Friday, November 28, 2008

a good time was had by all

It was great to see my buddy Mike and his family yesterday; the two girls are rapidly becoming young ladies, and the youngest child, their son, won't be a munchkin for much longer.

I came to Mike's house early, chopped some wood, then showered and changed clothes in time to help greet guests. All in all, we were thirteen-- the luckiest thirteen around. Mike's parents were there along with my old high school French teacher and her husband; Mike's sister also arrived with her husband and their lovely two-year-old daughter in tow. Great food, interesting conversation, and the sense that this was a place where a man could truly relax. What more could you want on Thanksgiving?

As I think over recent events, I have to say it's been one of the most interesting years of my life, not least because my walk has afforded me the chance to meet some fascinating folks. Here's a shout-out, then, to

Rev. Nan Geer and Tom Dorsey in Blaine, WA;

Rev. Jay Rozendaal in Blaine;

Mr. Satpal Sidhu (and Charnjit) in Lynden, WA;

Nomon Tim Burnett in Bellingham, WA;

The Wood family in Arlington, WA;

Joshua and Heather in Monroe, WA;

Miles Erickson in Everett, WA;

Rico Simpkins in Kent, WA;

Genjo Marinello in Seattle, WA;

Paul and Ginger in Seattle;

The entire Benedictine community of St. Martin's University of Lacey, WA;

Alix-Gay and her husband Ralph in Longview, WA;

Dave and Ardeth in Centralia, WA;

Pastor John and the entire Metanoia Peace House community in Portland, OR;

Bernice Harbaugh of Cascade Locks;

Sue Ryan of the Hood River News;

the Horn family of Underwood, WA, across from Hood River, OR;

Dr. Jay Ellis Ransom of The Dalles, OR;

Amanda and Kyle of Umatilla, OR;

Chuck and Lori of Irrigon, OR;

Adam Kirtley of Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA;

Adam the hotel manager in Walla Walla;

Mechelle in Walla Walla;

Pastor Bigger in Walla Walla;

Bob and Rob (and Rob's wife Jeanie) in Walla Walla;

the tiny Korean community in Walla Walla;

the three police officers I, uh, encountered during my trek;

...and all the people whose names and locations I'm unable to recall as I'm writing this.

You know, if I were to die right at this moment, I could honestly say I'd die happy. I have a great family, great friends, and a growing reassurance that this country, which I'm getting to know step by step, is gonna be all right if the good people I've met are any indication.

A special note of thanks to the rest of my circle of friends, e-friends, and commenters, as well as to stalwart Alan Cook, who has done so much to make this walk happen.

So where's my Oscar, dammit? I just thanked everyone in the northern hemisphere!


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