It’s Not the Things

A devastating wind storm went through the Spokane area a little over a week ago. Pictures and updates can be found here. My parents were without power for a week, but extended family members took them in and they are okay. I am thankful.

Our family’s lake cabin, which my grandparents purchased many, many years ago (maybe 70 years? 75? a long time ago) was demolished by a falling tree. Thankfully, nobody was hurt. But as I consider my blessings this Thanksgiving, I confess the destruction of the family cabin is on my mind. IMG_0264 2

The building isn’t the thing, of course. It is the time spent with the people in the building for which I am grateful. Just this Labor Day weekend, the boys and I drove up and met most of the rest of the family there to paint the cabin. (You can see our fine paint skillz even in the devastation.)

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my brother Brian, his kids Bradley and Asher, and my boys

I think back to the times the Everhart or Nelson families rented the cabin and the fun times we had out there playing ‘ghost in the graveyard’ or ‘king of the dock’.

I remember the way my dad would let me have friends out to the cabin as long as they agreed to help paint the dock or rake leaves. Jere and Carrie got conscripted into labor projects more than they deserved but were always good sports about it.

My wedding reception was at the lake the day after our wedding, a colder than desired July day, but we all had time together to be with the people who had traveled in for the festivities.

So many parties. My grandparents’ 50th and my parents’ 40th anniversaries. The Deaconess Hospital Interns’ picnic that my grandmother hosted for so many years. The Greyhound Bus Driver parties with my grandfather’s friends. My youth group and orchestra friends from high school came out each summer. This day, I’m thankful for the many people who graced the rooms of that cabin with their presence, their friendship, their laughter.

view from the front porch of the cabin

I’m aware that the loss of a vacation cabin is a problem of privilege, and compared to people today who are mourning the death of loved ones, or are fleeing from the scourge of war in hope of safety in another land, it is not worth mentioning.

It reminds me, though, that on this Thanksgiving,  the things for which I’m thankful are not things.

I’m thankful for my family, the ones I’m with today and the ones who are scattered about in Spokane, New York City (hope you’re having fun at Macy’s parade!), Seattle, China, and Dallas.

I’m thankful for health. I’m thankful for hope in a better world. I’m thankful for friends, near and far, and the way social media allows me to be in touch across the miles.

I haven’t been blogging much lately, even as I have been writing a lot, off line, for other projects. I’m thankful for those of you who take the time to read the things I do post here.

Wherever you are this day, know I am thankful for you.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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3 thoughts on “It’s Not the Things

  1. Very well said. This year I have been reminded that it’s the people in my life for which I am thankful and things are second to that.

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