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Here’s to you from Thanksgiving Season in North Florida. We’re green again after a week of rain—all the rain we should have had over the last few months.
The image is from noon yesterday on the spectacular grounds of Evergreen Cemetery, where I’ve walked with my parents and/or their dogs over the last eight years. I now stroll it daily with hubs and the bonkers Blue Heeler whom Mom left in our care. We are grateful for this nearly 300-acre, inner-city oasis that we often have to ourselves—but for the groundskeepers who worry when they don’t see us for a few days.
I am thankful for the lineup of holidays away from the Day Job after a year of taking little of my personal vacation time. Like all of you, I have family visits and too much eating to do, but less so than in years past. From now on I’ll be the aunt or sister-in-law dropping in, no longer the daughter striving to make my parents’ holidays enjoyable.
This time last year, we were still reeling from Mom’s swift exit in mid-October. I thought hitting the one-year marker of her departure would be rough. Instead, I found a lifting and releasing of grief. It’s no wonder many cultures mark the anniversary of loss. We did nothing special, and yet I received a new lightness that has remained.
Faith tells me Dad and Mom are well. They lived their 84/85 years and their passings, no matter how difficult, took place as the natural course of this world.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. …then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? I Cor. 15:53-55
Our job now is to remember and honor them while seeing what our own futures hold. I know that if Mom is paying any attention, she is chomping at the bit for me to get on with my writing so I can make room to complete and publish the five+ manuscripts she left in my care.
And so, I’m eyeing my days off for writing time. I’ve been hammering away at my Work in Progress, slogging through the climactic scenes. These are the ones where you drive your main characters into impossible corners, then have to be clever enough to get them out again. I am excited to see long-held images take shape on the page and to think this story will be ready for readers in the foreseeable future—even if I have several drafts yet ahead.
On the reading front:
I finished The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese and had planned to write my thoughts and reactions to the book for today’s newsletter, but I prefer to let them simmer. What comes to the top is not always what I expect when first completing a read-through. I’ve noted before that I do not write traditional reviews. There are plenty of resources for those. I prefer to reflect on whatever aspect of a work captivates my interest. So, we’ll see what surfaces when it is ready.
I’m enjoying the earlier evenings—any excuse for sparkling lights blinking in the darkness. Next weekend I plan to return to the post-Thanksgiving tradition of digging out the Christmas decorations that stayed in the attic last year.
I hope all of you are counting your blessings, whether or not “Thanksgiving Day” is on your country’s calendar. And that you are looking forward to the rest of these Holy Days and into the New Year.
May the road ahead of you be level ground. And if not, may you walk the rocky patches with Peace.
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