The concept behind the USA tradition of Thanksgiving is a good one. The historic reality, as usual, is less than what we were taught to believe. The actual beginnings of Thanksgiving was a celebration of English militia having slaughtered indigenous Native American people. I’m not making this up. See the Smithsonian article: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/thanksgiving-myth-and-what-we-should-be-teaching-kids-180973655/
Beginning on that downer, we need also acknowledge the holidays of Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ōmisoka, anf (of course) Christmas)
While being cognizant of my Anglo-Saxon-Germanic heritage and the havoc it wreaked upon indigenous peoples, I will take this opportunity to recognize what I have to be thankful for.
I have an immediate family that makes me happy to come home to. This includes:
- Michelle. My best friend and forever companion.
- Jackson. My son and his partner Nathan. So proud of both of them.
- Rachel. My daughter. She is healthier that she’s ever been and is determined to find her way forward. So proud of her having looked her troubles in the eye and faced them down.
- Loki and the cats. Yeah, I took on a puppy who has incredible challenges but he loves me. The cats hate him but I think theymight come around some day when he settles down.
My extended family that grounds me in who and what I am:
- Bob and Mary – my eldest brother who always set the bar a little higher than I could reach. Distinguished military career (both of them). They inspire me. Their children – Carrie, Chris, Justin, Kevin and respective spouses and children continue the legacy.
- Chuck – my elder bother who was always smarter and cooler than I could ever be. I’ve always believed that his engineering background gave me insight into the engineering students that I taught – even while knowing that Cornell was levels above SDSMT. His kids are amazing: Adam, Alex, and Caitlyn. I’m still mad that Alex stole “feiszli.com” from me. 🙂
- Melissa, Lorie, Cindy – My brother Bill’s children and ex-wife. Difficult to say how much they mean to me. Bill flamed out too soon, but I have great memories of his generosity in taking me in when I had no place to go. I am grateful to have been part of their life.
- Sue and Rand….. omg. You are the epicenter of the Feiszli clan. It is significant that Dad chose you (Rand) as his executor. If we need someone to call, it’s you two. I love you so much. Patrick/Dani, and Emily, you are the extensions of this great parenting pair. Love you all.
- Mike and Shannon (and Celia, Andrew, et al). You remind me of what family is all about. Wish I was there more often. This Covid thing keeps us from getting together, but I miss you and want to to visit.
Hopefully 2021 will allow us to have the Feiszli reunion we need. But until that happens; I love you all. Be safe, stay well.
We are, after two years and seven months in Florida, still happy and grateful to be here. We did settle in a very conservative area of Florida, but frankly, we are OK with being the liberal-thinking counterparts to many of our neighbors. When we posted our Biden-Harris sign on our lawn (and I am not a bumper-sticker kind of person), we were surrounded by dozens of Trump signs. But I had at least 4-5 neighbors whisper to me that they were encouraged by our display. Trump still took our county (and state) but I am encouraged that maybe we gave others the ability to vote their conscience.
Many of you know that I left social media months ago because I foresaw the great divide happening in this country. If I thought I could help stop the nastiness and anger, I would. But, as someone who was on the Internet long before it was even known as the Internet; I have seen the consequences of being able to vent at a screen rather than in the presence of a real person.
Email, Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp, whatever allows one to craft a persona that cannot be sustained in real converse. Donald Trump or anyone else can be someone that does not stand up to reality. Sorry folks, I was there before the WorldWideWeb, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I saw this coming. Stop it. Get off social media. Find alternative methods of communication. Gee, maybe resort to sending cards through the USPS. Whatever. I have resorted to creating a website and blog that circumvent what we have accepted as our communication medium.