Gratitude is ne'er too late: holiday tables and runners (of the road)

On a small brick wall beside me was this guy:

I was walking my dog while my children played on the park equipment nearby, and I noticed something move and looked up.  Like a member of the paparazzi, I followed him around, snapping photos.  Though he seemed nervous, he couldn’t help but pose and show me his tail feathers.

His kind I have seen before, you know; I live in New Mexico, and they are the state bird for a reason.

Have you seen one run?  It’s charming.  Two were sprinting across the dusty expanse near the glass recycling bin one day when I was pitching my myriad fragile receptacles in.  Watching those roadrunners fly (not literally) across the dirt - as if they were in a race and had left competitors in the dust, out of sight, far behind - made my day.  Maybe they were being chased by Wile E. Coyote.

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but I wanted to share that I’m thankful to live in the land of the roadrunner.

I’m also grateful that my father-in-law helped my husband and me build a grand table for our larger home that has room for the company of plenty of family and friends.  The new table in this friendly house is an entertaining dream come true. 

It’s pub height, so loved ones can stand or sit around it comfortably.

Of course, I wanted it pub height – taller than the original plans pulled from Ana White's website. 

Then I despised it for being so tall, as if it had chosen to be so against my will.  Without stools, it felt like a giant in my kitchen, devouring space while crowding the wall.  I argued with my husband on and off for weeks, practically demanding that he help me chop of its legs or at least bring me the ax.  He insisted that we would do nothing until we found stools for it; then, we would see!

It wasn’t until Halloween night when family came over for trick-or-treating, and all the adults stood around the behemoth with their sodas and pizza, gabbing, that I realized I had known all along what I was doing, and it was perfect.  The next day the extra-tall stools for it were delivered, and my table and I have had amicable interactions ever since.  It no longer sulks, pushed against the wall, out of place and under-purposed.  I no longer glare at it, wishing it were different.  My children sit at it every afternoon and evening, twisting on the swivel stools that look as if they were designed for it.

There are greater things to be grateful for post-Thanksgiving, beyond state birds and tall tables.

For one thing, I have the courage to keep writing even when it seems I may never be successful or have not worked hard enough yet or don't have the "right" ideas or the best methods of executing them.  And I am amazed by the support that my husband has and continues to give to me in my endeavors.  

More than anything I feel I am extraordinarily blessed to be surrounded by my family, so insanely, incalculably grateful to God for Matthew and our four children, Berto, Ana, Ella, and Daniel.  We are happy together in our new home.

And this year we spent Thanksgiving with extended family for the first time in many years, and in addition to our appreciation of the company of those loved ones, I'm thankful that I didn't have to make the turkey! (Mine always seems dry.)

Thanksgiving has passed.  This is my belated letter of gratitude.  I have done my duty. 

Come now, Advent.  Come Christmas.  My candles are lit.  I'm ready. 


  1. The table looks great! Nice job, everyone. There's a nice feeling of accomplishment when you can enjoy what you made by hand. Road runners are adorable. I was so excited when I spotted one while in NM.

    1. I may never get good at it, but I would love to keep making my own furniture. It's very satisfying to build skill sets. Could not have done it without Matthew's dad!

      As for roadrunners, that is my exact word for them; I've said it over and over again: they're adorable. I'm really happy you got to see one, Holly.

      Come to NM again, and you can sit and share a meal with me at our table.


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