Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Group Writing: Giving Thanks, a Refusal to Budge

 

CornucopiaWell, here we go. A post in which I fully expect to be excoriated as a “Pollyanna.” As a person who refuses to acknowledge the Truth. A disbeliever in the “science” of what we (Conservatives) face at this particular crossroads. A deluded fool. And some sort of wrong-headed political animal who has no right to speak because, actually, She can’t even vote, so who cares what She thinks, anyway. Been there. Done that. And, frankly, it barely registers anymore.

So, being too oblivious, pig-headed, and determined (thanks, genetic inheritance) to do otherwise, I persist.

Here’s the thing.

Regardless (or irregardless, as the case may be) of the attempts of the mainstream media and most of the chattering classes (but I repeat myself) to persuade you otherwise:

Thanksgiving (and Christmas) are going to happen this year, no matter what.

Yeah.

My original plan for Thanksgiving was to celebrate and enjoy the holiday by bringing together on the farm exactly three people, from two different households (me, beloved stepdaughter, and darling 12-year-old granddaughter)–all that remains of my close United States family, after the depredations of accident, mental illness, murderous criminality, and demented old age upon it over the past several years.

But.

Fate intervened in the form of COVID, which struck my stepdaughter a week or so ago, and which may have affected my granddaughter also (the doctor suggested that my stepdaughter, who’s in quarantine, not break that to expose others by taking my granddaughter to be tested unless she became so ill that she needed to go to the emergency room). So far, thankfully, that hasn’t happened, although the situation poses a bit of a dilemma vis-a-vis where we’ll be on November 26.

So at the moment, I’m not sure what will happen logistically, slightly less than a week from now.

Absent the logistics and the selfish sorrow at (perhaps) not being able to spend a few days with what’s left of my family in a very sad and stupid year, I’m very clear about this:

On November 26, 2020, I will celebrate and be thankful for this country, its founding (yea, even though that causes a bit of cognitive dissonance in my extant BritBrain), and its contribution to world progress, civilis(z)ation, safety and order over the last 250 years.

That thankfulness and gratitude will not be infringed by some daft and possibly unconstitutional ukase proclaimed by some idiotic blue-state governor, such as Wolf, Cuomo, Whitmer, Walz, or Newsom. Or even by some ersatz impersonator such as DeWine (next door in Ohio).

And, in a month or so, the same will be true of Christmas. No matter the absurd restrictions imposed by the secular state, no matter the opprobrium heaped on those of us wishing to celebrate it, the commemoration of the birth of the Christ Child, will happen.

I’ll be putting up the decorations shortly, lighting the Advent candles, and following along the prescribed path to the celebration and joy. And, on the day itself, even if I’m all by myself, I’ll be giving thanks, singing songs of praise, and raising a glass to the absent friends and loved ones whose affection and sacrifice have brought me this far.

Anyone who’s here who’s in that category–and there are some–you have only added to my cornucopia of friendship and affection over the past ten years. Thank you.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but who rejoices for those which he has.--Epictetus

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I think we carry on, not to make believe that life is not drastically altered, but simply because in one way or another, we can. I can make a Thanksgiving dinner for just Jerry and me and his brother and wife, and send off goodies to those who still choose to break bread together. We can say a prayer at dinner for those who are suffering and also for those who are blessed. And the same goes for Hanukkah. We will put up our life-sized Chanukiah and light our candles each night, lighting them not just for those ancient fighters, but those who are fighting spiritually and physically to make our ways through these times. 

    We must focus on blessings, not what we lack. I hope your Thanksgiving is blessed, She, and that your step-daughter and her daughter will be just fine.

    • #1
    • November 20, 2020, at 7:42 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  2. JoelB Member

    As a person who refuses to acknowledge the Truth. A disbeliever in the “science” of what we (Conservatives) face at this particular crossroads. A deluded fool. And some sort of wrong-headed political animal

    You rang? (Extra points if you know the reference)

    Sorry to hear about the COVID’s interruptions in your family.

    Thanksgiving (and Christmas) are going to happen this year, no matter what.

    Yes! And may your Thanksgiving and Christmas be happy and blessed indeed.

    • #2
    • November 20, 2020, at 7:46 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  3. EODmom Coolidge

    If they can’t come to you – go to them. Get a couple/three Cornish hens, some potatos to mash and go love on them. We go to Las Vegas to help #5 Brother warm his new house with Brothers #1, 3 and 7. We will come home to start Advent right along with you. I think there’s a book about Christmas just being, so it will BE.

    • #3
    • November 20, 2020, at 7:47 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    JoelB (View Comment):
    You rang? (Extra points if you know the reference)

    Not sure I do, unless it’s creepy and kooky.

