In the place where folks sport T-shirts proclaiming, “Key West. Where the weird go pro,” the only actual weird about Thanksgiving is that there’s no weird.
Here we are, half way between the truly over-the-top weird of Fantasy Fest-Halloween and the run-up to not one, but three jaw-droppingly weird New Year’s Eve celebrations, and there’s nothing more untoward on the agenda than the much-vaunted Christmas tree sale at the MARC House and the traditional turkey dinner for the homeless.
I mean, this is a town that can conjure up a mile-long street parade for Diana Nyad just hours after she completed her swim from Havana to Key West. We still have Veterans Day parades that — with only a little imagination — rival the ones on Memory Lane.
Either Thanksgiving is an orphan or Key Westers are taking a deep breath before the landing of the snowbirds and the opening of “the season.” Probably the latter. Because when the town gets rolling on Dec. 26, there’s no time for deep breaths until somewhere around Mother’s Day.
Since everyone else appears to be deep breathing, here’s a Key West “give thanks for” list:
— I don’t have to look for a snow shovel. We mulch the flower beds instead.
— My Christmas poinsettias didn’t need a cellophane shirt for the ride home from the store and are delighted to shed a little red and green OUTSIDE.
— Family and friends come here so we don’t have to leave home to go over the river and through the woods — or suffer the hordes at Gate C in Atlanta.
— Holidays are week-long events in Key West so the phone doesn’t ring much at work and I can get the filing done.
— No one is arguing about cruise ships or any of the other political litany — local or national — that is the stuff of Key West’s political junkies. Even the Voice, the local newspaper’s anonymous call-in column, is delightfully, thankfully, sane.
— Shop local is what we do. With no “big boxes,” Key West can ignore every single television ad blaring from Miami.
— And, what the heck, there’s this: The Key West chickens sound particularly pleased not to be on someone’s menu.
Happy Thanksgiving from Key West — where we wear our best flip-flops and shorts for Turkey Day.