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We Gather Together

November 26, 2020

November 26, 2020

By Collene Lynch

Hello friends!

We in the U.S. gather together today to thank God for our blessings. Our gatherings look different this year, as there are many empty places at our tables. Perhaps if we picture our loved ones sitting with us, eating, laughing, exchanging stories, praying and singing with us, they will seem a little closer. I imagine some of us might say we are saving their places for next year…and that brings a smile as I write this.

Growing up, our family seemed normal size, as we were one of a multitude in our neighborhood with large families…even though there were 10 siblings and 4 foster sisters, there was always room for others at our table. You can imagine how challenging it is for one of us to host the whole family when there are 65+…One year my brother decided to erect a tent, complete with heaters and rugs so we could all sit in the same ‘room’. It was wonderful! (And yes, we still brought guests!)

When I reflect on the last 8 months, I realize that the pandemic has changed us in unexpected ways. Although we have been discouraged, angry, resentful, afraid…we have also been resilient, hopeful, determined, gracious, thoughtful and very, very creative!

And when I have taken my eyes off the ground, looked up and kept my eyes open, I have seen amazing things! Some are so small, you have to look carefully to notice them…a smile behind a mask, an offer to help carry a bag, neighbors waving from their cars as they pass us walking. And there are some acts of kindness that can never be repaid.

Here is my litany of gratitude: For Mike, my one and only love; Erin and Dianne, our caring, loving, giving daughters; my larger, boisterous, hilarious family; Mom and Dad, examples of inclusiveness and welcome; our neighbors who walk with us, happy hour with us and who care for each other; our garden, which many of you have seen in the background of Mike’s videos; my many circles of friends, from church, to quilting, choir, and garden club; the gift of song; ice cream; my artsy-fartsy side; for music-sweet music; for goodness exhibited all around us and for ‘guardian angels’ who have come to our aide at the most crucial of times…yes, there is more, always more…and…

I’ve saved a gratitude for you, the ukulele community: In thanksgiving for your generous support, your lovely comments about Mike and what he has meant to you, for your graciousness if I flub up an order or the website isn’t working as well as it should. I appreciate you!

I like to flip through Mike’s arrangements and just play through them randomly (although some of you know that Finlandia is my go-to-all-time favorite). Last night I was looking for a video to share with you that would fit this day and came upon ‘We Gather Together’, from the Chord Melody Two book, so I will share that. It is a great one to start delving into chord melody because it keeps to the first 3 frets.

And so as we gather together today, aching for the smiles, hugs, jokes, stories and great food we normally share with our loved ones, I am remembering why we are separate. It is an act of love. And love wins in the end!

I wish you good health and much joy this holiday season!

Mahalo Nui Loa!


PS: I invite you to share with us one thing for which you are grateful! (If it’s a litany…all the better!)

PPS: I would have posted earlier, but the letter I wrote last night didn’t save…If you see it out their in LaLa Land…please tell it to come back!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Robyn Spadafore permalink
    December 1, 2020 2:54 p12

    Hello again Collene, I have 12 soprano, 1 concert and 1 banjolele, my Ukuladies. I’ve been collecting since the early 1960’s and all are special to me. They take it in daily turns to sing. .If I had a favorite, it would be my KoAloha sop I bought in Hawaii. I have stopped collecting so have recovered form UAS 🙂 🙂 🙂 Peace and Wellbeing, Robyn (Australia)

  2. Robyn Spadafore permalink
    November 30, 2020 2:54 p11

    Thanksgiving Blessings to all. I too play Finlandia first, every time I pick up one of my ukes…it sets the mood and gets my singers moving. Mike’s music and arrangements means very much to many people, and always will. Thanks again Collene for your meaningful email, and sharing you heart with all of us..special lady.

    • November 30, 2020 2:54 p11

      Blessings right back to you Robyn!
      And…being the snoopy kind of uker I am….how many ukes Do you have? 🙂

  3. Paul permalink
    November 30, 2020 2:54 p11

    Collene, thanks for you warm Thanksgiving message. I am thankful that my wife and I have survived the pandemic with our health. Several friends, including many in our ukulele community were not so lucky. It’s good to be able to keep plucking and strumming.

  4. Dave Maxwell permalink
    November 27, 2020 2:54 p11

    Thank you, Collene! Three of our adult children live in Hawaii? Is that where you are from?

    Sent from my iPad


    • November 27, 2020 2:54 p11

      Aloha Dave!
      How fortunate for your children-and for you when you get to visit! Although we’ve been to Hawaii several times, our home is in Edmonds, Washington, just north of Seattle. (We were actually both born in the same hospital in Seattle.)

  5. Mike permalink
    November 27, 2020 2:54 p11

    I am grateful for the life, laughter and love of fellow user LESLEY FOWKES, who died recently.

    May she rest in peace.


    Sent from my iPhone


    • November 27, 2020 2:54 p11

      Hi Mike,
      My condolences on losing your friend. I can see she was important in your life.

  6. November 27, 2020 2:54 p11

    Thank you for the lovely post. Happy Thanksgiving and best wishes to you and your family Collene.

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