A Thanksgiving Family Update

Today is Thanksgiving for us Canadians—we like to get the holiday out of the way a little bit earlier than our neighbors to the south. And since it’s a holiday I thought I’d take it easy and provide nothing more substantial than a bit of an update on life and family.

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First, though, a word about Canadian Thanksgiving. Where America has a whole narrative behind their day, I’m not aware of any behind ours—it’s just a time to gather with family and eat a big meal together. (At least, it is under normal circumstances. Various governmental leaders here practically begged Canadians to celebrate with only their own household this year rather than invite a crowd and risk an associated uptick in infections a week or two later.) Most people have their meal on Sunday and then work on digesting it on Monday, which is the official holiday. The traditional meal is pretty much the same as in America—turkey, potato, fall vegetables, pumpkin pie, and so on. The weekend is unmarred by the flurry of consumerism that marks the American equivalent. We’re no better, though, because we’ve adopted Black Friday and Cyber Monday and “celebrate” these alongside America in November.

As for the family, my two oldest kids are still down in Louisville, of course, and we are feeling their absence today as much as we ever have. While we’re thankful that they are doing well and learning lots at Boyce College and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, it’s during the holidays and at the occasions that we miss them the most. That said, we are just four weeks away from the end of the semester and their return to Canada. It can’t come soon enough as far as I’m concerned. The quarantine rules remain in place here, so we anticipate having to isolate the entire family as soon as the kids get back home. That means two weeks with none of us leaving the house! So I guess we will at least be able to make up for lost time.

My youngest daughter is just past the halfway mark of her first “quadmester” of high school. Instead of offering four courses at a time for each of two semesters, schools around here are offering two courses at a time for each of four quadmesters. Half of each day is in school (masked and distanced) and half is at home. It’s a clunky system and one nobody is crazy about, but it’s what they’ve got on offer for these COVIDy times. It seems likely that this will be the pattern through the whole school year. It doesn’t make for the easiest introduction to high school, but she seems to be handling it well enough.

A few days ago I finished a book that will be released in the latter half of 2021. It combines a collection of new SquareQuotes with daily devotionals. I think it’s a resource people will enjoy and, even better, find helpful. And the day after I finished that book project I began a new one that I will tell you about once it’s further underway. I still have no travel plans and no sense of when I’m likely to be able to hit the road again. Frankly, I’m enjoying the writer’s life so much that I’m not sure when I’ll want to hit the road again. That said, I am looking forward to the huge Worship Round the World project that Tim Keesee and I plan to do once travel is once again possible and once churches have returned to normalcy. We’re counting on beginning that no earlier than the middle of 2021.

Anyway, to my fellow Canadians: Happy Thanksgiving! Despite the weirdness of this year and its many tragedies large and small, I’m sure we all have much to be thankful for. And to the rest of you: Happy Monday! As it happens, Monday is just about my favorite day of the week…