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I’m Sure the Turkeys Didn’t Have This in Mind…

     We toe the starting line. Two toes each, in the form of fat black tires. The light has been red for the longest time. White van, older model, to my left. Me in the middle. No one to my right.

     Vrrroooom! Red sports car, not too shiny, pulls up to my right. Now we are three – white van, not-shiny red sports car, and green sedan. Waiting for the light to turn green so we can get on with our lives.

     The light is red. Bright red. Traffic flashes across the intersection. With a sudden whoosh! the last car accelerates through the yellow light. The intersection waits with open lanes.

     The light is red. Bright red. The white van sneaks forward, bringing its toes well over the starting line. The not-shiny red sports car revs its engine but hangs back, half a car-length behind the line. The green sedan – that’s me – waits obediently at the line.

     Across the way, SUVs, pickups and sports cars in the left turn slot all pick up their feet and move out into the intersection. They disappear into ongoing traffic as the last car empties the intersection. It’s our turn.

     Red sports car spurts forward. White van moves further into the intersection. Green sedan – that’s me - sits obediently at the line.

     The light is red. Bright red. Red sports car slams on its brakes. White van slows to a stop. Green sedan sits obediently at the line.

     To our left, the cars in another left turn slot begin moving and merrily drive off into where we want to go.

     The light is red. Bright red. White van is holding steady, halfway into the intersection; not-shiny red sports car is rumbling behind the line; green sedan is at the line. Obediently. The light is -

     GREEN! Green sedan shoots out from the line, past the white van standing on all fours in the middle of the intersection, well ahead of the not-shiny red sports car. Red sports car roars like a lion.

     Ahhhh… How little it takes to bring joy to the heart. I ease off the pedal and watch the red sports car zoom by, savoring my three second victory as I drive in to work.

     And so it’s Thanksgiving time and I’m sure the turkeys didn’t have this in mind when they prepared for the feast, nor the Pilgrims either.

     It’s the little things. Of course it’s the little things. A three second victory; the tick-tock of a clock in a quiet room; the burst of sunlight breaking out from behind the clouds; those reproachful eyes staring out at you from the furry face of your favorite dog telling you she missed you - and why were you gone so long?

     It’s the little things. The grandkids when they put down their Game Boys to hug you with all their might; when they fall asleep on your couch with contented smiles on their faces.

     It’s Paul when he flashes his sunny smile from a sleepy face buried in the pillow and tells you he loves you. Paul, our son, who was born with overflowing “joie de vivre” – the joy of living – and cerebral palsy.

     It’s Bryan and Craig and Christy always. Brothers and sister of Paul who helped him and us all the way and who are part of our lives every day – they and their spouses and their children and their fishes and their dogs, all of whom we take care of as needed. Well, not the spouses. But you know what I mean.

     It’s a great life – and it isn’t just the little things, after all. It’s the big things, too.

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