Wednesday, December 04, 2013


I really like Thanksgiving.  There are those out there who lump it in with the dreaded Valentine's Day as a cynical plot to manufacture feelings and extract money from people who like to celebrate.  They say "why do you need a special day to give thanks or celebrate love?".  My answer don't, but sometimes it's nice to have a day set aside to focus on things like that in this busy modern world.

This Thanksgiving was more subdued than previous ones.  The night before the holiday, we received word that my cousin Doug had passed away.  He was a kind, gentle, and loving man who took a genuine interest in every person he met.  He was a believer in second chances and work closely with inmates in the justice system.  He will be missed by all that knew him.

Doug's passing was sad, but it also reminded me to be more like him, and to give thanks for every moment I have with my family and friends while we're all still here.  I give thanks for having had Doug and all my passed loved ones in my life.  I give thanks not just on one day, week, or month of the year, but on every day.

I love my family, even if I don't always tell them.  I'm grateful for them and to them in a way that words can't express.  The older I get the more important it is to spend time with them and enjoy their company.  I'm also grateful for all the beautiful things this world has to offer.  I'm grateful for the valley that I live in and the natural wonder of the mountains that surround us.  It is a very special place.

Here are a few photos from a short hike I took with some of my family back at the beginning of October, and some pictures from a fun game night at my SIL S's home later that month.

And I'm grateful that the government shutdown is over.

The kids were playing 3 Billy Goats Gruff/Troll Under The Bridge.  It's amazing the fun you can have when you get out from behind a screen and get out into nature to interact with people.

Tater Tot was a little unsure about the "trolls".

Don't try this at home.

Not poisonous, but I wouldn't want to survive on them either.

The secret to good chokecherries?  Let them freeze on the tree, after the first hard frost they taste just like bing cherries. 

We found an area of the trail that had a lot of loose shale along it and we sat down to break open rocks to see if we could find any fossils.  We found a few, but left them there for others to find and enjoy as well.  Here are some of our treasures.

Here are the photos from game night.  I'm still pining for the hammock and weather warm enough for flipflops.  Now if only we could cure my niece Mayhem of her serial photobombing compulsion, all would be right in the universe.

CJ takes after his dad.  Who says it's too cold to golf?  We'll just make an indoor putting range in the basement.

I think the funniest part of the evening was when Tater Tot was chastened for doing something he had been specifically asked NOT to do (several times), he wouldn't look his mum in the eye and then slumped to the floor saying "You're gonna make me cry".  I did my best not to laugh and undermine his parents in their teaching/discipline moment, but it was pretty funny.

How can you stay mad at that face?

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