Family gatherings, especially around the holidays, can be packed with traditions. Some old, some newer, but it’s the traditions forgotten – then revived, that can be the most special. This past Christmas there was a dented silver cup on the table with slips of paper folded inside. It went overlooked among all the other offerings on our festive table until midway through the meal …
I’ve learned there are a whopping 8.7 million different spices in the world. The spice trade is both huge and ancient. It’s been around for over 5,000 years. Spice trading was a global industry even before we discovered the world was a globe, instead of being as flat as my kitchen table. Clearly there has always been a demand for more than my basic ten choices.
It was the 226th anniversary year of The Battle of McIntyre’s Farm, also known as the Battle of the Bees. Located seven miles out of Charlotte, this historic 1780 battle ended with 14 American Patriots routing 600 of British commander Lord Charles Cornwallis’ finest. I need to remember the powerful family stories. I need to remember how my relatives did #resist, fought with the colonists, built the underground railroad, worked in the mines, and were the Hornets running off Cornwallis.
Grandpa had many adventures in his long life, but on that Saturday in 1953 he wasn’t sharing stories about any of that. Instead, we just exchanged a few simple words before he took my untested young grip with his weathered hand.
I met Mark Ethridge in the Grier Heights Community Center. We were part of a multi-racial book club discussing Rev. William Barber’s book, The Third Reconstruction. I was curious to learn how he gained his interracial knowledge at such a young age. He then told me about The Urbanites and the work they are doing at Charlotte’s Urban Ministry Center.
In 2017, I will focus on the two big magic words, THANK YOU. I’ll say “Thank You” for the people and memories in my life – some old, some new – for filling me up each day. I’ll say thanks for all the gifts that come my way. I’ll say thanks with my words, with my smiles, and with my acts of kindnesses.