Thursday, November 27, 2008



I have a lot to be thankful for this year.
I have a wonderful life.

We're in NJ. It's a relatively new holiday tradition: My mom's sister and brother-in-law run a bed and breakfast that is the shit a great way to spend a long weekend. Everyone gets their own room (with flat screen TV, DVD, fireplace, and bathroom). Most of the bathrooms have hot tubs or tubs with jets- those that don't have multi-nozzled, double shower-heads in the showers. The common areas are equipped with a TV and DVD player and huge tables for all kinds of communing.

There are 16 of us here. There've been a lot of games and movies and eating and napping. The inn is literally across the street from the beach. I can see the Atlantic ocean from the front door. Yesterday, I seriously considered dropping trow and jumping into the sea- just to prove I would... 4 days before December.

But I didn't. It just didn't seem worth the respiratory infection that was bound to follow. Plus, so far, there hasn't been an hour waiting period in-between eating... I didn't want to "cramp up."

Inn or no Inn, Ocean or no ocean, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It has all the dietary indulgence of Christmas without the mandatory consumer gluttony and pressure of having found the perfect gifts. It has all the gratitude, all the family, all the fun and laughter, all the blessings without the credit card debt, the never ending decorations, the syrupy cliche of Santas and reindeer who worship babies born of virgins in stables.

Mostly, I love Thanksgiving because it's a long weekend with family or friends, or if you're lucky, both. Last year, we did the whole deal at our house with a newborn and one half of his grand-parentage/adoring family.

This year, we're enjoying ourselves here.

No matter what our current traditions are, Thanksgiving in my heart will always be about cousins. I've spoken about this before, but i have a lot of amazing cousins. I miss Thanksgiving with the west-coast boys- mixing it up, playing poker/board games, and taking time to get reacquainted. It's been too many years since I've licked the back of a playing card on Thanksgiving and stuck it to my forehead when Nash was dealing or put all my faith in the fact that Greg's rules to "baseball" were legit (I've never been able to commit the rules of that game to memory) or stayed up with Trav when the others "gave in" to talk about where we've come from and where we're going.

So gents, (and wives and kids) hope you're warm and fuzzy and feeling the love, and enjoying your turkey... and if you're mixing drinks and playing cards, hope you know that I feel bad I'm not out there, swindling you out of all your coinage.

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