I see lots of people doing the however-many-days of Thanksgiving thing. I assume it's 28 days? Well it seemed like a good idea for November quick-taking. Since Friday was the 8th, I'll count my gramma bday post as my first day of Thanksgiving. Like I said, gram was always getting us out of jams!
Days 2 through 8 of Thanksgiving:
I am thankful for my brother, who at certain times has been my only friend. He can always make me laugh when I'm sad. And he never believed me that January is spelled with 2 r's.
|Science conference church in San Francisco|
I am thankful that my work allows me to attend Mass almost every day, and that I have time to stay for the rosary and divine mercy chaplet. And for 91 year-old Joe who brings me a bag of dried fruit and a granola bar for breakfast every morning and chats with me about the time Micky Rooney flew his airplane.
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I am thankful for all of my coworkers whom I see every day and my colleagues from around the world. The science community is like a strange family, with the same fun and the same drama. It's such a blessing to go to work with a bunch of people I actually enjoy being around!
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I am especially thankful for Allison, who is largely responsible for the successful completion of my previous several AGU posters, including Knudsen's Magical Diffuse Aurora Eraser. Without her help there would NOT have been anything magical about it. We survived the mudslides of the Maroon Bells and a trolley car robbery. It will be interesting to see what the next trip has in store.
I am thankful for the prison ministry and everyone I have met there. Sometimes people send us poems they've written or pictures of their kids. One person decorated some pottery for me. But most of all they're all so loyal in prayer. Sometimes I wonder what kind of a miserable person I'd be without so many prisoners praying for me!
I am thankful for the Happy Fault and for God's mercy. Felix Culpa: "O happy fault. O necessary sin of Adam, which gained for us so great a Redeemer."
"In order to die for us--because as God he could not die--the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The Immortal One took on mortality that he might die for us, and by dying put to death our death."
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I am thankful for the B.I.G. Book Sale in Annapolis, where I can donate all the weird books I've accumulated and pick up gems like "Three by Flannery O'Connor" including Wise Blood, The Violent Bear It Away, and Everything That Rises Must Converge. Her stories are brutally violent and meant to convey the "action of grace in territory held largely by the devil." She also said and wrote amazing things about her Catholic faith. She must have been an introvert. In one of her letters she described so well how I often feel when attending dinner parties and/or explaining the faith:
I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater. (She just wrote that book, A Charmed Life.) She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. We went at eight and at one, I hadn't opened my mouth once, their being nothing for me in such company to say. The people who took me were Robert Lowell and his now wife, Elizabeth Hardwick. Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them. Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously suppose to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child she received the Host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the "most portable" person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, "Well, if it's a symbol, to hell with it." That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.