Wishing you blessings of family, too
November 21, 2018
Picture this: An Arkansas preacher and teacher have six sons who grow up, get married and have children of their own. Then those children grow up and have their own kids. Even the cousins have cousins, and our extended families grow and grow … and so it goes.
That’s my family. I’m one of those six sons.
We’re scattered all over now, but every year this loud and large family finds its way back to our Ozark Mountain heritage for an epic Thanksgiving reunion. We take over a lodge on a secluded mountaintop, pack in plenty of food and games and family fun, and spend the holiday celebrating life and reconnecting with each other. We go on hikes in the surrounding woods and cook smores around a campfire. We sing and dance and have “baby races” into the weekend, when we must pack it all up and return to our scattered lives, tired, well fed and knowing that we are loved.
And every year, in mental preparation for my trip back to Arkansas, I write a little something about what I’m thankful for. So, please, indulge me once again …
Top of my mind this year is the newspaper I now own in Santa Rosa, New Mexico — The Guadalupe County Communicator. I closed the deal on its purchase just days after my return from Thanksgiving last year. So here I am, a year in and still learning how to juggle all the responsibilities, still thankful for the opportunity and for the people who helped me turn a dream into a reality. After about three decades of newspapering, at eight different papers, it’s about time I own one for myself — and I’m thankful I now have that chance.
I’m also thankful for the community I now serve with my newspaper. Santa Rosa is a warm and welcoming town, and with just enough misbehavior to make it interesting. I’m especially thankful for the people who work with me — Davy, Jessica, Steve, Linda and everyone else who help me get the newspaper out every week. I couldn’t do it without them.
I’ve been in this Land of Enchantment for 14 years now, and I’ve long been thankful for its diversity of people, perspectives, places and landscapes. I’ve made friends who now feel more like my extended family, and they make me all the more grateful for this state and its people. I’ve been enchanted for a long time now.
And since I’m one of those commie pinko liberals, I’m thankful for the great blue wave that just swept across our state and nation. If there’s anyone who can make me feel unappreciative, it’s Donald Trump, so I’m glad for the voters who are pushing back against him. We The People, not He The President, makes me thankful to be an American.
Up on that Ozark mountaintop this year, just before we dig into our massive potluck Thanksgiving feast, my family will form a big circle in the dining area of “our” lodge. Then, before we sing our blessing, we’ll go around the room giving everyone a chance to say what they are thankful for.
Every year, someone is too shy to say anything, while somebody else has something extra special to say. Last year we even had a marriage proposal.
Every year, we laugh and sing and find ourselves blessed as one big rambunctious family. And every year, I write my annual thanksgiving column that pales in comparison to the expressions in our circle.
I wish for you something like that, so you’ll be filled with thanksgiving too.
Tom McDonald is editor of the New Mexico Community News Exchange. Contact him at: