Here’s a quick Thanksgiving post. When I was 7 or 8 years old, the one toy I wanted more than any other was the LEGO Galaxy Explorer. I could go on and on about it, but suffice it to say I hounded my parents for months and months and I simply tortured my poor sister with my pleading and begging. This was all way back, when Christmas was still a mystery, and gifts were few and far between, and winter meant staying home with the people I thought I’d always be with, my family.

Santa in the form of a loving Mom and Dad sought fit to place the Explorer under the tree that year, and I played with it for years. I still remember laying all the pieces on our blue shag carpet Christmas morning, putting it together for the first time with my Dad and Uncle Rich. I put it together and dismantled it and augmented it and blew it up and reconstructed it dozens, or probably hundreds, of times after that. I couldn’t count how many times the Galaxy Explorer crew and I saved the Universe.

As I grew older I lost or gave away or broke most of my toys, and I got involved in things that seemed cooler and more mature. But I knew enough to save the Galaxy Explorer — and my mother, bless her heart, never got rid of it. When my parents died I was touched and excited and oddly heartbroken to find the box lovingly stored away. 

This morning I pulled out the box and put it together with my two oldest sons. I’m not sure that this makes any sense to anyone except me — but the whole thing encapsulates everything I’m thankful for this year.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.