A BIG Thanksgiving 2017

I know I haven’t posted chapters of Karda for several weeks. First, it was Thanksgiving. I have a very big family, and Thanksgiving is our major get-together holiday for the year. We meet at my brother Bob’s cabin on Grand Lake of the Cherokees. This year there were sixty-four of us, with, I think, fourteen who weren’t able to come. Bob’s cabin is pretty big.

Wow, there could have been almost eighty of us. And we’ve been doing this for all my long life. At mother’s, then at my house, then at my farm, and now at Bob’s cabin. We’ve had other people, too, in-laws, friends—from Austria, from Japan, Germany, Brazil, Venezuela, from Spain and France,  This year there were people from Houston, Portland, Atlanta, Durango, North Zulch. (Yes, really, North Zulch) When I tell people about our Thanksgivings, they are, well, they are flabbergasted. 

In this day and age of what I often feel is a fracturing world, I realize how very fortunate we are. We can get together, that many of us, with differing personal, political, and religious beliefs, and have a great time. Several small fish get caught by small fisherpersons from the dock. We take walks and kick leaves, eat turkey and pecan pie, mashed potatoes, dressing and giblet gravy, and pumpkin pie, canned olives (a family tradition), chocolate pie and brownies, and this year Jeri made pralines, which Rachel informed us go really well with red wine. 

Where else could you get Thanksgiving cheese grits, first brought by Chris, who’s gone, now a tradition carried on by Abbie and one day, perhaps, by Lucie. 

One tiny five-year-old Mia got lost, causing panic, and then found upstairs watching a movie. Another five-year-old was sick to her stomach because that morning she had fallen off one of Uncle Allen’s horses. Ada Jane mounted back up when he put the saddle on because then she could have a seat belt. Five-year-old Miles lost some tiny legos someone stepped on. Ouch, legos hurt. We laughed, old people talked about all the trouble we got into when we were kids. We remembered those who are gone with love. 

Because below all those differences, in this world where differences are pulling us apart, we have a web of love, a warp and weft of love, a give and take of love that stretches and binds us together. If any one of those eighty plus people says, "I need help," there will be someone there to help. Just knowing that, feeling that fabric, means I don’t need to ask for support. It’s already there holding me up.

This is a precious thing. This is a priceless, precious thing. This is a thing for giving thanks, for Thanksgiving. 

Writing Interrupted

On the Wednesday night before turkey day, I invite everyone who is in town plus some other friends and in laws to my house for tamales (formerly pizza). There were only about twenty-four, I think. Then, Thursday morning I cooked a turkey and dressing and made gravy. So you can see I didn’t have time to post anything here that week.

Then, as I was recovering from that, someone snuck into my house and poured Gorilla Glue into my sinuses. I was pretty much down for more than a week, and I’m still snuffling and blowing and coughing. But I’m alive. It wasn’t a terminal cold after all. 

So today I’ll post two chapters, four and five. I’m working hard on finishing book two. It’s with my editor now, and I’m waiting with fingers crossed that he doesn’t have much ink left in his red pen. Or has forgotten how to use Track Changes in Word. How likely is that? 

I also have an idea for the first scene in Book Three!!!! Yay. And my (prize-winning mid-grade novelist sister) Alice V. Brock—check out River of Cattle—made me sit down and try to plot it at our Sisters’ Writers Workshop. She stayed for four days after Thanksgiving and we worked. So I have a start. Sometime in January we’re planning a One Brother and Two Sisters Writers Workshop at her house. Brother Phil Vincent is writing an adventure-diving-drugs novel. A great plot! Phil is the adrenaline junky in our family and has had lots of adventures. No drugs—well, except when he was very young and driving the requisite Volkswagon Van. Pot doesn’t really count anymore, does it?