Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Happy Birthday; Happy Thanksgiving

Many thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday yesterday. I had a terrific day made better by so many wishes of good health, happiness, and new life.

My email exploded with messages in the morning when I woke up. I had to force myself to write my Sunday blog entry before I did anything else. Tuesday morning's are always homily preparation time. I finished right at 11:30 a.m., just in time to head out to Chestnut Hill for lunch with Fr. Bill, a dear Jesuit friend.

When I returned, I finished my homework and then visited some teachers in the school to wish them a happy Thanksgiving. Block parties were going on as the holiday season was beginning. Then I returned phone calls (so I would not be tempted to do it while driving.) Then a friend from Amman came over for a visit as her husband is in town dealing with an illness. After a nice visit, I dropped her back at her hotel to get to class.

What joy when I stepped foot into the class and everyone started singing, "Happy Birthday." We had a neat class. At one point, we had to start a drawing and after five minutes move to the next student's easel and assist in their drawing. The results were amazing. We each contributed something but each drawing was amazingly distinct.

As class ended, the streets were eerily quiet. I knew it was not the pre-holiday lull. The Grand Jury indictment was released for Ferguson, Missouri and many Bostonians were civilly protesting in solidarity with the African-American community. At some point, our nation has to address race issues because they are very real. We are simply afraid. Anyways, state police cruisers, one after another, kept coming down Melnea Cass Boulevard and Massachusetts Avenue. Passage back home for me was very easy, but so many drivers were erratic. I thought it might be a full moon because of some of their antics. We need at address driving violations in our Commonwealth.

Once I arrived home, I set out to reply to the over 250 Facebook well-wishes I received during the day. At one point, Facebook responded to me and told me to slow down in my typing. I am a fast typist. I chuckled. I'm probably one of the few people of Facebook to answer each one individually. This was a monumental effort, but well worth it. I was touched by so many good words and such kindnesses. Some people shared with me stories of their heartaches, deaths, and memorials. This is all part of the sanctity of life that we hold so dear.

I love that my birthday is in the Thanksgiving season because it heightens the celebration and I always have plenty of reasons to be thankful. It also overshadows my birthday and I'm pleased the attention is place on the goodwill day that is Thanksgiving. All I know is that I have a lot of love in my life and I'm grateful.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I think I will draw more Thanksgiving images and just enjoy the slow day. I've tidied my room, reorganized my painting space, enjoyed a healthy lunch, and chatted with a few friends.

I even went grocery shopping. It was very festive. People were in a good mood, free food was offered, everyone was pleasant and cheerful, and the cashier looked at me straight in the eyes and said, "Thank you, dear, and have a happy Thanksgiving."

The wind is howling, the rain is steady, few cars on on the road and people are settling in for one of the most pleasant holidays of the year. Happy Thanksgiving.

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