A friend, whom I respect a great deal, recently told me writes down five things for which she is thankful at the end of each day. Once again, she has given me something to think about, especially in this season of Thanksgiving.
My parents always believed Thanksgiving was a time when, true to “over the river and through the woods,” their adult children traveled to gather around the table as a family. For years, I was grumpy about making the 400 mile trek with the kids and the dog and the inevitable stack of ungraded papers. Didn’t my parents realize where Thanksgiving fell in the semester???
I’m a lot less grumpy these days, and especially after the loss of my mother last April, I realize how fleeting those together moments with family are. And I also realize how important it is to stop—even in our busiest times—to reflect upon where we are in our journey through this life.
As I was thinking about being thankful, I came across something I had written in my journal the first Thanksgiving season I spent in Glenbrook Valley. What follows are my thoughts:
My life has taken me all over this great country, and I guess this is the Texas part of my journey, and for that, I am thankful.
First, I am fundamentally thankful I live in Texas. Not only do I live in Texas, but I LOVE it. Old friends and relatives (clearly not Texans) doubt my sanity, but frankly, they do not know what they are missing. I mean, I can wear shorts in January, though seatbelts can become branding irons in July. I often hear non-native Texans state, “I wasn’t born here, but I got here as quick as I could.” How true! And who knew?
I am also thankful for Tex-Mex. I am further thankful that the green bus, especially when they make tamales. To me tamales are a comfort food, sort of the Tex-Mex version of meatloaf. After a long day, there is nothing like tamale-out to bring my world back into focus. I read once that tamales date back to the Aztecs, who used them as an offering to the gods. Makes sense to me.
Since moving to Houston, I’ve discovered Tejano music, for which I am VERY thankful. I grew up in Wisconsin; consequently, I have a great respect for the accordion and believe no dance surpasses the polka. (I don’t believe a couple is considered legally married in Wisconsin until they have polkaed.) Clearly, any musical genre that combines mariachi, ballads, and polka is a delightful multi-cultural medley.
Last—NOT least—I am thankful to live in Glenbrook Valley. My neighbors have been incredibly friendly and genuinely helpful. I love the diversity of the area and am very hopeful that the area will only get better.
I still feel the same way, but I am disheartened by the negativism surrounding our historic designation, and I hope the accusations and lies end soon and do not do permanent damage to our community. I wish there were a way we could gather all the GBV residents together to share a meal, and remember that we are all part of the same community, and that we can disagree respectfully.
I wish everyone in Glenbrook Valley a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by people who care about each other. I count living in Glenbrook Valley among the five things for which I am thankful at the end of every day, and this Thursday, I will be doubly thankful.
Have a very happy Thanksgiving!