Thanksgiving this year was...not the best.
Let me explain...
I've mentioned before that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays if not the favorite. I love everything about it. My family has a tradition of watching the balloons getting blown up the night before and than getting together early Thanksgiving Day to watch the parade on TV over pancakes and bacon, than hanging out, talking, playing with my nephew, cooking and eventually eating an awesome early dinner made by two of the greatest cooks in the world, my Mom and my sister. Oh! How could I forget my other favorite part of the day? After the parade I get to watch the National Dog Show!
My family is small. Very small. It always has been. Even when it was larger with my grandparents around, I really only had my Mom's grandparents. It was still small. As a result, it is a very tight family unit. We have our falling outs like any other family but various factors have shown us that, well, we are all we got. So we enjoy this holiday a lot and are truly thankful for each other.
Anyway, for one reason or another, this year things started off great but ended on a sour note to some extent. The dinner was kind of a wash out. My brother-in-law wasn't feeling well. We had just the tiniest of fires in the oven. Don't worry, everyone is OK.
I have been down a lot recently and this should have really put me over the edge but it didn't. I am still thankful we got together, thankful everyone is fine and thankful that we saved enough food for leftovers.
There is always next year...if you're not Mayan I suppose.
Yesterday, my ex-wife invited some ol' friends and myself over for a sort of 'Retread Thanksgiving' that also involved my running a game. I can't really put into words how cool this was. It was good food (Selina, my ex-wife, is a great cook and makes a kick ass cheese cake. My friend Luke's Turkey is pretty damn good too), good people and I got to run a one-shot of my D&D-But-Not game at it's full potential.
What do I mean by its 'full potential'? Well, Selina is one of the greatest players I have ever met and she knows and gets my style. I don't have to pull punches. I can make complex plots that intertwine politics, culture, folklore and mystery and have her not only understand what's happening but extrapolate into directions I totally didn't expect. I lay out Legos on the table and she builds a vehicle that drives across the floor when I don't remember including movable wheels.
Not sure that analogy made perfect sense but yeah...she is awesome at adding to and guiding the story as a player as much as the GM does.
Luke is a role player with a good sense of humor and a knack for creating odd roles. He was in top form yesterday as an atypical typical Scottish sounding Dwarf who was part drunkard, part berserker and secretly pretty swift on the uptake. Throughout the session he accidentally succeeded at what he was doing again and again.
Lily is the new comer, less experienced as a table top gamer than the rest but she enjoys herself and loves the story and listening to the other two. She is often surprising effective when the fighting starts.
In the end, I feel very lucky. I got to have two Thanksgivings and for each I am thankful, if for slightly different reasons.
I hope this holiday has been good to all of you and even if it hasn't, look at it closely and try to find something positive in it that you can take with you into December.
All the best,