Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Spririt of Thanksgiving

Before I brine and roast the 20 lb bird thawing in my fridge, I want to express gratitude for a few of my favorite things. This way, It'll be fresh and real in my mind long before the feeling is drown in gluttonous abandon. I sometimes wonder if we do ourselves a disservice by feasting as we do, since this activity has long since eclipsed the true reason for our holiday, but then I remember the sweet potatoes and Aunt Shana's artichoke dip, and I find the strength to hastily put away such thoughts.

In no particular order

Food: I've read a few novels in the past year that have really put the availability of food in a new light for me. Books that describe poverty in such vivid and horrifying detail, that I've sworn never to complain again. They have also made something of a tyrant of my kids' dad, who is now prone to launch into a sermon whenever they don't eat the crusts of their sandwiches.

70's Folk Rock Revival: It's as if some of the best and undiscovered acts of the mid seventies died and were resurrected in the form of Midlake, Fleet Foxes, Band of Horses, Bon Iver, and Blitzen Trapper. They have captured something so ethereal and so untrue to this decade, it's hard to believe the sounds they create are so newly crafted. If you have a minute, check out this video of Fleet Foxes making those sounds live and unaided by any intrusive production (you should watch the whole thing, past the song on the grass). This is all, of course, to say nothing of bands like the late Wolfmother and Portugal The Man, who skipped the folk and went right to the rock, in a way that could make Jimmy Page blush.

Apple Computers: Mac users, you know what I'm talking about. We can endure the slings and arrows from our bitter PC cousins, because we know. We just know.

Women: All of them. Because, seriously, what are we without them? This planet owes a debt to women for centuries of being considered the weaker sex. Fairer, I can handle.

Friends: Because, seriously, what are we without them? Wait...

Russian Literature: If you haven't tried, you won't know. But you should. Try.

American Literature: I mean the classics, like Steinbeck, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and the master, Faulkner.

Mature Trees: the driveway of our current residence is lined by the grandest old elms in Oak Hills. It was like fireworks all through October.

The Mission: I've been having mission dreams more frequently these days. Like, once and twice a week, sometimes. I dream I'm going back-- you've had this one too, right? I'm one who can still say, eleven years later, that I really loved my mission. And if they asked me to, I would go back.

Family: last night, while writing in her journal, Jayne found a page where Hazel had secreted a drawing of radiating hearts and the message, "Dad I luv yow."

Target: Freaking Target. I hate to list it, but it's true. I think I find myself in Target at least twice a week. I'm opposed to the whole "box store" thing and what it's doing to local economoies all over the country, but I'll be dipped if there isn't something about Target that gets me coming back for more and more and more. And more.

Old Holiday Movies on YouTube: we spent Halloween watching the old Silly Symohonies and we introduced the kids to Charlie Brown for Thanksgiving. Can't wait to see what we can dredge up for Christmas.

It's nice to be thankful.


  1. Thanks for sharing, good thoughts, we all have lots to be thankful holiday wishes to all.

  2. Having not read any Faulkner and always looking for a good read, any recommendations?

  3. Thanks Jed. Happy thanksgiving everyone. I hope nobody breaks any limbs in today's turkey bowls. Life truly is amazing and I sometimes wonder why I deserve such a good one.

  4. Oh, yeah - and what would you know about seventies music anyway, you toad? When were you born? Like 1979? 1980? I pat you on your little head and chuckle. You hadda be there, bro.

    Gin sent me over here, and if I had more time in my life, I'd read you religiously. We still have film of the reduced Shakespeare boys' brilliance hanging around the place. You guys thought you were soooo funny, and indeed, you really were.

    Tell Mat to read * The Reavers* (sp) and you have a lovely season. Glad you're still around and kickin' it out, Rob. I like seeing the world through your eyes.

    Gin's mom

  5. I too am thankful for most things on this list (I'm not quite sure what this whole 'literature' thing is) the mac's I use have changed my life, and sometimes when our family has nothing better to do we'll wander into Target.

    Some things I'm thankful for that weren't listed by Jed:

    Online fantasy sports
    Wii Fit
    Golf with Dad
    Kashi cereal products
    Single Camera Comedies
    The Hart Gunn Ladies
    Marriott Associate Discounts
    Any Disney theme park

  6. K,

    you should know, then, that the music of the time was good enough that one didn't have to have "been there" to appreciate it. besides, i was born clear back in '78. how do you like them apples?


    i'd start with "as i lay dying" to get a taste for faulkner's style. if you can finish that and think it was great, you can sort of tell if you're going to like any more of his stuff. The Reivers was a pulitzer winner and his last novel, so definitely worth a read, but its style is vastly different from what became "vintage" faulkner (broken narration, oblique characterization and subjective voice). but if you find you can handle "as i lay dying" then you can see if you can get into works like "the sound and the fury" which will freaking blow your mind. but it takes a real commitment.