Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Giving of Thanks

Some places and events are so right and true that they are spared the ravages wrought by time. Fourteen years ago, Diane gently took me by the hand and led me to Palo Cedro, CA, and into the warm embrace of her family's annual Thanksgiving festival. As it was then, so it has been every year thereafter.

As for this year, from Eugene we rolled south into northern California for an all-too brief stop over at my brother's place. My brother and his family now live in Arcata, CA in the March Commons Cohousing development--a housing concept that Diane's brother and sister-in-law, Chuck & Katie, brought to the United States! It's a small world after all, and family is family, no matter its contrivances. From Arcata, we drove boldly through Bigfoot Cuntry and arrived at Mike & Sally's place in Palo Cedro, CA. Whatever the magic the mechanics in Eugene had performed on the bus was working strong and true.

The Durrett Family Thanksgiving festival is like their family tree--a tall and stout and deep-rooted thing of many branches.

It is a celebration of bounty...

... and part costume party.

It is a gathering that champions gamesmanship...

... and fellowship.

For these few days it is a place where all can live in the moment, where want and need are intertwined. For these few days it is a place were life is lived simply but not primitively. These few days are the closest thing to paradise that I know.

And though some members of the Durrett family are no longer with us, we are blessed to have known them, we are blessed to remember them, and we give thanks to break bread with all who step through that front door.

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