Sunday, November 29, 2009


A few days late, but here it is...the obligatory thanksgiving post. In some ways (a lot of ways actually) it's a shame that we wait for a made up holiday that resulted in the centuries long ignoring of an entire race of people to say these things, but tradition is tradition and everyone celebrates in their own way so, pilgrims aside, this is Thanksgiving.

I was fortunate enough to be able to fly back to Minnesota to see my parents' new condo in Minneapolis. It was nicer and less strange than I expected (nine years of living away from them have dulled my childhood outrage at the selling of the family home) and it's good to see them living in a place they enjoy that's close to the things they like to do (good food, museums, theater, movies, etc...). We were also able to drive to South Dakota to see my sister's new house (their first that they've owned) and I even got to see where my niece goes to preschool. It's a part of the college campus in Brookings so the teachers are all education students, which results in what seems like a very progressive, nurturing, and individually-minded atmosphere, which is great and very refreshing. On Thanksgiving day my wife's dad and stepmom, my sister and her familiy, and my mom's sister's family all ate a characteristically great meal at the condo. My birthday is close so there was also a tiny impromptu birthday interlude in which I was given presents and cards because I was there.

Anyway, the meat of this comes in with the actual giving of thanks...whatever the reason it was all started, it's not a terrible idea to pause and reflect a bit on those it in July if you feel like it, just do it at some point. I'm thankful that I have a, it's not my ideal career and yes, I hope I'm not there forever, but I'm incredibly thankful that I have it and that it affords me many opportunities both meaningful (money, health care) and not so much (endless downloading potential, access to all sorts of media manipulation, recording, and duplication, nice people to talk to about random stuff).
I am also thankful for music and the bizarre situation of today that allows me to listen to just about anything at anytime without little to no effort.
I am thankful of my position in life, by which I mean, I'm thankful that I live where I do, when I do, and with the things I have...that sounds a bit superficial perhaps, but this isn't about justice, it's about giving thanks, and I thank whatever it is that is responsible for these things that I live where I do because there are millions of people that I would not change places with for all the money or music in existence. That's not to say I don't have sympathy and won't strive to help those others...but I'm glad and very thankful that I have the luxury to say such things while sitting in a relatively comfortable location.

I am thankful for my family. My parents are intelligent, funny, talented, caring, and patient people and they've done what I imagine is everything in their power to provide me with a good life. They've been supportive with what is probably not an easy situation and I've never once gotten the feeling that I bother them as much I think I probably do which, especially when compared to other families I know and have heard of, is a rarity and something to be treasured. I don't imagine I will ever be able to properly put all of what I owe them in words (let alone deeds) and that is the immense price of parenthood. Knowing that, I appreciate what they've done even more.

I am also thankful for my sister and her family. Growing up, I was always a bit perplexed by tv shows and movies that depicted families because mine was not at all similar (I never dreaded seeing my grandparents) sister and I did not fight much (everyone does a little) and we also weren't big on emotional sharing, but we were (and are) very close and will always be linked in a creative and intellectual sense. I'm glad she and her husband (who is my age and already owns a house and has two kids) are doing so well in life and with their ridiculously intelligent and adorable children. I hope to be able to spend more time with them at some point (more than once or twice a year). She is a great, talented, loving and (again) patient person and I am thankful that I know her.

I am thankful for my wife's family. They have had their problems in the past and there are many more difficulties yet to come, but they are good and loving people and they made my wife what she is. I am especially thankful for my wife's step mom who, in a time of tumult for my wife, took her in as a daughter, as did the rest of her family. She and my wife's dad have built a wonderful life for themselves and that happiness and intelligence is a great thing to reflect on when thinking about the past.

I am thankful for my wife. She loves me through all my crap and is even relatively patient with my curmudgeonly gloomy episodes. She wants me to be happier and wants to be with me. She is incredibly talented, incredibly beautiful and very loving. She makes me happier than she can probably tell and I love her for everything she is.

"Land of 1,000 Dances" by Wilson Pickett from The Exciting Wilson Pickett. This statement is not meant in any way to belittle the above sentiments, but I am thankful for Wilson Pickett. This is one of my absolute favorite songs of all time. Pickett's recording isn't the original, but it is far and away the best. From the almost gospel wail of the horns in the intro to the perfect harmony on the second round of "na na na na na's" in the chorus to the deceptively simple and incredibly tight drums, there is nothing wrong with this song. If I could have my greatest musical wishes, I would be like Wilson Pickett in a band...that energy and soul and joy is just about the best thing ever. I am physically incapable of not dancing to this song no matter where I here it, be that driving or doing this dishes. Strangely enough, this song was also one of my favorites to play in high school pep band, but our version was definitely not this. I dare you not to smile when this plays. Listen to it, then go out and find everything by Pickett you can.

No comments:

Post a Comment