Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2009

Ozark autumn color captured Thanksgiving Day, 2009, photo by Steve Givens

Today I’m down at our small lake cabin on the Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri for a few days with my wife, Sue, and our children Jon and Jenny. This has been our Thanksgiving tradition for more than a decade now–a small meal for just the four of us, and a chance to kick back and enjoy the day without the commotion of a larger family tradition. We read and talk and watch movies. We eat, too much. It suits us all pretty well. It is also our last trip of the season to this little retreat that we bought when the kids were young, a small red lakefront cabin that can sometimes be a hassle but more often than not feels like salvation.

It is time to get the place ready for winter–to turn off the water and allow the place a few months of hibernation from us. In many ways this is my favorite time of year, because I think it gets me ready for winter, too. We arrived last night and since I awoke this morning I have seen no other people besides my family and a lone fishermen in the distance making his way across the choppy surface of the Gravois (Grav-oy) Arm of the lake. It’s quiet and uncrowded and that’s why this is my favorite time of year.

Of course, I do like the summers, too, what with the swimming and the boating and the fishing and the kids and their friends adding life and enthusiasm to our little place, but this is the best time for me to gather my ideas and begin to put two thoughts together.

I’ve put off starting this blog because I was too busy with work and life and writing other things and because I didn’t think I’d be able to keep up the pace of posting something interesting often enough. But I’m starting nonetheless. My son Jon, almost 23 and a budding social media guru, has warned me to not be too wordy. People like short blogs, he tells me. So I’m trying to heed his advice. I’ve probably written too much already. I promise to keep it shorter in the future. But it’s my first entry so cut me a break and keep reading a little while longer. A foreword to the digital future, of sorts.

In this blog, I will be writing about those ideas and memories and sparks of creativity that come to me in a flash and also the kind that brew and percolate inside me for months at a time. When I teach writing occasionally I tell my students to remember that they should always be writing, even when they are not physically typing or writing. Writing is a full-time job. I’ll be writing, in one way or another, about two things that are most important to me and drive my life and everything in it: creativity and spirituality. Everything else springs forth from these two and, if I’m really accurate, I suppose the two are inseparable. I can’t have one without the other. More on this later. Much more.

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