Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving came early to my house this year. As both my daughters work in retail, getting the same day off is a miracle in itself. This year my older daughter, Elizabeth, was able to come and stay a couple of nights. She came on Sunday so we had our family dinner on Monday. Mary, my younger daughter who lives with me, had to work. Fortunately, she worked early so was able to be home for dinner. Unfortunately, she began feeling feverish Sunday night and by the time she got home from work on Monday, she didn't feel up to eating much.

I'd been cooking all day. I usually try to get some things prepared the day before, but what with one thing and another (cleaning!), I didn't. We stay pretty traditional with our holiday meals, but some of that tradition is very English. Dinner was roast turkey, stuffing with sausage (casserole), roast potatoes and parsnips (covered in butter/marmite), roast carrots and yams (in an herbed oil), cauliflower and broccoli, and home made apple sauce and gravy. Apple crumble and custard for dessert. Yum!

I was also supposed to skype with my son and his family (in Washington) but we didn't get to it. We keep saying we will do this skype thing, but it never happens. Either things get too busy on this end or his internet's down. So today, actual Thanksgiving Day, I hope the stars are aligned and I'm able to see and spend time with my son and his family.

Late on Monday we learned of the violence breaking out in Oakland, uncomfortably close to where Elizabeth lives and works. I have no opinion on the right or wrong of the actual incident - I am completely unqualified to judge the tragedy that incited the violence - but empathize with the feelings of outrage, oppression, helplessness. I don't empathize with the violence, property damage, and fear the "protestors" are subjecting innocent local people and businesses to. That's not the way to gather support for anything. You become the thing you hate and are despised and mistrusted in return. Where's the sense in that? I was glad that Elizabeth was right here with me, but I had to take her home, a small minority member in her neighborhood, while violence was still happening just streets away. I'm always praying for her safety, but have never had so much cause.

The shame is that the genuine protestors are probably not the ones doing the damage. Just like the ridiculous mobs and vandalism after the Giants won the World Series. It's doubtful the real fans were a big part of that. It's opportunists taking advantage of any excuse to damage and steal the property of others. It's nothing to brag about or be applauded for. It doesn't matter how unjust the issue is. You're just hurting more of the people you claim to be protesting for. The people in your own neighborhood. Your family.

Which leads me back to Thanksgiving.

I am most thankful for my family. My three children. Life isn't always easy - can be downright brutal at times - and I have lots of other reasons to be thankful, but they are the most precious to me. I'm thankful everyday for them. Twenty-four-seven. We've been through a lot together. I want to be here for them; they are always there for me.

I'm thankful that after years and years of very hard times, things are going pretty well for everybody. My son spends most of his time being a full time dad and working on music and online business. My grandson, Odin, will be two early next year and is adorable and healthy. So is his lovely mom. Both my daughters just transferred to brand new stores (different stores, same company) and are guaranteed full time - no mean feat in this economy. The oldest is now a supervisor but both hope to work into management. I hope that, regardless of how they all earn a paycheck, they are able to exercise their creativity. They're all extremely talented, but also probably all affected, to one degree or another, by autism.

It's challenging, but I'm not complaining. I'm extremely thankful.

I'm also extremely thankful for the people who have taken interest in my writing and befriended me online. I don't really know you, but your opinions and support are important and encouraging to me. Thank you! And yes, Book Two really is coming. I promise.

So whether you have religious or cultural reasons to celebrate today, or don't celebrate at all, I wish you a peaceful day and hope you can focus on the things you can be thankful for. And as is my Thanksgiving blog tradition, here's some Switchfoot. Happy Thanksgiving from California!

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