Here are a few thrills... having both kids there - Michael and Leah driving down from Philly, and Julie and Greg driving over, with pup Paolo, from St. Louis. Mom, Val, Steve, Erin, Matt, and me playing a mean game of scrabble. Mom sharing some of her valuable collections with us girls - her tiny pewter clocks that she has collected for years, and her many many Christmas salt and pepper shaker pairs. Seeing the Louisville, Dallas, and most of the Alabama contingents. Laughing when Aunt Jennifer took a load of kids to the drug store late at night to stock up on Red Bull so that they could remain alert playing video games in the man-cave in the basement -- the first Facebook post I read the next morning was from nephew Jeb -- "pulled an all nighter with the help of some redbull. Now let's go buy stuff on sale." Oh, I can't tell you how happy I am that Michael and Julie are beyond that -- they may pull all nighters, but I don't see it since they live hundreds of miles away and I don't have to deal with the grumpiness that follows.
I was wondering if we would be talking politics and religion over the holidays, and we did, a little. We talked some about the Occupy movement, with some younger folks asking what it was all about - hope to write more about the ongoing movement in the next few days, so stay tuned.
Here is what is so beautiful about families and celebratory gatherings like Thanksgiving... Present at my parents' home in Lexington were at least 25 people - among them were evangelical Christian and conservative Jewish people, Unitarian/Quakers, agnostics, doubters, skeptics, and seekers, AND democrats, republicans, independents, progressives, libertarians, and undecideds, AND omnivores, vegetarians, candy eaters, and Red Bull and Ale-8-One drinkers, AND iPhones, blackberries, droids, PCs, and Macs, AND a farmer, truck and automobile factory workers, a professor, social service, education, and community agency workers, college and grad students, a computer consultant/business owner, an engineer, an artist and hostess extraordinaire, ministry workers, finance and business consultants. AND.... it worked. I am very grateful for these wonderful people.
It is possible, you know, to live with people with different opinions, daily living practices, and beliefs - it is easier when we share common values of love and respect, and of curiosity about and interest in the differences. And it is easier when we are brave enough to have courageous conversations about challenging topics.
No, we didn't get hot and heavy about politics and religion - just dipped our toes in really. But there was no tension with this toe-dipping (at least none that I felt) and lots of good feelings. And we did get pretty intense planning a new Thanksgiving tradition to begin next year -- all appetizers, all day, 24/7 with no big feast. We will see if this happens. We will just wait and see.
How was your Thanksgiving? Any good stories to share?