So here it is: Thanksgiving 2009. A very different Thanksgiving than one I've ever had.
I've had a few unusual ones. The year I was in Ireland for school and one of our fellow students organized a Thanksgiving feast (apparently finding some of the trimmings overseas was a bit of a task). The year we celebrated at Carl's Jr. on our way back from Disneyland (burgers are no substitute for Turkey).
But this one is different indeed. Different because for the first time, a family Thanksgiving is going forward without us - all the family as it turns out, as my in-laws are going to have dinner with my parents at The Ranch.
In a way it is very relaxing - very little to get prepared for. Instead of scrambling around trying to get things ready to leave, I'm lounging in our front room on my laptop, listening to Handel's Messiah, with a sense of almost relief. Syrah the Mighty has been laying behind me looking out the front window, but then abandon me as Na Clann came thundering through, hoping their course lay for the kitchen and snacks, then wandering back sadly as her hopes are not realized.
"Glory to God in the Highest" sings the choir as I write this.
It's sometimes hard to keep perspective on thankfulness, because I so often equate thankfulness with my feeling good and fulfilled. But we truly have so much to be thankful for: I have a job that continues to pay well, even if it's not what I really want to be doing; we have a place to live and food repeatedly on the table; we're all in good health; The Ravishing Mrs. TB is doing well in her business and will get to go to Mexico next year; Na Clann have good schools and have adapted quite well to New Home; we are attending a good church; it appears the house in Old Home will finally close in December; our extended families continue to enjoy good health. In a word or two, our lives have completely changed in the course of 12 months but nothing bad has really happened.
And that in itself is a thankful.