    JoelB (View Comment):
    Sorry to hear about the COVID’s interruptions in your family.

    Thanks for this and for your good wishes.

    EODmom (View Comment):
    If they can’t come to you – go to them.

    Working on it.

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    We must focus on blessings, not what we lack. I hope your Thanksgiving is blessed, She, and that your step-daughter and her daughter will be just fine.

    Thanks, @susanquinn. You’re absolutely right. As for Jenny and Peachy, pretty sure they’ll be fine. It’s just bad timing. As is so much of life…

    • #4
    • November 20, 2020, at 7:53 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. JoelB Member

    Not sure I do, unless it’s creepy and kooky.

    Forgot that was Lurch’s line, but I was thinking of an even older TV show and a beatnik character named Maynard G. Krebbs, played by Bob Denver (later known as Gilligan). Whenever someone was speaking about a lazy, shiftless, work-fearing person, Maynard would appear out of nowhere with a cheery “You rang?”

    • #5
    • November 20, 2020, at 7:58 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I have no idea who will show up, even though everyone is local. Tentatively my in-laws and parents will join us, as will one uncle and one sister. My other sister had been planning on coming in from out of state but has decided to beg off. I don’t blame her – she’d have to travel through New York.

    Christmas still feels so far off, even though we started the Nativity fast this week.

    Such an awful year all around, but we’re nearly through it, and that I will drink to.

    • #6
    • November 20, 2020, at 7:58 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    She (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):
    You rang? (Extra points if you know the reference)

    Not sure I do, unless it’s creepy and kooky.

    Or this.

    • #7
    • November 20, 2020, at 8:28 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Ekosj Member

    She: So, being too oblivious, pig-headed, and determined (thanks, genetic inheritance) to do otherwise, I persist.

    Hi She. I don’t mean to nitpick. But the grammarian in me insists that I correct your use of pig-headed.
    You conjugate this … like a verb

    I am firm ( or perhaps resolute )

    You are obstinate

    He/She/It is pig-headed.

    oh … wait. You are She. Now I’m confused.

    • #8
    • November 20, 2020, at 8:46 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. KentForrester Moderator

    I’m sorry we don’t live closer. We would invite you to our house for Thanksgiving. As it is, only our daughter and two kids are coming, and we are now not sure of that. The CDC (or some such) has told us all not to travel, and the kids live a few hours away by freeway. 

    Happy Thanksgiving, Mrs. She. You’re right. Despite circumstances, there is still much to give thanks for. 

    • #9
    • November 20, 2020, at 9:42 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  10. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thanksgiving at the iWe’s will be fun! We are having @ishotheserif, and @kidcoder. And the Of Englands, of course! @She is welcome to join us!

    • #10
    • November 20, 2020, at 10:07 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  11. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    She: So, being too oblivious, pig-headed, and determined (thanks, genetic inheritance) to do otherwise, I persist.

    Hi She. I don’t mean to nitpick. But the grammarian in me insists that I correct your use of pig-headed.
    You conjugate this … like a verb

    I am firm ( or perhaps resolute )

    You are obstinate

    He/She/It is pig-headed.

    oh … wait. You are She. Now I’m confused.

    I am oblivious.

    I am determined.

    I am pig-headed.

    Am I not?

    • #11
    • November 20, 2020, at 3:02 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  12. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    iWe (View Comment):

    Thanksgiving at the iWe’s will be fun! We are having @ishotheserif, and @kidcoder. And the Of Englands, of course! @She is welcome to join us!

    Thank you @iWe! I can’t think of a house at Thanksgiving that will be more full of thanks, warmth, and love, than yours. I think I’ll stay put this time, but perhaps another year? I’ll be thinking of you and yours. Maybe I’ll do a jigsaw puzzle!

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    I’m sorry we don’t live closer. We would invite you to our house for Thanksgiving. As it is, only our daughter and two kids are coming, and we are now not sure of that. The CDC (or some such) has told us all not to travel, and the kids live a few hours away by freeway. 

    Thanks @kentforrester. I really hope you and your family can get together.

    • #12
    • November 20, 2020, at 3:05 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Weeping Member

    Loved the reminder, She. Thanks! Praying that you’ll be able to get together with your stepdaughter and granddaughter on Thanksgiving – or at the very least, close to that day.

