Long before the parents died and before we could claim to be elders in our families, we here in JP had a sizeable Thanksgiving. It's not over the river and there are — not counting Arnold Arboretum — no woods.
Instead 15 to 22 of us would create an extended family for an afternoon and evening. Kids and spouses, significant others and nebulous companions have gathered for an instant and recurring family. Our steady link is in each couple at least one member is a Southerner.
So, we eat better together than dour, parsimonious New Englanders, and the manners around the table are much more pleasant. We also get to swap Southern memories, tales of grand meals and jazz clubs, and distinctions in culture, food and dialect among the various Souths represented. And, of course, we end with the Battle of the Pies — pecan, buttermilk, pumpkin, sweet potato, and cherry.
My two solemnizations came as usual. One straight and one gay couple whose marriages I formalized, blessed under the authority of the commonwealth of Massachusetts and am still thankful for came to be part of our family. In full disclosure, I must admit that they were both a number for years before the weddings. Even so, perhaps I should give a warranty with my marriages. The two pairs are still pairs and loving it.
It must be the same with professional or amateur matchmakers. There is a reflected glory in having a hand in making a solid relationship.
There's something to be thankful for.