Riding bikes in the Thanksgiving parade downtown

Joseph and Josh take a selfie on Market Street with the Arch in the background, just before the BWorks group began riding in the parade.

About a year and a half year ago, Joseph earned a new bike through the BWorks program in St. Louis. Since then, he and I have enjoyed a number of biking adventures through BWorks’ alumni rides, including riding the Riverfront Trail, and then canoeing back downtown.

But this November, BWorks sent us a very unexpected last-minute invitation: Did we want to ride our bikes in the Thanksgiving parade downtown?

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Thanksgiving in Rolla

Ludi and London
Ludi and London

This year it worked out that I didn’t have to work on Thanksgiving. So we headed to down for a two-day celebration at my brother Justin’s. My youngest brother Jon still had to work Thanksgiving, but he and his wife Brittney were able to join us Thursday evening.

It was fun to have everyone together. The kids had lots of fun playing, we busted out the Jaguar for an NBA Jam tournament, we ate a lovely meal, we watched the Cowboys pull off a win, and we all got home safely again.

I’m thankful for such a nice Thanksgiving.

I didn’t photograph exhaustively, but here’s a slideshow of a few fun moments:

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11 things we are thankful for in 2011

This year, the final day of our anniversary falls on the same day as Thanksgiving. There is much to be thankful for, so much of it obviously connected with the tornado that wrecked our house in April.

We are thankful:

  • To the creators of Wheel of Fortune, for a show the family enjoys watching, which ensured they saw the tornado warning on TV in plenty of time to go downstairs.
  • To our neighbors who checked helped Yoli and the kids get out of the basement through a window and let them stay in their house until I got there.
  • To my brother Justin for connecting us with a contractor who did above and beyond what we hoped might be possible in rebuilding our house.
  • To my dad who was there the morning after the tornado, and on many other days afterward, to offer help and advice as we figured out what to do.
  • To my mom for, among many other things, finding a notice about a house for rent and passing it on to us. We spent a good 6-7 months in that house.
  • To State Farm for ponying up quickly and often. (However I am not thankful for all the paperwork, but what can you do?)
  • To all our friends and family who helped after the tornado with gifts, with time, with advice, with words of comfort.
  • To the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for continuing to give me a job that I enjoy doing.
  • To my coworkers, who sent us a gift of help after the tornado, and who nominated us for an obscure Lee Foundation grant that our family was eligible for.
  • To God for our home, for supplying our needs, for love, for everything; but mostly for our lives. If Yoli or one of the kids had perished in the tornado, this year would have been inconceivably different.
  • To that darn tree: I loved you for your tallness, for the cool shade you provided. You have given us a year of work and waiting, a new house — and fewer leaves to rake.