Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Old Homestead
Thanksgiving.....Part Two

Fast forward a few years. The cast of characters in my life--and, likely, yours-- has changed but the love between us feels just as good. 

Some of us have far less collagen and our estrogen is getting low. Out in the world, people are in their underwear at the airport and someone named Justin Beiber is on the much has changed but nothing is different. We all still want the same things--our collagen and estrogen back, to fly with just the good, old-fashioned fear of mechanical failure and Justin Beiber off the radio and back in nursery school where he belongs. 

We're all wishing for good health, an end to war, birds not coated in oil on our nation's shorelines, people in warm homes with full bellies instead of sleeping in doorways and safety for our children from the many dangers that lurk every day. Our hopes and wishes are, while slightly tweaked, the same as they ever were.

Mahatma Ghandi once suggested that we "be the change we want to see in the world." That's harder for us than the Mahatma but it's a good start. Being a person is very hard...we want things, enjoy naughty stuff (gossip, junk food,The Real Housewives of New Jersey) and, in general are very imperfect beings. It's also very easy to be a's easy to love our family, enjoy beauty where we--often unexpectedly--find it and return a kindness and a smile when it comes our way. 

The support I was given as a child by the cast of characters in that brownstone has matured into the gratitude I feel today. I will spend Thanksgiving appreciating the people around me as well as the ones who shared their table many years ago--familiar faces, smiling at a little girl who grew up to cook similar food, inherit their values and raise children of her own, never skimping on the ancestral tales of their predecessors' struggles when they arrived here, passed through Ellis Island and fanned out across the tri-state area to become members of the greatest society in the world.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Thanks, too, for reading.  See you back here on Friday.

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