Thanksgiving was a big family reunion this year with three days of meaningful events. Twenty-one of us gathered for the traditional meal on Thursday, the next day twenty-five family members gathered for the interment service to bury our father's cremains, and on Saturday sixteen of us sat together at the football game (mentioned above) even though we didn't all cheer for the same team. Last night when my sister Kathy and my daughters and I got together to reflect on the weekend we couldn't believe how much we had done and what a special time it was for everyone, especially our 90-year-old mother, who sad proudly watching her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren interact and play together.
Interment: My father died almost exactly a year ago. Since his death we have had several opportunities to memorialize his life. But because he donated his body to science we couldn't inter his ashes until they were returned to us. My mother's church has a special garden spot where members' ashes can be placed in their final resting spot. We held a small service just for family members. My brother and his wife, who live in Switzerland, even joined us via WhatsAp. The photo, above, shows the stained glass in the chapel. Outside you see my brother-in-law covering the ashes with dirt. It was lovely to be with family for the final goodbye to Dad.
Popular: I asked my youngest daughter to sing the song "Popular", and she obliged, from the Wicked musical, to our dog because he was so popular this weekend. He made friends with all my nieces and nephews, their kids, everyone who came in contact with him. At one point my grandson and my sister's grandkids were playing with him endlessly when he finally disappeared. We found him hiding in his crate, exhausted.
Books completed in November:
- Inland by Tea Obreht---audiobook; a simply stunning and surprising book. The ending took my breath away. Highly recommend for patient readers.
- Called: the Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today by Mark Labberton---e-book; this was the study guide for Women's Bible study at church. We had wonderful discussions.
- Brave Face: a memoir by Shaun David Hutchinson---print; I was reminded that "screwed up people make great art" as I read this memoir by a favorite YA author who talked about his life with depression and coming out as gay. I hope this book finds a home in all libraries public and school.
- Virgil Wander by Leif Enger---audiobook; a charming, funny, and poignant story by a favorite author. I've already recommended this book to several people including both of my daughters.
- Whereas: poems by Layli Long Soldier---print; poems by a Lakota author. I enjoyed many of them, or to be more specific, I found many of the poems to be very thought-provoking.
- Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips---audiobook; a book club selection for this week's club meeting. Two sisters disappear. Each of the stories involve other women who are impacted by their disappearance. Brilliant done. 55% completed. Not sure if I will be able to finish it before Wednesday but I intend to complete the book one way or the other.
- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent---audiobook; another book club selection for some future month. This book is set in Iceland and is based on actual events surrounding a murder in the 1800s. 21% complete.
- A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchey---print; I was given this book by someone and have had it on my shelves for many years. Time to read it and let it go.
- The Dutch House by Ann Patchett---audiobook; ANOTHER book club selection. All three of the audiobooks have arrived at the same time. I didn't finish Disappearing Earth before it was returned to the library automatically, so I started Burial Rites myself and The Dutch House with Don on our recent trip. Now Disappearing Earth is back so I will have to postpone the last two and return to the first. 86% complete.
It is hard to believe that the advent season is already here. Wasn't it just Halloween and Thanksgiving?
Have a lovely December.