any alternative mode of cooking. Disaster-wise this may not have been on quite the same level as what befell the Pilgrims in their first winter, but it was nevertheless a bit of a nuisance. The thought of throwing ourselves on the mercy of the KFC in Hyannis for our inaugural turkey dinner was not an appealing proposition. But as it turned out help was not far away.
In keeping with the tradition of this holiday, our neighbors from across the street (in our case Irish American rather than Native American) came to help the hungry Brits and took us in to provide us with food, warmth, wine, wonderful company and the most important tradition of all………American Football on TV. Since 1920 every Thanksgiving has seen NFL games being played. This initially started off with Chicago teams (Bears and Cardinals) squaring off but then between1966-2005 the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys became the regular hosts for Thanksgiving games. This was extended to include a third game in 2006 with hosts changing each year. This year it was New England’s turn to visit Detroit and the game was a nail-biting (euphemism for “beer drinking”) affair with the Patriots finally coming through for the win.
We also got the opportunity to meet some great new people in the shape of our neighbor’s son, who doesn’t live locally, and their niece. Conor, a Boston fashion photographer , whose work is amazing, and Maeve, a virtuoso harpist who is receiving rave reviews for her jazz and folk inspired compositions.
It was wonderful to be welcomed so warmly into to this family and what continues to strike me about our new home is the unwavering friendliness and hospitality of Cape Codders, of which this was yet another example. Maread and Bob, our neighbors, have been particularly generous to us over the last few months but all our neighbors have been amazingly welcoming as have all the people we’ve met in connection with our business venture. Maybe there’s something in the Cape Cod sea-air or in the fish-rich diet that makes all the locals so hospitable. Either way I’ve started digging into lobster rolls with fury and hitting the Cape Cod beaches each morning to make sure that a smile worthy of a Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast innkeeper is permanently etched across my face!