Last year, I wrote a post, based on our family tradition of going around the table and saying why we’re thankful for in each person. I’ll not do that again. No, I’ve not succumbed to the undercurrent of us v. them. Yet. I just don’t have the time for a post that could fit in all the new folk around here :-). But I do want you all to know I’ve gratitude for getting to know those who visit (and particularly those lend their voices and good nature to) my little spot here, to whatever extent this medium allows. I’m also thankful to get to know the people whose blogs I frequent. Many make me smile, make me think, or just plane entertain. Even when they leave me feeling down for the author’s difficult predicaments, I know it’s better than not listening, and it makes the almost inevitable upswing in their lives all the more welcome and worth the feelings of investment (again, to whatever extent this medium allows :-)).
We just returned from Moab where we spent the holiday. This was a particularly memorable thanksgiving for us as Rob and I combined families this year. It’s always difficult to tell either of our parents we’ll be spending a holiday with the other set, and so we try to be as fair as possible. This year, we were headed down to be with Rob’s clan and Rob called my parents to tell them. Long-story-short, by the end of it all he had invited my parents, one aunt, one sister and a couple nieces and in-laws with us (I told him not to offer unless he was willing to hear yes :-)).
I can’t help but imagine an outsider would expect mixing such different families to result in some trouble. Add in the fact that the families are joined together by a gay union and you’ve the makings of a short-lived sitcom. Nevertheless, we all get along great. In addition to our personal bit of diversity, we had representatives from all across the political, religious, social, and racial spectrums there. I think it shows how much the world has changed that such categorizations now mean next to nothing in the face of the modern human family, far less than the quality of, say, your stuffing. Heck, in my parents’ lifetime, not only would it have been unthinkable that a gay couple could bring such great families together; it would be highly improbable for even an interracial couple. It’s hard to remember, but things really are changing quickly, and for that I am, of course, thankful.
With both families, though, our numbers were so large no home could hold us. So we had Thanksgiving outside this year, in Canyon Lands.
A bit untraditional, and a lot of fun. Rob organized everyone into a perfectly choreographed potluck. I’ll be honest, not everybody in our families is a good cook--Rob is, by far, the best--but this way we got the best dish from each family member (some were smartly assigned to bring the paper plates). We also brought a bunch of 4-wheelers and motorcycles to replace the traditional post-dinner tryptophan nap. Good times.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same. A pilgrim and an Indian, isn’t that too cutesie? Maybe in the same way as wearing, say, matching pink outfits? Yes, you’re right, yes it is. But, in our defense, again, we bought those costumes for a school pageant a week ago, not even thinking about using them for the holiday. Furthermore, at the idea, both the boys wanted to wear them to show their other grandparents and we were all for getting more use out of them.
Unfortunately, once we got home, Brian, my pilgrim, manifest-destinied right into Alan's room, gave him a cold, and took all his toys. No worries though, Alan's been relocated to a wonderful reservation in the laundry room, where he's set up a slot machine.
Finally, the day after thanksgiving we took my parents to see some of the sights; they haven’t been in the area much, though my mom grew up near Price. We planned a drive to beautiful, scenic Dead Horse Point:
Eh, I know I’ve been a lucky man, weather aside. So, to whatever person, place, or thing; to whatever luck, accident, or fate; to whatever God, law of physics, will, gene, or meme there may be out there coming together to make my Thanksgivings less of a reminder to be thankful, fanks (As my Alan up there would say).
Here’s to hoping to deserve it then :-).