Next Thursday

Next Thursday

It is Sunday morning.  The Sunday before Thanksgiving.  My clock radio clicks on at 3:40 AM and I hit the snooze bar, but I don’t sleep.  Ten minutes later I listen to a few seconds of a BBC program reappropriated to an American market.  I click the reset button.

I decide to get up.  Teeth brushed, face washed, clothes on; I head downstairs.  The upstairs was unusually hot last night, and now I know why.  When my last child came home yesterday they didn’t close the front door completely and it was now open.  We were heating Naperville last night.  

My first concern is for the cat, who can be adventurous.  She prances down the stairs to say good morning to me.  I am relieved as I tell her good morning.  I know her motives, she has me well trained and soon will receive a cat treat.  I close the door and briefly worry about a mischief of field mice using last night’s open door opportunity to appropriate a new warm home.  

I power up the coffee maker and prepare a banana smeared with peanut butter. I wander into my study.  There I sit in front of my computer and do a quick catchup.  Email, mostly useless. Facebook, mostly reposts.  YouTube, the usual fare.  

I don my coat and hat and head out the door.  Thanksgiving will be in a few days and there is still much to do.  The guest will start to arrive on Wednesday and will leave either on Friday or Saturday.  I believe that this is the 26th year that we will be hosting the holiday for my wife’s family.  Dinner for 20.  After all of these years it is routine, but still, slightly anxiety provoking.  The group has grown a bit with the addition of one niece’s new husband, and the other’s fiance.  We will be missing my nephew Jack, who is on assignment in London this year.  Soon the house will be abuzz with activity.

I am feeling grateful this Thanksgiving.  I am feeling fortunate.  In about 4 weeks I will partially retire from my work-life.  Short-term plans are forming as the date approaches.  I am grateful for my family. I am grateful for my extended family and friends. I ponder, what would my life be without them? The thought leaves me barren.

I am grateful that I feel healthy and younger than my chronological age.  I am not ready to spend my retirement indulging myself.  I’m not looking for a new career, but I know that there is more for me to do.  What exactly is still shrouded, I don’t feel done.

I write this from my usual station at the small round table next to the picture window at my Starbucks.  Soon, I’ll upload this post and be gone.  Padding back home, to a house still asleep.  Then church, then leaves to rake, then more tasks to ready the house.  I am grateful to have a reason to ready the house.  It will be good to see family.  I am thankful to you, dear reader, for taking the time to peruse this missive.  Happy Thanksgiving!