Happy T-day to Everyone!

macy's day parade turkey balloon
Illustration by Anna J. Boll

I had a great visit to the Big Apple this past weekend. It was a long needed break from the pressures and responsibilities I’ve given myself this fall: two part time jobs, full time school, and overtime parenting. (By the way, this is why I haven’t been blogging.)

I hung out with friends in Union Square, walked Central Park on a beautiful fall day, and attended the Jewish Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference. (Thank you Jewish Book Council and Barbara Krasner for keeping this one-day conference alive. See Barbara’s take on the conference at her blog.)

I got woken up at 2 in the morning by the garbage workers and found a corner grocery open at 3am to find Ibuprofen and a tall carton of OJ. (Nowhere but NYC). I read Jandy Nelson’s, The Sky is Everywhere and marveled at how naturally the poems and prose worked together. I wrote down favorite lines, swelled with Jandy’s portrayal of the sadness of death and glowed in the loveliness of life. Then for a stark contrast, I entered Suzanne Collin’s stark dystopia of the Hunger Games.

By Sunday night, I was ready to head home from my mini-vacation. I hailed a cab driven by a Nigerian man who came to the US on a philanthropist’s scholarship. He got a degree in Computer Information Systems, works for the State of NY and also drives a cab on the weekends to fund a scholarship that he founded. His $10,000 dollars has brought seven students to the US to learn and prosper. Amazing!

So today I am thankful: thankful for my family, healthy and wise, thankful for my safety and freedom, my love of learning and life. I send my wishes of peace and homecoming for those service men and women who are away from their families- and to their families, whose missing and longing I know so well.


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