Nov. 11th, 1620. William Bradford and friends left the relative safety of their nautical “bubble,” and landed on Plymouth Rock. There, they shared with a Wampanoag tribe, pumpkins and other squashes indigenous to New England.

But alas, someone, I’ve read, forgot to put butter and wheat flour for making pie crust on the shopping list before setting sail. I’ll bet the guys didn’t forget the rum.

As I write this, it’s Thanksgiving Day, 2020. I see videos of millions of young, beautiful people carrying infants, crowding the airports en route to their birthplaces, eager to share a “bubble” and eager to hug and kiss the unsuspecting elderly, and have a nice dinner. We wish them luck.

She and I are embracing the popular social media concept of “bubble,” a safe harbor of sorts, as well.

We’ve created our own, but this year, it’s a tiny bubble and seats only two. Our kids — too well educated to get on a silver tube full of asymptomatic strangers — have stayed home, safe in their own sunny bubble 3,000 miles away.

They call on Face Time and seem happy in La-La Land.


I try to find it comforting, even though I know what a landmine they live on.

She and I have spent 61 Thanksgivings together. We are two old actors, who have bounced from New York City to San Francisco, to Boston. In the course of our theater careers, we’ve eaten turkey in five-star restaurants, automats and homes of strangers, and served cold turkey to the homeless at a park gathering in Pasadena Where, by the way, a wild-eyed man grabbed my butcher knife and ran away. News at eleven.

This year, in the twilight of our careers, we’ve canceled cooking, which means no dirty dishes, greasy pans and broken glasses. Hooray!

We happily find ourselves on this rainy Thanksgiving in Waterville, Maine, preparing to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner catered by Hannaford Market chefs, consisting of traditional slabs of dry fowl, made palatable by gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows and two or more glasses of wine. The food is optional.

Happy Thanksgiving. Wait for the vaccine, and just in case they run out before they get to you, keep your mask on.


J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer. 

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