My wife and I hosted Thanksgiving, a combination event also celebrating Racer A's fourth birthday.
I began the day a bit stressed, however, as when we began planning earlier in the month I was employed, and by the time guests arrived, I was not. I unexpectedly lost my job of more than seven years, and while I've been upbeat (see Week 11), the fiscal concerns of being unemployed during the holidays were difficult to shake that day, especially given the onslaught of buy-buy-buy ads on TV, radio and even the net.
As the guests arrived, those concerns simmered down, and we had a great meal, with wonderful food and drink additions from everyone. Nobody finished hungry.
I am thankful for the dinner, and that I didn't burn anything down while frying the turkey outside in a propane-fueled fryer, but what I am most thankful for is how great of a time Racer A had.
No huge gifts, black light bowling, throngs of kids, coordinated Transformers napkins, cups and balloons, or singing rats. Just family, a few gifts, and ice cream cake. But the celebration was sincere, and so was his smile.
For any regular readers of Daddy's Matchbox or my other blog, Thought Bubbling, you know I don't do serious, at least not unless it is disguised as humor, so this straight-forward account is a-typical. Daddy's Matchbox, however, is also a type of snapshot of my time on this planet, measured in weeks and toy cars, so I wanted to try to do justice to this very real Thanksgiving, because I was, and am, thankful. Life can be filled with so much clutter, hollowness, and commercialism, and yet so little appreciation.
Watching Racer A blow out his candles, I knew we all had pushed past that for that moment, and man, that was truly something for which to be thankful. Nothing but real, and no matter what anyone says, that's not always easy to do.
So how can a 1969 Datsun Bluebird possibly fit into this week's blog?
Because this car just made me smile. No symbolism this time, or thematic purity, or connection whatsoever to my real life. For this week, I simply picked a car that made me smile. For this week, that was truly enough.
A Daddy's Matchbox confession:
When I began Daddy's Matchbox three months ago, I purchased one car each week, with no thought to collecting (I'm not the collector mentality and am a bit of a minimalist with personal possessions).
These little cars can be addictive, however, and as time went on, I became enamored by the chase -- finding a Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt, waiting for new models to be released on certain days, keeping an eye out for flaws, etc.
I began reading about their history and learning about the collector community. And, as the 2010 models were wrapping up, I began stocking up and my collection grew at more than one a week, especially when I found the occasional two-for-one sale.
I really like these little buggers.
Given my current employment situation, I've discontinued the multi-car purchases, but I don't have guilt about a weekly addition, nor do I feel it ties into the empty commercialism I strive against. In addition to being affordable, there is an innocence and a childlike fun to these cars I find satisfying when contrasted against the hectic, complicated and at times noisy and harsh world.
Now don't think I'm going to go and get all soft and sweet -- I wouldn't do that to you.
But if you find my hobby juvenile or worthy of a solid shake of the head, give it a try sometime. After a tough day, go to the store, pick yourself out a car, and simply enjoy it. I won't tell anyone if you don't want me to.
But I bet you end up adding at least another car to your collection at some point, even if you do it on the sly.
Featured Hot Wheels is number 37 of the 2009 New Models collection. Photo taken by my wife Rochelle Luckwitz on her Android phone.