Thursday, November 22

Thanksgiving Day

There is a cacophony of thoughts in my head. Some of them I can share, some I must just keep close in my heart and wait for the right time to act.

Yes, today is Thanksgiving and I got to spend it with my wonderful family. The whole biological clan was there, plus husbands and kids...but the best part is enjoying time with some of our extended family. My brother-from-another-mother Bruce is in from Dallas and although he is a man of few words - just being in his presence is comforting. He completes us in a special way. I love his mischievous smile and his quick wit and wish that he didn't live so far away. But I'm very happy that he is content with his life in Dallas.

We also enjoyed the company of our international students from Randolph College: Proity and Eriko. Although Thanksgiving is an American (ish) holiday - it is easy to appreciate the spirit of a harvest festival, which is what Thanksgiving is. And they joined right in with the chaos of our family gathering. It never ceases to amaze me that they have such an ease with the English language...I can't imagine the challenge of carrying on a conversation in anything but my native tongue. I studied Latin - so unless you need the verb "Amo" (love) conjugated or if you need to say "the farmer is a boy" - I'm pretty useless in the language category.

I look forward to the big family holiday gatherings - but I'm glad that my next activity will be putting my feet up and eating a couple bourbon pecan pralines. I made some for Thanksgiving. I was afraid that the 10 servings that the recipe made wouldn't be enough (after all, I think there were 16 or 18 at dinner) so I decided to triple the recipe. But since that gave me an uneven amount of butter...I went ahead and quadrupled it. I may be giving pralines as Christmas gifts!

Another of the thoughts in my head is related to loss. My good friend T. Allen Schlapman (I called him Tallen) was killed yesterday by a drunk driver. I don't know yet how to deal with this and can't imagine what today was like for his wife and daughter. Tallen was an extraordinary man - always there with a smile and hug. His talents ranged from accounting to construction to management. We shared a love for good food and tried to have lunch together once every couple of months.... It is hard knowing that my phone will never again greet me with a text of "when are we going to have lunch again?" Tallen was one of those people who you could brainstorm with, or vent to, and know that he would just listen. Unless you asked specifically "what would you do in this situation?" - he was content to be a sounding board. That is an incredible gift. I will miss him greatly.

Because of the way we met, I felt it important to tell a particular individual about his individual that I had never planned to contact again. It felt strange to reach out - but after I hit "send" I felt a peace about it. One more piece of healing from a bad situation.

It has been a pretty good day. I'm glad I'm not one of the nutballs getting ready to go shopping. I will be thankful for a good night's sleep. And I will be praying for a good night's sleep for my friend's family.

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