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Thanks-observing

by | Nov 26, 2020 | observe, Thanks, The Avett Brothers

Happy Thanksgiving!  ….and, of COURSE I have a story – actually more than one.  Come on – it is 250 days in a row – today, and that doesn’t count the 175 I wrote before.  You may or may not be Thankful, but I am for the opportunity to try to make sense out of the crazy twists and turns of my life. A great friend commented that I jumped around a lot in my writing, backward, and forwards. Yea… try having lived this 😉  To try and stay somewhat linear in this week’s arc..we had invited our extended family to DC for Thanksgiving, which as you might guess was a large gathering, exceeding our kitchen capacity. No problem – we shared a fence with our church, which would explain why I was observing the 26 lb turkey fall to the floor…

.. there were 2 ½ steps up from our garage into the house.  That door, and those steps were constantly in use with friends and family from the Church, neighbors, or kids.  The garage door was always up, and when the door opened (knocking was irrelevant) you never knew who would be walking through.  It was a gift DIRECTLY from my time at Fannie Mae, where Beth and I had been Thankful to discover 2 words that changed our lives: “Stock Options”.  When the work there would be a grind, which became more and more often, I would remind myself that I could put up with it for one more vesting period. It meant we were now blessed with a huge house that shared a fence with the church, which hosted Men’s Groups, Youth Groups, and parties as my son said once famously, “…some of which you know about…”.

I didn’t realize it, but my family actually “enjoys” my rant/observations every Thanksgiving about “….they have murdered the Macy’s parade into one long, bad, commercial for some stupid NBC shows!!!”.  If you are like me (…really who would want that…) watch something else. There is an amazing documentary about the Avetts that I would offer as alternative programming.  While May it Last will spoil some stories coming up, you get the sense that the band really is a “family”. It permeates all of their music – the sense that this journey is better because they are all together.  And they don’t paste over the bad patches – they are in there.  Divorces, disabilities – you know – real-life… live, unplugged, and much of it like this year, unplanned…

… as was dropping the turkey, I observed, like those who know me well that I was going too fast… which meant the bird was propelled into the dryer before bouncing to the ground.  The best part was my wife and my brother-in-law were there watching it happen… in slow motion.  We all could see where it was going, and we were all powerless to change the physics.  And then… to laugh… the big belly laughs that are entirely authentic – and captured in a timeless Thanks photo, that like my rants, is famous in our family.

This year has sucked so bad … that now I think it has sucked itself into a beautiful gift.  It has meant that each of us has had to observe ourselves in the mirror every day – usually, in the same clothes we had on yesterday, and the day before…  And focus on what is, and is not within our control.  Like gravity and the turkey, the trajectory of the year has been… well…sigh…. 

…now, what can we see it as?  I truly believe that 2020 will be a year that we remember, not for the “dropped turkey” of Covid… but for the resulting belly laughs that we are beginning, I hope, to find.  Parades, football, and food notwithstanding, kiss and Thank those you are blessed to observe in your circle.  One of them was often at our house for holiday party each year for the NeXT Team from Fannie – for years after we had left.  And now Thankfully for you, is editing these daily… Thanks Brian.  Do that – you have people in your life …don’t wait, tell them today on your Zoom call… before … a Murder in the City.  Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

If I get murdered in the city
Don’t go revenging in my name
One person dead from such is plenty
No need to go get locked away
When I leave your arms
The things that I think of
No need to get over alarmed
I’m coming home

I wonder which brother is better
Which one our parents loved the most
I sure did get in lots of trouble
They seemed to let the other go
A tear fell from my father’s eyes
I wondered what my dad would say
He said, “I love you and I’m proud of you both
In so many different ways”

If I get murdered in the city
Go read the letter in my desk
Don’t bother with all my belongings
Pay attention to the list
Make sure my sister knows I loved her
Make sure my mother knows the same
Always remember there was nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name
Always remember there was nothing worth sharing
Like the love that let us share our name

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