Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

It is a cold and very wet Thanksgiving night. By morning it will be much colder and we may have our first snow flurries of the season. Christmas Day is exactly one month from today. Like many people I am amazed that it is once again this time of year. It seems like it was only weeks ago when we were sweltering in 100 degree heat. In this moment I am sitting here with a hot cup of "Sleepytime" herbal tea while listening to the Band's famous 1976 Thanksgiving night concert they called "The Last Waltz". It was their farewell performance. It has been a good week, mainly because I have been on holiday the entire week. Last weekend I went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with my wife, two sons, and granddaughter. The town was very festive and decorated for the holidays. Above I am including a few photos from the trip. We had perfect weather. Admittedly I often felt exhausted and my real vacation, in terms of rest and relaxation, began when I returned home. It's been a while since I had any real time off so the last few days, when I could rise at my leisure and savor morning coffee while reading the morning paper and looking out my window, were real bliss for me. I love my solitude.

Today is a day to give thanks and to be grateful. I try not to judge my life by how I feel. I have slowly learned that my feelings are not always a good barometer of my life. Although happiness sometimes seems elusive, I know I am blessed in many ways. I am sitting here in a very nice house, with my own special room, on a cold and wet night. I am warm, dry, and well fed. My pantry is full and earlier today I shared in a great and traditional Thanksgiving feast at my sister in law's home. My refrigerator now has several containers of tasty leftovers. I was with family who have been part of my life for nearly forty years. Earlier this evening I had a visit from my granddaughter. She was very excited and full of questions because of the appearance of a Christmas Elf on a shelf in my living room. I told her he was sent here by Santa Claus and you can't touch him. This Elf will magically move around the house between her future visits. I just know that the first thing she will do every time she comes over here in the next few weeks before Christmas is look for the Elf. She already thinks my wife and I live in a magical house. Don't all children think that about their grandparents?

I did have a crisis earlier this evening when high winds from the rainstorm blew Santa and Rudolph off my front porch and into the bushes.

So on this Thanksgiving night in the year 2010, the 59th Thanksgiving of my life, I sit here as a content and reasonably happy man. There are people I love and people who love me. I have family and good friends in my life. I am surrounded by things I love. I have books to read, music to enjoy, and coffee to drink. I have a nice balance of solitude and time with others. My brain still works most of the time and I can still walk up and down stairs although my knees often hurt and if I sit too long I feel like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. To alleviate this problem, I always keep several oil cans around the house.

I hope all who read these notes have all you need and most of what you want. I hope you are able to live with grateful hearts and that you feel blessed. Happy Thanksgiving!

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