Bob Bestler | Thankful for a Thanksgiving now past

I've said before that Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday.

I love being with family on this special day.

I love the turkey, the dressing, the pecan pie.

I love the football on TV.

I love the fall weather, the changing colors of leaves, the sweaters I'm wearing again.

I love, seriously, to stop and remind myself how thankful I am, in so many ways.

So OK.

Having said that, Thursday's was not exactly the greatest Thanksgivings ever.

I knew it was not going to be good when the bride learned she had to work that day.

Worse, she had to travel to Conway and work from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., then drive back to McClellanville.

I did what I could to help. I chauffered her.

Joined by my youngest son, Derek. we began with a noontime Thanksgiving dinner at a Myrtle Beach restaurant, with all the good stuff -- the turkey, the dressing, the pie.

Then I took her to Conway and headed to Barefoot Resort to play golf with Derek, who works there.

After just nine holes, and with the sun still in the sky, we were called off the course. The cart guys wanted to go home and all employes and comped golfers needed to stop. Now.

I didn't blame the cart guys, but that left me with a lot of time to kill before 10 p.m.

I stopped at a couple stores that were open, dodging the crowds as I looked for one of those wonderful Black Friday deals on a 32-inch TV for my two grandsons.

If there were deals, they were gone by the time I got there, gobbled up by people who would rather stand in line than play golf.

Suddenly, an idea. I would see a movie.

Went to Coastal Grand, assuming ``Argo'' would be playing. It was not.

“Lincoln'' was starting too late, so I settled on “Skyfall,'' the new James Bond flic.

Watching the movie, I was consumed with two thoughts.

First, I had a sudden urge to visit Shanghai, which looked spectacular on the screen. How to get there, I wondered.

Second, I'm going to see a lot more movies in a theater rather than on my 37-inch TV. I'd forgotten what a grand experience the big screen can be, the surround sound, the powerful music, the popcorn.

After the movie, I wandered aimlessly around a couple more stores, then headed to Conway, stopping enroute for a Bud Lite at a sports bar, still killin' time.

Picked up the bride at 10, drove home.

In bed by midnight, this Thanksgiving, thankfully, in the past.