Including my wedding, I’ve been over to the States four times now. Every time I’ve been over, I’ve tried to find some new place or aspect of the country to check out. So far, if we include airports (which is probably cheating) I’ve set foot in twelve out of fifty states.

This year we were heading out for Thanksgiving, and as exciting as that was, I was a little disappointed to only be visiting states I’d been in before. You know, Ohio is the excitement centre of the known universe and all, but I was keen to get around and explore something new.

As it turned out, the universe itself came up with a grand scheme to make that happen.

I’m not very good at Thanksgiving.

This is probably because I’m Australian and didn’t observe the holiday at all until I married an American three years ago and brought a whole second culture into my life. Since then, I’ve made a few attempts to bring the magic and tradition of Thanksgiving into our home.

Elves are wonderful. They provoke wonder
Elves are marvellous. They cause marvels
Elves are fantastic. The create fantasies
Elves are glamorous. They project glamour
Elves are enchanting. They weave enchantment
Elves are terrific. The beget terror.

The view from our front door depends on which way you look. We live in a block of units built half-way up a hill. Looking south west we have a nice view over the Indooroopilly valley down towards the river. Looking north there’s just the hillside unless you climb to the top, up to Swann Road. From there you can see over to the city. It’s a peaceful suburb, but not a quiet one. At most times of the day you can hear traffic from Moggill Road. There’s usually plenty of birdsong coming from the trees that line Clarence Road, but they’re drowned out by the traffic. About every fifteen minutes everything gets drowned out by a train. And for some reason there always seems to be a motorcycle around that needs its muffler fixed. Or possibly its rider.

Over the past few days, erudite and well-respected representatives of the homosexual community such as Hannah Gadsby and Senator Penny Wong have expressed concern that the holding of a national plebiscite on the question of same sex marriage in Australia will give a platform to people to express hatred. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has also, rather vacuously, announced that he intends to “hold Malcolm Turnbull personally responsible for every bit of hateful filth” that is produced by the debate.

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