It is 1:40 in the afternoon and I need to go to the store. I don't have to go to the store, but if I don't go this afternoon, I'll have to go tomorrow, and tomorrow it's supposed to pour down rain all day, and I don't want to go out in the pouring rain.
So why aren't I on my way to the store? Because Travis is curled up by my side and everything feels awfully cozy and warm. How can I leave?
Anyway, I thought if I'm going to sit here on the couch with my cozy dog, the least I can do is write a blog post and say hello. Hello! I had a good visit with my mom the week before last. She's now done with her final round of chemotherapy and is taking lots of naps. Essentially her course of treatment was to give her almost--but not quite--enough chemo to kill her in order to kill the cancer. For the time being, the cancer seems to have left the building and my mom has not, but she needs a lot of naps and probably will for the next six months.
So this Thanksgiving giving I am giving thanks for my mother's slow return to health, and her incredible doctors and wonderful nurses. I'm also thankful for all of your prayers. They have done her a world of good.
Thanksgiving! I know a lot of you who read this blog are from faraway lands where you don't spend the fourth Thursday in November feasting on turkey and watching football. Or, nowadays, going shopping. That's the new trend: stores are now open on Thanksgiving. I have a friend whose son works at Best Buy, so on Thanksgiving day, while his entire extended family is gathered around the table eating and drinking and telling stories, he'll be at work.
What's next? Stores open on Christmas? Why, yes, that's already happening now. Walgreens and CVS will be open on Christmas, and so will Starbucks. Ho ho ho!
I think there's something very wrong with our culture. I think it's cynical to keep stores open on days that are supposed to be special. It's like the businesses are whispering, You don't like your family anyway. Isn't it more fun to shop than to spend time with your boring old uncles and birdbrained cousins? That whole gathering the family around the table thing? Everyone knows it's a crock. Besides what's more fun than spending money?
Well, I've had some contentious times with family, it's true. Even families that function pretty well have their moments. But it's good to gather the tribe, catch up, remember, reconnect and reconcile. Even when we stay home just the four of us, Thanksgiving is a special day. The good dishes and silver are pressed into service, the nice tablecloth is laid on the table. We listen to Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring and Charlie Haden's Steal Away while we eat and tell funny stories. I try to get Jack and Will to say what they're thankful for, but they're a couple of corn dogs and just roll their eyes at me. That's a Thanksgiving tradition, too.
So on the one side you have good food and good music and corn dog kids, and on the other side you have the corporate greed heads at Target and Wal-Mart and their employees, most of whom would much rather be at home with their own corn dog kids. As the old song goes, which side are you on, boys?
If you observe Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you don't observe Thanksgiving, I hope you have a wonderful fourth Thursday of November. Either way, I hope you spend the day with loved ones, those imperfect, boring, grumpy, cantankerous, lovely people you're thankful to call your own.