30 November 2014

The Comfort of the Familiar

I may be wrong here, which will come as a shock to none of you who find yourselves ensconced on the couch here in the Den, but it is my assertion that more people here in the U.S. come together at Thanksgiving than any other holiday. To see if I'm off base, just for giggles, blow by your nearest commercial airport today and take in the shenanigans.

Thanksgiving is wrapped in the comfort of the familiar. From the traditions, the food, and the gathering, it screams familiar. That was certainly the case for us this week. We've been surrounded by the things most familiar to us. Watching my grandson hoist his 18 month old self atop a coffee table and cackle with laughter brought back memories of watching The Boy do the same thing time and again. Here's hoping my grandson won't break both arms leaping from that table as his uncle did when he was just 15 months old. Those super fun trips to the ER are familiar ones I would not like to be part of again. Ever. Seeing my adult daughters howl with laughter as they tried to extract their father - me - from the snares of a zip line made me smile, knowing that even though they grow up, your children can still be 'kids.' Sharing a burger at In-N-Out with the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML yesterday was a pinnacle of the familiar. Living in Southern California for many years, the glory of the Double Double and fries was a big part of our lives and it was so good revisit it again. As we sat there indulging in that burger goodness, I was enveloped in the comfort of the familiar. There I was, sitting across from she who makes my life complete, having memories of good times past flow across my mind's eye, and I was happy.

I suppose you could argue that the very comfort of the familiar is what puts the 'fun' in dysfunction that are also the hallmarks of big gatherings like Thanksgiving. But no matter how dysfunctional you may think it is, there is indeed comfort to be found. I'm glad I've had the opportunity these last few days to surround myself in the comfort of the familiar with the people I love; to say thanks; and to count my blessings.

I don't think I will ever be able to stop doing that.

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