Thursday, November 22, 2007

Simple Gifts and the Sweet Life

Today, my family and I spent Thanksgiving with Mrs. RSI's brother Tom and his family down the street from us in Morehead, KY. Our two children were there along with Tom and Molly's four children who had come from Minnesota, Lexington KY, and New York City. Mrs. RSI's cousin Laura and her daughter Nina were also down from New Hampshire with a son and his girlfriend coming in from Cincinnati as well. Bucking the trend toward focusing on Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine's Day, Mrs. RSI's family have made Thanksgiving their favorite holiday and wanted to share it as widely as they could.

As was the case with most American families, Tom and Molly don't make much overt reference to God in their holiday festivities, but they do make a point of singing the following Shaker song.

Simple Gifts

'Tis a gift to be simple
'Tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be
And when we find ourselves in the place
just right
We'll be in the Valley of love and delight

When true simplicity is gained
To bow and to bend we will not be ashamed
To turn turn will be our delight
'Til by turning, turning we come 'round right

Repeat refrain

Ah! Liberals! Have to love them for their goodness. Tom and Molly also asked everybody to write down something that they were particularly grateful for.

I wrote "the sweet life." My colleague Greg's health is deteriorating and its a horrible thing. But I can also see the warmth and good will of all the people who are helping to care for him. In fact, the beauty of the group that's formed around Greg's care is even more striking than the destructiveness of the cancer. I can't think of a place where the sweetness of life is more evident than the Goldey house in Winchester.

Despite the sorrows involved in Greg's illness and Noelle N'Diaye's arrest for wanton child endangerment, working at Morehead State is also a wonderful thing. Recently, I told one of my students that life was sweet for people who could figure out ways to make a living for coming up with new ideas. Afterwards, I realized I was right. Being a college professor is a great thing for me because I can make a living out of the ideas I develop.

And I come up with new ideas all the time.

Finally, the person who most makes for a good life is Mrs. RSI. When someone you love and respect is also a huge turn-on, life with them is about as sweet as can be.

I could go on, but I am very grateful for the sweetness of life on this Thanksgiving.

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