Wednesday, November 25, 2009

On Thanksgiving Eve

Thanksgiving came early as both Laurie and I received books today. I had ordered myself a copy of Prime by Poppy Z. Brite through Lyon Books, which is the locally owned new book store here in Chico. Today it arrived. As you know, it's the second in the triptych by Brite that started with Liquor. So there's most of my weekend. It's a little break from the classics reading group. Also the book I'm expecting in the mail any time now from a friend in India. More on that soon.

Laurie's about to read The Meaning of the Pentateuch by John H. Sailhamer. John Piper said words to the effect of "sell everything you own to get yourself a copy of this book (provided everything you own is only worth $40.)"

Laurie is also working on Of Mice and Men. She will be joining the book group. People who have been in reading groups with her before can testify that having the opportunity to interact with such a sharp mind as hers makes the endeavor worthwhile taken on its own.

We're looking forward to a quiet, stress-free day off together. We were blessed enough to have very little grocery store drama and came home with a modest turkey breast and an even more modest Pinot Grigio. I'm thankful for how little time we spent in the grocery store today.

There is, as always, much to be thankful for in my life. We're still in our house and eating, many months after my lay off. In fact, prospects are looking up and, although rabidly anti-superstitious, I shall err on the side of not jinxing anything by going into detail just yet.
I have the best of all wives, step-kids who I love tremendously, a great hoard of individually and collectively wonderful animals to share our life.

I keep remembering a moment from when I was much younger and stupider, if that does not tax your imagination. I was visiting my friend Doctor Oblivious in San Francisco and I made a comment about being poor folk. Without missing a beat he said, "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm one of the richest people I know."
Today I am keenly aware that I am one of the richest people I've ever met in my life. I have love. I have peace in my house. And on top of that I live in a country whose standard of living has me below the level of economic indicators well below the poverty line, yet I eat well, I have the world's knowledge and entertainment at my beck and call, I have perfect temporal freedom. I can worship as loudly as I want without fear of the authorities. I can read whatever I choose.

All of which is really just another one of my trademarked long winded ways of saying I'm looking forward to a nice, quiet day with my wife tomorrow. I don't really have much in the way of original thought on the tradition. It is one of the American traditions I wholeheartedly think is a great idea, a day of thanksgiving and a harvest feast.

First enacted by Washington and first made a yearly tradition with Lincoln. Washington wrote,
"Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me "to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

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