November 29, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving (a little bit late)! This year a few things were different. First, I didn't fly in for the holiday for the first time in 6 years-- that's right, I'm a local! And second, we spent the much anticipated meal at a different location--my dad's cousin's house in Olympia. The Erlandson side has always gathered for Thanksgiving, but it is usually at our house, and my mom's parents always join us. However, my grandpa Ruhland just had eye surgery and needed to recover at home. So, the Thanksgiving circumstances were all around different this year.

There were many great memories made this Thursday though! My dad's cousin, Jim, brought out old (and I mean OLD) family pictures, and Grandpa Jack took his cue as story-teller. 18 month old Aiden Erlandson was there--the only current hope of passing on the Erlandson name--and he was so cute and fun to play with. One of my favorite moments was when Grandpa Jack held Aiden and tickled him. I am so thankful for my family!

That's my Grandpa Jack and my dad on the far right!

Grandpa Jack and Great Uncle Evan

Dad, circa mustache-era :)

Aiden, now 18 months

Mom and Ron

Richard's sermon on Thanksgiving eve has been on my mind ever since Wednesday. He spoke about mature gratitude, which sees God in all kinds of circumstances. God is there "in our story," through good and bad times and this is our reason to be thankful. I guess the idea of immature gratitude was also something I caught in myself as I felt the disappointment of my grandparents' and Steve's absence at the dinner table this year. Still, I am inspired to live in mature gratitude and the kind of thankfulness that is rooted in God, not in circumstances.

It's my first blog!

And the funny thing is that I've been here for over a year (even had my own page), reading about friends and enjoying their life stories. I'm not sure why it has taken me so long to "post" on my own. I love the idea of keeping track of memories and thoughts this way. Last year, I'd often drive home from work with a funny student story running through my head and think, "I should post this on my blog tonight." After moving back to Seattle and feeling so welcomed by my family and friends, I formulated many posts in my mind before bed. Why didn't I write these ideas down? Is there such thing as a fear of blogging?

Probably not. But I do think that life can sometimes get so busy and schedules so crowded that there doesn't seem to be time for documenting it all. Yet, many wise people have said that reflecting on our lives is the key to success and happiness--and I agree! William Wordsworth, a Romantic poet I studied in college, called poetry "emotion recollected in tranquility." For some reason, this illustrates for me the value of not just poetry, but of writing. Our lives are full of emotion that we need to capture somehow. So, I'm going to try to notice more, reflect more and write more...and hopefully overcome my fear. :)