Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grateful

Checking in periodically on the mess in Gaza is a depressing business. I understand that one definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over, while expecting different results”. Makes me think about Gaza, and wondering what it says about Hamas and its “seekers after 71 virgins” crowd. They keep shooting rockets into Israel; Israel keeps beating the crap out of them; then they repeat.  But then, the Pakistanis keep doing the same thing vis-à-vis India. They mount some attack against India; India beats the crap out of them; then they repeat.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Israel and India keep building their economies and their nations, while the Paks and the Arabs remain mired somewhere in the 14th century.

 Very sad, really.
But all this sad stuff brings me back to my own reality. We are both approaching an age that bends the definition of “middle age” to the breaking point. Maybe, at almost 78 and almost 77, we are both classified, at least by the youngsters in our lives, as “old”.  I still remember, when my own grandparents were in the late 60s and early 70s, that they were truly “old”.  But, you know, achieving status as an “elder” seems arguably better than the only alternative. So, we must be content with our elderly-middle ages.  One advantage—our children are now old enough that we can interact with them as mature adults, and the parent-child thing is unnecessary and even not terribly useful. Turns out they are charming adults, and nice to converse with (to end one of those dreaded sentences with a preposition).  
But even nicer, we have a flock of grandkids and even great grandkids to chat with and smile at. Hugs from a grandkid are special indeed, even when the grandkid stands a head taller.  Yep, grandkids turn out to be one compelling reason for surviving into elder-middle age.  Simply, they are wonderful.  And because we are close enough to three of them to see them almost daily, we can observe the little things that constitute growing up.  Again, nice.
So, tomorrow, my wife of almost 58 years and I will sit down to a groaning table full of wonderful food—several turkeys, yummy stuffing, cranberries, onions, white and sweet potatoes, green beans, all consumed with love and wine. We will finish with Thanksgiving pies and then smile a lot. But, we will begin with Thanks. For that is what this meal is all about. The food is quite wonderful, but feasts are about more than just the food. They are a special way to look around, up, down,. And at each and every person surrounding you, and saying, Thank You for making my life so wonderful.
Giving Thanks is the reason for this special day. And we really do have so much in our lives for which to be grateful. And I give a special thanks that we are here and not in Gaza or Tel Aviv, and that none of our children or grandchildren lie in harms way. And we need to give special thanks to those in our larger community who are in harm’s way, somewhere in this troubled world.  May you be safe, and may you return quickly to your own loved ones.
So, Thank You.

Oh and The Dude thanks you also:
 
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