Thanksgiving Is Not About Change

In a year when everything around us has changed, most of us have become pretty good at adapting. This Thanksgiving will not be like any other holiday we have shared together. I say this because we have all been stretched to adapt and do nearly everything differently. We visit each other differently; we eat differently; and we even shop for groceries differently. But the thing is, Thanksgiving is about doing the same thing, the same way… every year. Can you remember the last time a friend or family member tried to put a new spin on a traditional dish? There was at least one person who didn’t respond well to this!

No matter what changes this year, the one thing that shouldn’t change is the reason we celebrate this day together. We break bread together because we are thankful. We are thankful that we are friends; we are thankful we are family; and we are thankful that no matter what, we come together in the spirit of gratitude. Because no matter what we may do differently, we will do it differently together and that should never change.

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
Gino Pezzani

Can We Say “Thank You” Enough?

This year we have a better deeper understanding about the value of work. Work is precious and doing what you love is even more valuable. Not everybody gets recognized for the value of their work, but thankfully most people continue to provide value for selfless reasons.

And right now, we have a lot of people who are compelled to continue their work, even without proper recognition.

Over the past few months, we have truly discovered that not all hero’s wear capes. This Labour Day we have a new class of hero called “Essential Workers” to celebrate, acknowledge and thank from the deepest part of our hearts.

Healthcare professionals – on the front lines of treating COVID-19 and other medical needs.

Retail, grocery and food service workers – providing us with food and supplies.
Custodians and janitorial staff – working hard to keep our community clean and resistant to germs.
First responders – who continually tend to the urgent needs of the community.
Transportation workers – who drive us, deliver mail, and stock our stores.
Maintenance workers – who are keeping our utilities running.
Community leaders and volunteers – who help people get through this crisis.
Teachers and school staff – who have worked through the summer to re-design educational plans.

What is important about Labour Day is not counting trophies and cheers, but evaluating how your work makes you feel and the contribution you make to the people you care about – even if it is not recognized in the moment.

A sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who continues to provide the value we didn’t even know we needed.

When is Gold not Measured in Karats?

Many years ago a young couple with three sons bought a house in the country. The previous owner, who spoke only French, said something that made the couple think that gold could be found on the property. They told their sons, who began digging up the ground looking for wealth.

After a few weeks much of the ground around the house had been turned over, and with no gold found, the father decided to plant some seeds: corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and onions. With his sons’ help, he grew so much that he went on to open a roadside stand to sell the extra produce for a little additional money.

The boys kept digging, turning over the soil as they went deeper and deeper, allowing the couple to plant even more crops.

This went on for several years. The vegetable stand prospered, and soon the couple had enough money to send all of their children to university.

One day the original owner came by for a visit. He’d learned English, and he asked the couple how they’d gotten started in the vegetable business. When the husband reminded him about the gold, the first owner laughed.

“I didn’t say there was gold in the soil,” he explained. “I said the soil was very rich.”

And as things turned out, it was.

It’s interesting how a misunderstanding can lead to good fortune, when hard work enters the equation.

Play Like You Don’t Know Better

What could you achieve if you didn’t place any limitations on yourself? Jazz pianist Art Tatum— called “the eighth wonder of the world” by Count Basie—is a perfect example of a man who knew no boundaries.

Though blind, Tatum expressed an interest in the piano as a youngster. He listened to the music of Fats Waller and Lee Sims on the radio for hours, hoping that someday he would be able to perform as well as they did. Of course, that meant he’d have to learn to play, but unfortunately, like many families in the 1920’s, his had few resources to spend on music lessons. As Tatum neared adolescence, he devised his own method for learning the instrument.

He persuaded friends to escort him to a local jazz club, where he was given permission to sit at the player piano. As the music played, Tatum kept his fingers hovering lightly over the falling keys, feeling his way through the songs. He practiced late into the night, as often as he could—in spite of his age, his schoolwork, and his part-time job. Learning to play piano in this manner was difficult, but not just because he was blind.

What Tatum didn’t realize was that player piano rolls of that era were the result of two pianists playing together. He was learning to play with two hands what normally took four. As a result, he developed an incredible dexterity that enabled him to master the piano.

Even though this story starts in the 1920’s, we are still amazed by Art Tatum’s skill and innovation one hundred years later. Art was unaware of his limitations. He did not know he was attempting the impossible; he just did the impossible. If it’s true that “necessity is the mother of invention,” then Art reminds us that not knowing something is sometimes the father of innovation.

This Is A Tough Job To Fill… — Happy Father’s Day!

POSITION: Father (also known as Daddy, Dad, Pop)

JOB DESCRIPTION: Long-term, team players needed, for challenging permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidate must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24-hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required.

LENGTH OF JOB: The rest of your life.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION: Not much until Grandparent position opens up.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE: None required. On-the-job training mandatory.

SKILLS:

  • Ability to fix any broken toy
  • Bug Catcher
  • Doctor
  • Chef
  • Chauffeur
  • Teacher
  • Principal
  • Finder of lost objects
  • Master pancake maker
  • Clown

BENEFITS: No paid holidays. Available benefits include lifelong opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and occasional hugs.

These are only a few reasons to celebrate all the men we know and love who are great fathers!

Happy Father’s Day!
Gino Pezzani