I didn’t write a Thanksgiving post because I was too busy (aka lazy) to think one up. But my daughter did. We have been building a house for what seems like forever, but despite the fact that she has spent most of her teenage years in a temporary living situation, and despite the amount of time taken up by school and her job, she managed to find time to scrabble together a list of things to be thankful for. She even included the trailer that she lives in because it’s better than the trailer she was living in before.
So, a little late, I’ll take my turn. I am a father who is not only thankful for, and proud of his amazing daughter, but inspired by her. I feel like a gardener who never fussed over the soil or kept up on the watering as well as he should have, but somehow ended up with a garden that is the talk of the town. If people asked me what my secret was, I would only say “Don’t do too much; let it grow on it’s own and hope for the best.”
I am thankful that my son, who despite living through, and with, a surprising amount of unfortunate conditions, is doing as well as he is doing. It his for his privacy that I won’t write more, not a lack of appreciation.
I am thankful for my wife, who has led me along an unusual path as I whined and complained every step of the way. Sasha has exposed me to ideas and experiences that have made me a better person. Despite the unfinished house, I can look out at thirty acres of farmland and trees and say “holy shit, those are My Trees!” Perhaps not impressive to many, but for most of my life, I didn’t expect to own my surroundings beyond, perhaps, a twenty foot radius. It it’s not just the “ownership” that I’m thankful for, but the sense of purpose it gives me. These trees and this farm is our attempt to make a difference; to get people to acknowledge their wealth and to appreciate and care about the sources of their food and possessions.
And to my family; My mother and father and others who have passed; and my sister, her family, and my aunt. These were and are compassionate, and righteous people who laid the groundwork for who I am today. And I was not a very easy child to raise. I should do better to keep in touch.
Here, in rural Virginia, in a city and surrounding area that I often disparage with snide remarks, I have met the most fascinating people. My friends help when they’re busy and accept me despite my shortcomings and idiosyncrasies. I have been to many dinners and holiday gatherings in the homes of my friends, who patiently wait while I plod along with my half-assed effort to finish my house so I can eventually return the favors. My friends can put together a party and have, at that party, war-fighters and peace marchers; preachers and atheists; technicians and cowboys; and me, all coming together to share ideas and enjoy each-other’s company.
Such an amazing life. I have so much to be thankful for.