Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Last Saturday I got a call from our elder daughter's boyfriend of four years, asking my blessing for him to marry her. I assented happily; he's a good man (for having put up with her for her entire college career, among other things). I didn't know he was a romantic. He proposed by serving her breakfast, her favorite meal of the day. The scene even featured a squirrel, her favorite animal. They drove up earlier to show off the ring even though they weren't supposed to visit today because they're going to the Eagles' game tonight. We're all very happy and excited.

I took my second annual Thanksgiving ride this morning. The temperature was a few degrees shy of 40 so I suited up with long underwear and my new ski mask face saver and headed out at around 8:30. As I did last year, I went to the parish church cemetery where all four of my grandparents are buried along with many of our distant and close relatives and so many of the people whom I remember from church and the neighborhood from when I was growing up. On this day of giving thanks, especially, I'm mindful of the gratitude I feel for their having given me a childhood worth remembering. I don't "visit" them as my parents are wont to describing what they do at the cemetery. Rather, I simply remember and quietly whisper my thanks, confident that somehow the Lord communicates to each of them my sentiments.

My cousin and her husband left this Thanksgiving card for her daddy - my mom's brother Joe and my godfather. He left us when my kid who got engaged today was still in utero and I miss him still, along with all the others who gave my life a richer color once upon a time ago.

I rode to the nearby state park which is one of my favorites for fall photos, but this late in the season with the deciduous trees barren, it's just a place at which to pause and to ponder. Our baby, home from college, worked at the nursing home this morning, and if she hadn't been at work I'd have taken her with me for the ride. I miss having somebody behind me enjoying the ride as much as I do.

I did two things on the bike today that I'd not done before. Having no idea what possessed me to try the first stunt, 'cause I'd never even thought of it before, I stood up while riding down a flat, easy section of road. Though I didn't dare to stay on my feet more than a few seconds at a time, it felt fairly awesome to do it. I don't know that it's illegal. The drivers of local delivery trucks (The milk man, the rag man, the huckster, and Pauly Wender, the baker, to name a few.) when I was a kid often drove from stop to stop while standing.

Riding into a parking lot to turn myself around inspired my second novel maneuver. As I rode in a circle to bring myself back to where I'd entered the lot I found myself exhilarating in the lean which was steeper than my usual easy turn around a corner. I kept the turn going through a number of tight circles and practically laughed aloud because it felt so neat.

A Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving my friend! It sounds as though you indeed do have much to be thankful do I.
What a hoot reading about your enjoyment of the "lean". A thrill, huh? Just another reason to love our hobby/sport/favorite form of conveyance.
Oh, and congrats are in store for your daughter!

Lance said...

Happy Thanksgiving! And congratulations on the upcoming marriage of your daughter!

Steve Williams said...

It sounds as if you had a great Thanksgiving all around. Family, riding, and reflection.

I have two daughters, both in long relationships, but so far no sounds of marriage.

I added you to my blogroll. It takes me awhile to get around to things like that, my natural procrastination leanings and all...

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks