At Thanksgiving, it is customary to take stock of the past year and think about those things for which you are grateful. It is particularly important this year, during a time of serious upheaval for our country and for many individuals. Thus, I will attempt to enumerate some of the many blessings that I have received over the past year.
First, I am grateful to have been able to share a traditional family thanksgiving feast with my dear sister-in-law Sharon and her family.
Thanks to the miracle of video chat, I was able to virtually “visit” on Thanksgiving with my daughter Andy, who is teaching school in Haiti, and my daughter Lindsay, who lives on the West Coast. My other daughters Carrie and Meredith were at the table.
Meredith is following her passion for the preparation of food into a career in organic gardening and will begin an intensive course in animal husbandry and “slow food” in January.
I am proud to have two sons serving in the military, and grateful that James, a Marine with the 24th MEU, returned safely from his first deployment to Afghanistan. I am also happy and proud that my son Alex was “selected” for training as a Medic in the Army Special Forces, and that he has brought Alicia into our family as his partner in his many adventures.
Shortly after James’ return from Afghanistan, our family grew with the addition of Veronica, who James wed on November 8th. I can’t imagine anything better than getting a new daughter! Welcome to the family, Veronica.
We were also blessed to welcome two babies into the family this year. Our granddaughter Alden was born to Matthew and Robbi in March, and our grandson Orin was born to Lindsay and Casey in May.
I was able to be present at Ori’s birth, and to see him grow and change every day for more than four months, because Lindsay and Casey decided to come east to become parents, arriving in early April (with a menagerie of animals that included three large dogs) and living with us for six months. (Dean says to add that while we miss Casey, Lindsay, and Ori, he is grateful that the dogs are now back on the west coast.)
I am most fortunate that my parents are both alive and living independently in Georgia. They are both in their eighties, but have a rich life and a large circle of friends. I am looking forward to visiting with them in a couple of weeks.
I am grateful to Phillips Academy for granting me a sabbatical this fall and next spring. It enabled me to travel, to take some excellent bike rides, and to immerse myself in the study of copyright law.
Most of all, I am grateful to my friend and beloved partner, Dean, for sharing all of these excellent adventures with me over the past year, and for being my greatest blessing.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!