Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Notes and Memories

I had a dream this morning.  In it, I was taking a road trip with my grandparents, as I did innumerable times over my summers as a kid.  I woke, remembered that it was Thanksgiving, and thought about how much I wanted to talk to my grandparents.  I made a mental note to call them later.  I thought about this for several minutes before I remembered that my grandparents are gone, that they died several years ago, along with my parents and pretty much all of the rest of my family save my wife and my kids.

Sally, Hannah, & Emma at a New Hampshire wedding this past summer.
I rolled over and put my arms around my wife, let the light of early morning comfort me for the few minutes we had before it was time to get up.  Sally taught an early fitness class this morning, and I went with her and put in about forty-five minutes in the pool.  I can't say that I swam particularly well, but even mediocre swimming is often enough to put me back on an even emotional keel.  Such was the case this morning.

Thanksgiving has become one of my favorite holidays.  I hate the commercialism and the stress of Christmas, but I love getting together with friends, cooking and watching football, and having four days off to spend with my family.  Family is important to me, for all that I no longer have much of it outside my immediate household.

We're headed over to our friends' house this afternoon, and though Colin and Elizabeth aren't our actual family, they are the closest thing we have anymore.  Elizabeth in particular is the sister I would have had if I'd actually had a sister.  I'm grateful for them and for the times we have together.

Me & Sally and our friends Colin & Elizabeth on Thayer Roof
before Army beat Lafayette earlier this year.
Thanksgiving is a time for reflection and remembrance.  We've been richly blessed in my house.  Here are a few things for which I personally am thankful.

1. I'm thankful for my wife and my kids, and I'm grateful that they are happy and healthy.  We have a lot of life ahead of us, and I'm grateful for the opportunities that have presented themselves over the past few years.

2.  I'm thankful for my career and the lifestyle it affords us.  We have a beautiful house in a nice neighborhood just two miles from the beach.  We joined Connecticut's oldest yacht club this year, and I've been an Army Football season ticket holder for two years.  That stuff is amazing, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities that made it possible.  Having all of this along with decent work/life balance is truly amazing.
Me & my dad in my first 5K in
San Diego, CA.

3.  I'm thankful that the Army Football team has finally fixed most of its fumbling problems and appears headed in the right direction.  Yeah, I know that's silly, but I still love my team, and it's been miserable to watch them struggle for most of my adult life.  I want the best kids in America to have a little more success to go along with all of their hard work.

4.  I'm thankful for the influence of my father, and especially for the way he taught me to appreciate the value of athletics at a time when I might not otherwise have cared.  Athletics has been extremely important to me over the years, but for all of that, I don't know that I would have found my own way without Dad's guidance and leadership.  That goes hand-in-hand with the rest of my life's success.

5.  I'm thankful for my friends and for the time this weekend that we'll spend together.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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