I’m often asked around this time of year, what with me being an atheist and all, just who it is I’m thankful to on Thanksgiving. My answer is simple:
I’m thankful to my wife who not only puts up with me and loves me when I’m at my best, but takes care of me and still loves me when I’m at my worst.
I’m thankful to my daughter for turning out to be a wonderful person despite having me as a father and the rather unconventional childhood she had to go through to reach adulthood.
I’m thankful to my mother for all the things she’s ever done for me which are too numerous to count.
I’m thankful to my brother and sister for their love and support over the years even when they didn’t always agree with my choices.
I’m thankful to my in-laws for so wholly accepting me into the family some 14 years ago.
I’m thankful to my friends for their friendship. Whether it’s someone I’ve known since I was in grade school or someone online I’ve never actually met, but have been hanging with virtually for years.
I am solidly middle aged at this point and there’s plenty of things I thought I would have done by now that will likely never happen. I’m not anywhere near where I thought I’d be in terms of owning a home or the amount of money I’d be earning and we often live paycheck to paycheck. However, I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge and gas in the car and two kitties who are spoiled. I may not have everything I want, but I have the things I really need and I am grateful for that.
I don’t believe there is an all-powerful deity providing me with anything. I do know there are people who have made it possible for me to provide these things for myself. So I don’t thank an imaginary friend for the things my real friends and family are due credit for.
There’s a lot to be thankful for in my life, but some of the greatest things are just the opportunity to spend time with the ones I love. Like this guy:
We don’t call him Cuddles for nothing.
They say cats don’t love their humans the way dogs do, but you’d be hard pressed to convince me of that in this case.
In honor of the day allow me to say that I am thankful to all of you who drop by SEB regularly to see what hot air I’ve recently posted. Over the years I’ve established a number of friendships with people I’ve yet to actually meet in person because they took the time to read what I had to say and then yell at me in the comments about it. Thank you for making SEB more than just a blog, but a community. I’ve learned so much from you and I am ever so grateful for it.
Now, with the sentimental stuff out of the way, here’s a video on the 25 Little Known Facts About Thanksgiving from John Green and the folks at Mental Floss:
I knew a few of these, but there were some surprises. Anyway, have a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!
I don’t know about you guys, but I am sooooo fully of turkey and stuffing and mashed taters and pecan pie right now. And it was so good.
Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving was as full of good food and memories as ours was.
I’m often asked who it is, considering I am an atheist, that I give thanks to on Thanksgiving. The suggestion is that without God there is no one to be thankful to or for, but that’s not true at all. My life is full of people that I am grateful for and on this day of all days I try to take a moment to let them know. I am naturally grateful for my family. My lovely wife and wonderful daughter who have helped me to grow and mature in ways some folks never thought would be possible. My mother and father who have been the best parents anyone could be lucky enough to have. They aren’t perfect, but I’ve heard some stories of other people’s parents that make me realize that my parents were pretty cool overall and for that I am thankful to them. My brother and sister whom, despite the fact that we are not as close as we could be, have still given me much love over the years. My extended family of in-laws who have been more welcoming and accepting than any son-in-law could ever dream of. My friends who have stuck with me over the years, both those I know in person and those I’ve only known virtually, who find my company a worthwhile addition to their lives. I know I find their company very worthwhile in mine and for that I am thankful to them.
And to you, the SEB regulars who show up here every day just to see what I’m blowing hot air about today. We’re coming up on the seven year anniversary of SEB and that just blows my mind. I never thought I’d still be at it after this much time or that I’d still be saying anything interesting enough to attract much attention. You folks have had a much more profound impact on my life than I would have guessed when I started this venture back in 2001. You have given me encouragement, helped see me through some of the worst times, celebrated with me through some of the best times, and shown a generosity that knows no bounds. So let me say sincerely and from the bottom of my heart: Thank you. I am so very grateful that you drop by every day and say hello.
This will be the first year that we’ll be spending Thanksgiving at home. Usually we trade off on going to either mine or Anne’s parents each year—this year would’ve been my parent’s turn—but this year both Anne and Courtney have to work Thanksgiving day. So we won’t be making the trip and instead will have a small dinner of our own at home. I have Thanksgiving and the day after off so I’ll probably spend part of it playing WoW while the ladies of the house are at work. It’s a little weird not traveling for a change.
