Drooling on the Pillow

Monday, November 29, 2004

Giving Thanks 

Our first Thanksgiving was here at the Sluggoterium with my brother Mark, his wife Maddy, their daughter Eleanor, plus Lane's mother and an old friend of hers. We were supposed to have Kate, my sisters kid, but she had just gotten back from a six-week business trip to India and had brought something back with her that we agreed would best be left between her and her gastroenterologist. Hang in there, Katie.

Lane's mother is the author of Mr. Bear Squash You All Flat which is something of a children's classic. When she first got a computer I had her Google herself and we learned that Mr. Bear was Gary Larson's favorite book as a kid. It is kind of transgressive. We looked up some publishers on the web and bang zoom she got a deal to reissue it with a forward by Gary Larson. She didn't make a lot of money but it came at a time in her life that she could use a little flutter.

As usual, I did all the cooking and the whole thing came off pretty well, if I do say so my own self.

The second Thanksgiving was at my brother Don's house with our sainted mother, his wife Nancy, her mother June, and Don and Nancy's son Alex. Their other two (Erin and Donnie) were off on their own pursuits. Alex just joined the army. He was offered intelligence training which would have kept him out of harm's way for a couple of years if not permanently. He was determined to get trained as a mechanic which, after basic, is twelve weeks training at Aberdeen (with an emphasis on sand in the crankcase) and deployment. His decision was not a popular one where he sleeps. I keep telling them that the Army needs mechanics in Germany and Mississippi, too, but the truth is, no matter where you wind up, you're one of the watchman and it's a dangerous world.

I thought a lot this Thanksgiving about all the other mother's son's and daughters who are out there protecting us. I wish they could all be safe, all come home in one piece, all live to see their children get married. Alex will be fine. I know it. I know that the odds are excellent for any individual who puts on the uniform. But when one of yours goes away, something stops in you and doesn't start again til they come home.
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