Not sprawling, but curated. It’s all in the language, right? I mean, if anyone can, we word nerds can make this Thanksgiving sound pretty good.

Thanksgiving 2020 might look different, but there’s still a lot to be thankful for. Yes, really.

You, for one. You, especially, all 1,553 of my followers (from 98 different countries). I mean, were you lost? But, really, thank you for joining me, as I read and write the Rust Belt and far (far) beyond. Your comments—and friendships—are so valuable to me, especially this weird year.

While not surprising, I was struck by the fact that one of my non-writerly posts was among my most viewed, this year. The Dead Mom Club…and other lessons in grief was my way to reach across the blogosphere with a memory and a listening ear. Words can’t heal, not really, but they can offer solace and togetherness, even if virtual. I mean, we bloggers know that well. We bloggers were made for these pandemic days. But, really, I think we’ve had enough now. Right?

2020, while an underachiever by any standards, was a big year for new reads, and marked my introduction to Italy’s Elena Ferrante (and many other American readers’ introduction, I’m guessing). Which led me to Domenico Starnone. Which led me to more great literature in translation, that of Finland’s late, great Tove Jansson.

Thanks to the WordPress editors for bringing back Discover Prompts for the month of April. The one-word prompts, like “open” and “song,” were the inspiration I needed to ruminate on the fear, isolation, and (tender, if forced) togetherness of those early pandemic days.

Author and professor Sonja Livingston, who writes about her Rochester, NY, home and searching faith, was kind enough to join me, in May, for an interview, in two parts, where we discussed her latest book, The Virgin of Prince Street: Expeditions into Devotion. Any of her books, really, are a balm–and I highly recommend them.

In June, I reviewed Rust Belt-set The Distance from Four Points by Margo Orlando Littell, a book that answers the age-old question: can you really go home again? Reader, you can, but home might surprise you.

Wherever you find yourself at home this Thanksgiving (or this November 26th for the rest of you wonderful people), here’s wishing you a good word or two, a happy song, a note of thanks, and peace.

Got some time? Interested in more author interviews, book reviews, essays, and more? Check out my categories, above. Also find me at FB and on Twitter and IG @MoonRuark

28 thoughts on “Not small, but intimate…

  1. Enjoy your bird and hope you don’t have too many weird sides as I did the one time I experienced a proper US Thanksgiving. Your word, from me, is scrumptious and May that apply not just to your food.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had a scrumptious time! Thanks, Geoff. Just our little crew here, so I didn’t whip up too many sides–weird or not. Turkey (cooked breast down, always!), smashed potatoes, green beans (but not the casserole because my guys won’t eat it–bummer), cranberry sauce, and rolls I don’t make. And apple pie–in case you wondered. I’m the only one who loves pumpkin–and I would be eating it for breakfast right now, if I’d made it. Enjoy your weekend!


  2. Happy belated Thanksgiving! Your blogging friendship is top on my list of things to be thankful for, that’s for sure! Also your inspiring posts – you always get me thinking. And wishing I read more books like you do. Now that I found a tool for getting books from the library onto my Kindle, I’ll be seeing if I can get any of your recommended books to read. I hope you and yours have a wonderful and blessed Christmas. I hope your wishes come true too!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Rebecca – I’m with you in the top wishes for the year and hoping 2021 will be better. I hope your holiday season is blessed with joy!
        Aw, I’m touched that you remember my decorations. I may need to enhance my lackadaisical approach I’ve taken this year. Mr. tells me I did a good job, I think I can remember doing better years before! LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I love your Advent and manger traditions and a fresh wreath for the door. I’m done with everything, now I can just sit and wait for the time to take it all down? 😉 So far the cats haven’t made too much of a mess and the tree is still standing. So I must’ve done something right!

        Liked by 1 person

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