Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy turkeys at Thanksgiving!
     We knew this year we'd have a break from our old traditions at Thanksgiving simply because my mother is no longer able to cook.  She is in a lovely assisted living facility, which has been a blessing in so many ways, not the least of which is that we know she is always safe and well fed.  We had planned to have a family lunch at the clubhouse in her community, but she developed pneumonia and had to be hospitalized earlier this week.  So what do you do when the family matriarch is in the hospital at Thanksgiving?  You have Thanksgiving lunch at the hospital cafeteria! 
This picture of my mom in 2004 is on the wall at the hosiptal.  She volunteered there for 30 years and had the 2nd most hours of any volunteer at the time of her "retirement."  We passed it as we went to the cafeteria.

     Luckily our kids are used to lots of change and having to be flexible, so they were up for the adventure.  We took mom downstairs and had turkey, carrots, sweet potatoes, and dessert among all the staff who had drawn the short straw and had to work.  The food was good, and it was a low stress meal.  Before we left, Annalee got a frozen yogurt and since Chip is not a fan of anything too cold, he chose a Sierra Mist soda as his dessert.  On the way out of the hospital, Annalee exclaimed, "this is the best Thanksgiving ever!"  Chip was singing the praises (literally, and loudly) of turkey and Sierra Mist for all the other folks walking into the parking deck.  It reminded me what is important about Thanksgiving. 
     The kids I teach had made some lists of things for which they are thankful earlier this week, and had mentioned such things as family, food to eat, a place to live, and being able to get a good education for free.  A couple of students were even thankful for their "haters," elaborating that their haters spurred them on to be even better and reach goals they never thought they could.  That's pretty insightful, and a pretty positive way to look at a challenge.  I have been so overwhelmed by the challenges we've faced this fall, it was good for me to have a moment to reflect on what these children, my flesh and blood kids and my students, have already taught me.
Chuck snapped a picture for me a few weeks ago.  They had expanded quite a bit when I saw them today.

     I saw the goats with my own eyes today for the first time in months.  The does are huge, and thinking about possibilities for kidding season is a good way to give myself a mental break from the challenges of building courses.  I hope my entry finds everyone well, and that everyone has had the opportunity to spend time with friends and family on this special holiday.  My children's joy at spending Thanksgiving in the hospital cafeteria reminded me that it isn't about what you eat or where you are, but rather about who you're with and how you look at it.

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