the days grow colder, or try to. a warm fall clutches to the last scraps of life; the unrelenting march of days makes marked progress toward a bitter winter. got a picture from eastern washington the other day. they already have snow. got a picture also of the hills across the lake where my family lives; snow up there, too. still in the 50s here sometimes. but they assure me snow is coming. at least it rains. on the colder days we have hardly noticed the temperature. even with minimal heat usage in the apartment, the constancy of kitchen usage keeps the place toasty. we have made a point to invite, at least once a week, friends over for dinner. steph got a little carried away and lined up dinner guests three days in a row. i love it, but i’m ready to have an evening to ourselves again. we are just trying to be intentional about the community we have around us, being hospitable, having a home where friends feel welcome. i like my quiet reading times, but even with books as friends it gets lonely. good to have people around.

final count. 830 families. in four hours of food distribution. we usually get about 360 on a given wednesday. we did that in the first hour. the numbers seem to increase when the people know we have over 700 turkeys to give away for thanksgiving. and it was constant movement, never a dull moment. the last turkey was given away about ten minutes after we closed. a guy came late to the door asking about turkeys. and we had one left. for those who didn’t make it, more baskets of thanksgiving goodness were made up; stuffing, potato mix, gravy, cranberry sauce, green beans, the usuals. so while doing other things here and there a swamped josh hands me off to handle another woman who had called in having not received the fixings package on wednesday. so i grab the basket and bring it back to her. in one arm i hold the basket, and with the other hand i give her a gift card. i say, this is a $25 gift card to walmart for the turkey. then she gets this look on her face. she pauses a moment, then lets out a very heavy, oh Lord…… she looks up with her eyes full of something and then, speaking hurriedly about the people coming and the lack of everything and the no-idea-what-to-do-for-thanksgiving-ness, she slowly hugs both me and nathan.

it was a pretty good moment. i mean, i guess people don’t need a turkey meal for thanksgiving, but it sure is nice. and i suppose this is a pretty good thing for the family to be thankful for.

on sunday, as steph drops me off on a street corner for church, a man in a large van drives by, slows down. he leans his immensely haired head out of the driver’s side window and calls out, hey you play some good music in there? i shrug, chuckle. yeah i guess. just me and a guitar and some drums, really. but this is lost as he calls out again that he is looking for some good music. well, we’ve got music, i call back. well alright, he says, i’ll be coming then! awesome, i say. and then he goes, i’m a hippie for Jesus! awesome! i say again. he asks the time and i tell him. than he drives off. he never actually showed up to the service. he probably found another church with an actual band that didn’t play hymns and songs from the 90s. ah well. here’s to you Jesus hippie.

stephanie again expressed her disgruntlement over pre-emptive Christmas decorations. it being before thanksgiving there should be no Christmas decorations. i chuckle at this because i like Christmas, always ready for it, don’t really care if it happens to be a little early. easing into the season, i say. but then she says something quite profound that made me stop and think, change my mind again. she says that by becoming all Christmas-y now, we miss the holiday of thanksgiving, we miss the importance of that feast. that before we enter into this holiday season that is so filled with madness and stress and buying and me-me-me-ism, a season that the world has so polluted with its materialistic nonsense, that we need to take some serious time and actually give thanks. give thanks for the gifts we already have, what has been done for us, for anything and everything, let that pause change us. and then we can get ready to go to Christmas town, after we have truly sat and thought about what exactly it is we have and need in this world, instead of just getting ready for black (death) friday deals. to mildly steal the words from someone else, what does it say about us that there are more articles about black friday than about thanksgiving? so are we giving thanks or are we getting ready to buy stuff we don’t need with money we don’t have? as for me, i want to sit in a tree and spend time with people i love  and read and try to forget that people were trampled earlier that morning trying to get into macy’s.

…and i will try my darndest not to get so caught up in my want of Christmas that i forget what tomorrow’s feast is supposed to be. and that’s one of the many many reasons why i like steph, married her. because she is a thinker. she helps me grow. so here’s to you too steph. and happy thanksgiving to all.

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