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Nothing Comes From Nothing


Remember once upon a time, before there was cable TV and VCR’s or Hulu and Netflix, and you had to wait untill Thanksgiving to watch the Wizard of Oz? Then the Christmas specials would begin, and our family would close out the season watching Sound of Music on Christmas night.

I know it was Thanksgiving yesterday, but I was actually thinking about the Sound of Music, and it’s not just because of the foot of snow on the ground urging us to begin the Christmas season prematurely.

It’s because I spent most of yesterday morning watching fourteen year old Thing1 –  with only minimal prodding – trudge outside to shovel the driveway so his grandparents could get to the door safely before shoveling a path to my now-collapsed greenhouse so that I could get in and assess damage. With his dad and eight year old Thing2, he helped to move the snow off the greenhouse.  After some cleanup, our two good things hopped in the car with us and chattered cheerfully as we drove down to one of the big box stores to deliver some Thanksgiving cheer to people who were working this holiday..

Most people that know me know that I’m pretty agnostic. I’m actually the wisest person on the planet because I can freely admit that I know nothing (I think that’s what some old Greek dude said anyway). I’m happy asking lots of questions, but I know absolutely nothing.

Well maybe I know one thing.

I know that line from the song in the Sound of Music with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer singing to each other in a gazebo drenched in purple light. You know, it’s the one where she sings “nothing comes from nothing.”

I thought about that all the time yesterday because not too long ago I was leading a very checkered and extended childhood.  The things I did may make great fodder for a writing life, but I don’t look back on my early adulthood with pride.

I do look at my boys with pride and also once-unimaginable joy.

And on Thanksgiving I think about wine and how grateful I am and how if there is a God, that being is unbelievably forgiving.  Or forgetful. How else can you explain these two people who have taught me to feel thankful beyond words this day and everyday of the year?