I can recall from my childhood trips to my maternal grandparents for Thanksgiving most years and I can recall that we eventually started staying home for Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t tell you at what point we made that change or why. It’s a change I’m aware of, but wasn’t so jarring that the exact point of change is embedded in my mind. There will come a point, just as it did with my grandparents, where my own parents won’t be around to have Thanksgiving with anymore and the same will eventually come to pass with my in-laws and at that point staying home will be more or less a given. Which is also a weird thing to think about. I wonder if Courtney, once she moves out on her own, will make the trip back every year to spend Thanksgiving with us for a few years and carry on the tradition. I wonder if I’ll know how to cook a turkey properly by the time that comes to pass.
I don’t see my older brother or younger sister as much as I’d like to so the holidays have always been one of the few times we get to see each other. My sister’s schedule is very incompatible with my own and the distance between Ann Arbor, where I live, and Pontiac, where she’s living in our childhood neighborhood, is enough to make visiting with any frequency difficult. Of my two siblings I get along with my sister the best, but our lives are so different to each other’s that I often don’t have a clue what to talk to her about. My brother and I get along a lot better than we did as kids, but there are other… stresses… in the relationship between our two families that keeps our contact limited to holidays. And, again, our lives are different enough that I’m never sure what the hell to talk to him about. I actually talk more with his son than I do him because my nephew is a bit of a geek like me.
There are days when I wish my relationship with both my brother and sister could be closer than it is and that sentiment is part of why holidays like Thanksgiving are nice as it’s one of the few days I’m likely to see them. Usually that wishing-we-were-closer feeling is gone by the end of the day as I realize just how little I have to say that either one of them would care much about. I have no idea what the hell we’d do other than sit around and talk anyway as our hobbies are wildly different. Still, not seeing them on Thursday will be a little weird. My parent’s less so because I see them fairly regularly throughout the year.
Not really sure why I decided to write all this down. I don’t really have a point with it other than “it’s kinda weird” which isn’t really a point as much as an observation. But, here you go.
We did the Black Friday get-up-way-too-fucking-early-and-still-not-get-the-really-good-deals thing last year so we didn’t feel the need to do it again this year. Which isn’t to say we didn’t get any Christmas shopping done today, we just cheated and did it all online. At this point I’d say we’re over two-thirds done with our shopping all in the course of not even a full afternoon of poking around on various websites. We’re sticking pretty close to our budget as well so we’re pretty happy.
Which isn’t to say we didn’t go out today at all. I donned my Santa suspenders and put on the new Santa hat Anne recently bought me and we hit the local coney island for some lunch. Across the aisle from us were a couple of old ladies who had to be in their 70’s at least and during the meal one of them got up and came over to our table. She bent low to my ear and said, “OK Santa, where’s the tree? I want to check and see if I’ve got a present!” The she winked at me and wandered back to her table with a grin. Later, once they’d finished, her partner came over and told Santa that she hoped I would be good to her on Christmas day and I said I’d see what I could do for her. From lunch we stopped off at Kroger’s for a junk food run so we could relax this evening drinking Egg Nog liqueur and pre-mixed White Russians and partaking of various snacks such as Triscuts and a port wine cheese ball. During my time in the store I had no less than three people say “nice hat” as they passed by. It always amazes me the sort of reaction wearing that hat gets me.
So we just finished watching the George C. Scott version of A Christmas Carol and I’m starting to feel the effects of those White Russians. I just wanted to take a moment and write a quick entry seeing what you folks have been up to. Out shopping? Get any great deals? Or just kicking back and enjoying the day after Thanksgiving?
On the off-chance I don’t get around to posting again today—which isn’t to say that I won’t, but that I might be too far into a food coma to type—I wanted to take a moment to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving! Here at the SEB Palace we woke to the first real snowfall of the season:
Click to embiggen!
With that and the annual America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit on the TV it’s officially the holiday season around these parts. Expect an updated SEB template soon.