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Giving thanks for the cards we are dealt

I truly hope your Thanksgiving was a wonderful epicurean and familial experience. There are few times when our entire clan gathers together and converses about life liberty and the pursuit of....like we do on this last weekend in November. My brother Mitch had this crazy idea to have of all things a Gin Rummy card game tournament. We all groaned especially after he posted the tournament board where all 16 family members had to play EVERYONE. In other words 16 matches and then a playoff! But my brother had a method to his madness. By playing everyone you have to visit with everyone, you have to track down everyone. Every uncle, every grandchild, every sibling, every outlaw (I meant in-law:) has to sit toe to toe and engage. Sort of a speed dating for the whole family. It was brilliant and a lot of fun. Yes, some of the youngsters did get bored, but they stuck with it. And believe it or not, they enjoyed this old school game and the family competition. Funny how even in our extended families, regardless how close we are to one another, we lose touch with someone. Not on purpose but just in the haste of life. Beneath the sound of shuffling of cards and the whoops, moans and occasional trash talking of the winners and losers, the emotional sinew between and amongst our family members grew stronger. The greatest thing about our tournament was my 83+ year old Dad won! 

 My daughter Malia and I flank the 2008 gin championMy daughter Malia and I flank the 2008 gin champion

No compromises, no sympathy wins--he just out played and out-foxed us all. I played my daughter Malia in the semis for the honor to play Dad in the finals. We are a competitive lot and yet as hard as I tried my old man won. He taught me gin more than 40 years ago and it was a poetic and fitting conclusion to a magical holiday weekend. 

Funny how a card game can bring the family together, isn't it? What can we do to bring our families together next time.................?

Leave you with more eloquence from our soon to be inaugurated leader

President-elect Barack Obama's thanksgiving radio address

Thanks for reading. John

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