I habitually pull Richard Ford's third Frank Bascombe novel from the shelf on Thanksgiving, which "ought to be the versatile, easy-to-like holiday, suitable to the secular and religious, adaptable to weddings, christenings, funerals, first-date anniversaries, early-season ski trips and new romantic interludes. It often doesn't work out that way."
But today the lay of the land here looks fine. I fetched ("carried") Brother-in-law up the Trace yesterday, Younger Daughter will arrive shortly to help cook the comestibles and join in the general spirit of festive gratitude for all good things. It'll be a small gathering, no tension or contention in sight.
An old Thanksgiving post notes Frank's gratitude for "The Hawk," who I look forward to finally meeting at the Baseball in Literature and Culture conference in Ottawa (KS) next March:
...Here's one of Frank's ruminations on happiness, recalling a "shining moment of glory that was instantly gone" when he caught a foul ball and impressed his kid. I can almost totally relate... but can't agree that "happy is a lot of hooey." (Though of course the way a lot of us talk about it is.)
“The kind of happy I was that day at the Vet when "Hawk" Dawson actually doffed his red "C" cap to me, and everyone cheered and practically convulsed into tears - you can't patent that. It was one shining moment of glory that was instantly gone. Whereas life, real life, is different and can't even be appraised as simply "happy", but only in terms of "Yes, I'll take it all, thanks" or "No, I believe I won't." Happy, as my poor father used to say, is a lot of hooey. Happy is a circus clown, a sitcom, a greeting card. Life, though, life's about something sterner. But also something better. A lot better. Believe me.”