    • #13
    • November 20, 2020, at 4:03 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    She,

    I’m with you. We’re having my husband’s parents over for Thanksgiving dinner. If it’s as warm as it is today, we’ll eat outside. Otherwise, I’ll air out the house before they arrive. I just got a good feeling—-a feeling of being provided a small, unexpected opportunity—-as I shopped for and mailed a close friend a surprise gift of the Lysol wipes she happened to say she can’t find in the stores near her. (I got off the phone with her today and, for once, thought about the fact that her friendship is a great source of joy to me. Then I saw this small way of telling her so.)

    I’m just done acting like our lives are over and nothing will ever be good again. It’s childish, wimpy, boring and ungrateful. It’s ridiculous when you think of some of the things people have had to get through.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, your stepdaughter and granddaughter. Am also praying you and they can get together on or close to the day.

    • #14
    • November 21, 2020, at 9:26 AM PST
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Ansonia (View Comment):

    She,

    I’m with you. We’re having my husband’s parents over for Thanksgiving dinner. If it’s as warm as it is today, we’ll eat outside. Otherwise, I’ll air out the house before they arrive. I just got a good feeling—-a feeling of being provided a small, unexpected opportunity—-as I shopped for and mailed a close friend a surprise gift of the Lysol wipes she happened to say she can’t find in the stores near her. (I got off the phone with her today and, for once, thought about the fact that her friendship is a great source of joy to me. Then I saw this small way of telling her so.)

    I’m just done acting like our lives are over and nothing will ever be good again. It’s childish, wimpy, boring and ungrateful. It’s ridiculous when you think of some of the things people have had to get through.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, your stepdaughter and granddaughter. Am also praying you and they can get together on or close to the day.

    Thanks, @ansonia! I hope you and your in-laws have a lovely dinner, too.

    My two best friends are both cancer survivors (they’ve been dear friends for 30 and 40+ years, respectively). One is a physician, and is otherwise healthy and within “spec” for age/weight/ etc. She’s about my age (mid-60s). The other is a retired college administrator, was 74 a couple of days ago, and has a lot of comorbidities. They’ve each had more than one go-round with cancer (breast and lung), surgery, and subsequent very debilitating treatments. As a result, they are both incredibly cautious about COVID, in one case I think, to an extreme degree. (I fully understand her concerns, but I don’t know if I would want to, or could, live in such fear). We get together occasionally–I travel to their homes, and we sit outside on the porch, well-distanced and wearing masks. It’s a dicey proposition in the winter in SW PA, but we’ve managed fairly regular visits to this point.

    Like your friend, they bring me great joy, and I’m not going to destroy that relationship by getting into politics (they’re both rabid Lefties), or arguing about whether or not I think they’re overdoing the COVID thing. I don’t know how much longer I’ll have them in my life, and I’m not about to see them over the side on a note like that.

    I have observed, on some other websites, a fair amount of real anger and frustration about the lockdowns and the restrictions, and I’ve been surprised by the venom that’s being directed not so much at the officials propounding them, as at the friends and family who’ve expressed reservations about participating in large family gatherings themselves. I hope it’s just an immediate and temporary reaction and venting of frustration and disappointment. This has been a difficult few years for a lot of families, politically speaking, and I really don’t want to see more of that going forward. (See reference to “Pollyanna” at the start of this post.)

    Perhaps some of these folks have much bigger families, and draw from much larger pools of friends than I do, so they can afford to lose a few, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I don’t really have many of either to spare, waste, or throw away.

    That being said, I think it’s entirely appropriate and necessary to have strenuous and vigorous conversations about the wrongheadedness of much of the current public policy WRT coronavirus. I just don’t like seeing the trickle-down effects which are destroying family relationships and friendships. We ought to be better than that.

    • #15
    • November 21, 2020, at 10:20 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Re: 15

    It’s ironic because, if we’d just remember to be better than that, we’d put people in a more receptive mood. And, even if they don’t agree with us right away, we’d then more likely have what we have to say reconsidered later.

    I have only three close girlfriends. One of them is a leftist. I’m not losing any of them over politics. I’m determined, in all text message arguments about politics with my son, to text to him in a way that lets him know how much I appreciate that he shares his thoughts with me.

    I’ve alienated people in arguments over politics in the past. ( It’s something I should have known better than to do, because I can remember being young and refusing to believe true things said to me in the wrong way. ) No more. 

    • #16
    • November 21, 2020, at 11:59 AM PST
    • 1 like
  17. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    Happy Thanksgiving and God bless you!

    • #17
    • November 21, 2020, at 12:03 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    This conversation is part of our Group Writing Series under the November 2020 Group Writing Theme: “Cornucopia of Thanks.” Ricochet will thank you for signing up, thus avoiding disco and bears.

    Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    • #18
    • November 21, 2020, at 4:50 PM PST
    • Like