"Are you wondering why I'm doing this?" Lucy pulls a long strand off her string cheese, flops it onto a pile of white wisps.
I lean an elbow on the mini card table between us, ease another bite of turkey soup into Myra's mouth, "Actually, I am," I say.
Lucy pulls another strand, pauses, raises her eyebrows, "It's 'cause I like it," she says.
Then she peels and pulls that whole stub of cheese until it transforms into a little white haystack. I watch. And like most of our Thanksgiving, moments unfold, miraculous, like white little haystacks.
1660. Thanksgiving at the ocean.
1661. Jane's assessment, "Seems like just yesterday Jack was a little BABY."
1662. Pumpkin squares left on my doorstep, perfect frosting.
1663. New earrings, a blue glass bead and a silver dangle.
1664. Jack's shout, "Daddy's a smarty pants." And Lucy's incredulous, "He's got smartie in his bottom?! Oh, SPORTY pants."
1665. Lucy's semi-annual eye exam and the good news: almost perfect vision!
1666. Jack instructing Lucy, "ER. That's how you spell hospital. It's only two words: E R."
1667. Thanksgiving meal, the table heavy with feast and how we talk and laugh, weave a few more turns in our heritage.
1668. How family travels long from the ends of the earth to meet at the beach.
1669. The open arms that greet us.
1670. The ruckus of cousins, hide-n-seek, fighting the bad guys, cars, trucks, crayons, a cardboard house, paper monsters, animal pillows, and all the merriment of toys given with love.
1671. Banter with grown-up cousins as they prepare for college interviews.
1672. Watching identical twins express passion, poise, and class in completely different ways.
1673. How the kids run down the beach in rain boots.
1674. A sneaker wave that gushes over our boots, the mirth and screams of surprise.
1675. Jane in a vest the color of sky.
1676. Her smile to Lucy, "I could tell by the tone, you were joking."
1677. Jack's determination, "Myra cannot have Swedish fish 'cause they're too rubbery."
1678. The kind eyes of my cousin who watches the kids so Craig and I can have a date.
1679. A fancy dinner out with my parents and uncle and aunt. The way they include us in their world, let us listen in on their lives, their wisdom.
1680. Balderdash and laughing to tears.
1681. Visiting until the wee hours of morning.
1682. Craig who drives the whole 12 hr trip home, how he turns the world upside down to make it good for me.
1683. How home, back in the real world, he paints circles of kindness around me. And how I find my faults show neon in his goodness, and I beg God to change me.
1684. How home settles like a sigh around my shoulders, and I'm happy for our life.