Not far from this cottage, there lived a young man. He had lived with his parents and two younger brothers, but had recently left their home to pursue higher learning. On one of his journeys he came across the maiden from the cottage, and the two fell deeply in love.
As often happens in stories like this, the two were soon married. The man continued to pursue higher education, and eventually completed all of the requirements to become a pastor. The People in Charge decided that this young man and his wife, despite having lived their entire lives in the Kingdom of Ohio, should embark on a new journey in an uncharted territory. And so the young man and his wife packed up all of their earthly belongings and headed off to the wild kingdom of Nebraska.
There they lived for many years. They raised three sons and a handful of dogs and cats. They never forgot their family in Ohio and would sometimes make the journey back to see their loved ones there. Their three sons grew and flourished and soon they began their own journeys. The eldest enlisted in the Royal Guard, becoming an officer in the King's Navy. The second son became a guard of one of the King's dungeons. The youngest, well, no one is really ever sure what he's up to. But what we do know is that, this past week, he made the journey from his home in the frozen tundra in the north to the Kingdom of his Ancestors. He traveled to see his family and loved ones in the Kingdom of Ohio.
So, that's what I've been up to lately. I just got back from spending Thanksgiving with my extended family in Ohio. It was a great time, I got to see a lot of my favorite people, and to eat some wonderful food. I learned all sorts of things about Pokemon, watched the same episodes of children's tv shows over and over, reconnected with some family I haven't seen in too long, and had a great time.
The drive was long, about 13 hours. I left on a Friday and spent the night in a hotel in western Ohio. Then I started off again on Saturday morning and arrived at my cousin's house before lunch. I got to spend a lot of time with her family. She has three boys ages 9, 5 and 2 and so I always had something to do when I was with them. I also got to spend a lot of time with my 20 year old Godson who also happens to be the son of my other cousin (who is the brother of my previously mentioned cousin). I got to see quite a bit of my uncle who my first name is named after (on a side note, my middle name comes from my other uncle, the previously mentioned uncle's younger brother, who both happen to be the younger brothers of my dad). Then both of these uncles and their spouses, three cousins, one spouse and three kids and I had a great Thanksgiving dinner together. Then, we were joined later by another cousin, his spouse and their four kids. So, there was quite a houseful.
The next day I drove to visit the cousins on the other side of my family. We had dinner and played games. There was houseful there, too, with three cousins, spouses and then their collective seven kids.
The second day I was there I was going out to eat with my Godson. Being the great Godfather that I am, I said that I would pay the bill. So I gave the server my debit card and she went to run it through the machine and came back and said it was declined. She said they had been having difficulty with my particular bank all day, and since I knew that I had more than enough money in my account, I figured that's what it was. But that didn't solve the problem that we had a bill and now I had no way to pay for it. So, being the great Godfather that I am, I had to ask my Godson to pay for it. Luckily he has a job and money and a card that the restaurant's machine would accept. We went to a store afterward, where he found a CD that he wanted, so I said I would buy it for him. But when I went to pay for it, the same thing happened. However, the cashier said that they had been having problems with their computer system all day and it had been declining cards. So I paid cash, which I luckily had enough of for the CD.
But, thinking it was an odd coincidence that my card was refused twice, I decided I needed to call the bank to see what was going on. Turns out that when I had paid for the hotel room on my trip out, it raised a red flag at the bank, and so they turned off my credit card with no warning to me. Thankfully, it was easily corrected.
Also, while I was there, my 5 year old cousin came down with a cold. My two year old cousin got a double ear infection and pink-eye. When I went to visit the other side of my family, I was greeted at the door by my fifteen year old cousin who warned me not to get too close, as she had pink-eye. Thankfully, I did not get pink-eye or an ear infection, but the five year old was successful in sharing his cold with me.
So now I am back home in Minnesota. Today is my first day back in the office after a great week away with family. I am doped up on cold medicine, and am double fisting it with coffee and orange juice and trying to figure out where to begin on my list of things to do. So, of course I am writing on my far too neglected blog.
But in this holiday season, as we bask in the glow of Thanksgiving and look toward the coming light of Christmas, I am reminded of all of the blessings in my life. I have been blessed with an amazing family, who although I might not get to see as often as I like, the times I get to see them are wonderful and fun. I am thankful that, even though I might have a cold, I have been blessed with good health and the access to medicine should I need it. I am insanely blessed.
I hope all of you become more aware of the blessings you have already received, and that blessing upon blessing would continue to shower upon you.