Thursday, November 28, 2013


The small family group (my wife and I and the two boys and my cousin from DC) are gathered in New Jersey for a last east coast Thanksgiving.  (Next year in Cleveland.)  I made latkes (some with russets and some with sweet potatoes). Tuesday, a day early, but that's ok, i made latkes.  I also made ham that night because I enjoy the cognitive/cultural dissonance and because, frankly, ham is what latkes go best with.  

Last night the five of us went out to a terrific Italian restaurant.  A bit ago, we had bagels and lox and champagne. The turkey is stuffed and in the oven; asparagus, spinach, beets, two kinds of potatoes, and a kugel to go, and whatever else.  We've apple pie and ice cream and cheesecake for dessert.  And wine both red and white.

We'll light the Menurkey tonight as we're joined by one of our son's roommates and a couple of visiting linguistics professors from Russia whom none of us have ever met.

I've thought about bringing the shopping bag with my sister's ashes (if you don't know why they're still in a cardboard box in a shopping bag after nearly two years, now isn't the time to ask) downstairs, but that seems wrong.  It is, however, beside me as I type.

An editorial in today's Times begins this way:
There may be a stranger at dinner today — the friend of a friend, the brother of a daughter’s roommate, a business acquaintance stuck in town, someone who reminds us how expandable this close-knit holiday really is. And there will surely be someone missing for whom we keep a place set in our thoughts. On Thanksgiving Day, we sit down with the memory of everyone who has shared this holiday with us, and perhaps with an unexpected stranger, the person who helps us tell this one Thanksgiving apart from all the others.

I have a memory, perhaps false, that at one Passover seder when I was a child, we opened the door for Elijah and there was a homeless person on the porch.  He wasn't invited in, though I hope (my memory, true or false doesn't answer this) he was at least given food.

At Thanksgiving tonight, we're joined by all the others - those of you I've met and those I haven't; those men and women I've had the privilege to represent; the friends, the people of the past and the present and the future.  To all of you, to all of us, I offer thanks and the wish for grace and mercy.  Because as Mirriam says, 
We are all not guilty of something.

Thanks for reading.

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