On November 25 2016, one year ago, I published a blog that began with a line from W.S. Merwin’s poem, “Thanks.” The blog was about Thanksgiving, two cousins, a few gingko trees, family. It was two goodbyes, one, to my cousin, Edie, who had just died that September, and another to my daughter-in-law’s father, also only a few months gone. It was a shout of thanksgiving for Edie’s twin sister, Colleen, who had taken the most unlikely step of boarding a plane in Atlanta, Georgia, and joining us, and my daughter-in-law’s family in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. My grandson was a year and a half old. There was a dog.
Today is the twenty-second of November, 2017, and Colleen will arrive here in Norfolk, Virginia, at 2:00 in the afternoon, for Thanksgiving with the same family. She will be making her signature cornbread dressing. My grandson, Vaughn, is two and a half, fighting hard to be a boy. There is a dog.
A Thanksgiving 2017 Story:
My son and his wife are explaining Thanksgiving to my grandson and talking about things for which we might be thankful. My son says, “I’m thankful for Vaughn.” Vaughn is obviously confused, and is beginning to lose interest. My daughter-in-law jumps in quickly with, “I am thankful for Vaughn and for Daddy and for all our family.” Vaughn is quiet, trying to work this out, and then he looks up and, with a big smile of total understanding, says, “I’m thankful for onions.”
Today is the twenty-fourth of November, 2017, and Colleen and I are in our pajamas, reading and eating leftover cornbread dressing.