Building New Family Traditions: Early Thanksgiving.

Every year around Thanksgiving, my small family reconnects. Perhaps by Anglo-American norms, my family is larger than average: my partner, my mom, dad, grandma, my twin sisters, a friendly brother-in-law, my uncle Bob, his wife, my Aunt, her husband, and her two adult children. While I’ve long resented Nature for not letting me be born into a large family, the Divine Spark I carry within has taught me to cherish the relationships I have. Moreover, my mom and I agree that fostering courteous harmony takes priority over frank discussions of real or percieved “issues”. It remains to be seen if we are making the right choices, but the most ancient of religious traditions such as Judaism, Confucianism, and the pre-Christian faiths of Rome all seem to favor our approach.

Kennedy Creek Reservoir along State Route 60 in Suches, GA.

Kennedy Creek Reservoir along State Route 60 in Suches, GA.

As our grandma is staying in a personal care home up in Suches, GA, before dinner, we made a trip up to visit her. I drove my sisters and my brother-in-law from Clermont to Suches in my new, 2014 Ford Focus. The picturesque, but serpentine highway route vexed my sister Ashley with a fierce bout of motion sickness. Yet, we made it to grandma’s place and the car’s upholstery escaped a christening.

Visiting Grandma in Suches.  Upper left, Ashley; upper right, me; lower right, Allison.

Visiting Grandma in Suches. Upper left, Ashley; upper right, me; lower right, Allison.

After an equally meandering return trip down from Woody Gap, we made it home to turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and salad. The tables were set in autumnal yellow and orange and the “grown-ups” were happy to finally start eating after waiting for our return.

My partner, Monica, and Ashley getting ready for dinner.

My partner and Ashley getting ready for dinner.

Early thankgiving, left to right, with partner Monica, Uncle Robert, Ashley, Donna, Allison, baby Andrew, and brother-in-law Ben.

Early thankgiving, left to right, with Monica, Uncle Robert, Ashley, Donna, Allison, baby Andrew, and brother-in-law Ben.

After dinner, we enjoyed music, photo ops, and baby Andrew’s dancing.

Andrew, Allison, and Ben.

Andrew, Allison, and Ben.

Seeing my sister Allison, her husband Ben, and their baby Andrew healthy and happy were an affirmation that the Divine Spirit hears my prayers for their well-being. Though autumn is a time of increasing darkness, and the woodsy hills of North Georgia stir up the saddest of my memories, I can rejoice in having an accepting family.

A previous weekend, October 19, near my family's house.

A previous weekend, October 19, near my family’s house in Clermont, GA.

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