Sunday, November 18, 2007

Impressions of the fall


I cannot believe it is November and almost Thanksgiving. We are headed to Boise for the holiday and our annual dinner at my brother's house. This will be our first Thanksgiving with our daughter and the first time my 82-year old mother will get to meet her. I am excited about that.
It will be an important Thanksgiving. For so many years I was the weird bachelor uncle and now that I have a family, I can sit at the big people's table without feeling too guilty.

Still, Thanksgiving is an odd holiday. When I was a kid, it was simply the halfway point between Halloween and Christmas. I knew it was supposed to be a time when everyone was supposed to express gratitude for everything they had, but it didn't involve candy or presents, so it didn't really capture my attention.

As I got older, Thanksgiving was an opportunity to come home from college and lord my worldliness over my family that was still stuck in Boise. As you can imagine, that really endeared me to them no end.

And Thanksgiving was also an opportunity for my brothers and I to bring old grievances from our childhood. My niece and nephews can probably cite verbatim the stories of Ted hitting Dan in the head with a hoe, Dan chipping my tooth with a shotgun shell he threw at me or me almost chopping off one of the neighborhood kid's hands with a hatchet (it was unintentional).

Once I met Tess and started taking her to Boise for Thanksgiving, things took a turn for the better. We stopped bringing up the old war stories, and avoided talking politics and religion. Come to think of it, dinner became pretty quiet.

This year I imagine Enya-Maria will be the center of attention. We'll also have the birth of my nephew's daughter Ruby Grace in Minnesota to talk about and further evolve the holiday into what it was intended for -- a time to be thankful.
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