Something New

About that Chuck E. Cheese photo…

Last week I began a series of Instagram posts depicting things that were gone or obsolete.  To each post I attached the words, 

“Behold, I am doing something new. Will you not be aware?”

My little project was misunderstood by some, leaving them wondering if I’m opening up a new restaurant in the old Chuck E. Cheese location.

The answer is no. But I can see how the photo was interpreted with that conclusion.

This morning, I think back to Thanksgiving day in 2016. It’s one I’d rather forget. The impending doom of closing a business was crushing me and I felt very little for which to be thankful.

Fast forward four years later, as I rise at 5am, refreshed from sleep, I turn on the oven to begin the long process of preparing food for a meal that will be consumed in a fraction of the time it takes to make it.  But the meal is less the glory than the activity along the way. My family will taste the smoky turkey, but I will recall even the smell of starting the hickory fire in my backyard pit yesterday. The sourdough tang wafting from the oven out through the rest of the house will dissipate before we sit down to eat that bread.  

These are broader elements of which I am aware; the further things I wish I could invite you into.

“Behold. I am doing something new.”

I couldn’t imagine taking refuge in this sentence four years ago. Today, it is my mantra. This is the beautiful role that Hope plays in my life.

The drawerful of cassette tapes.

The wired phone in the hotel room.

The once economically solid and socially significant mall.

These are all a symbol of loss, relegated to a fond and increasingly distant memory.

My restaurants

My late wife

My mom

They, too, are lost. I can’t get them back.

So I grieve the loss with gratitude. And I look forward, with the same grateful spirit.

“Behold. I am something new…”

Yes. I will be aware.

Happy Thanksgiving.