Thanksgiving is always one of my favorite celebrations. I am not sure if it’s the cooking and food, the gathering of good friends or just a day to be thankful for all the wonderful things in our lives. For ten years now Thanksgiving has become a gathering of family and community. In 1999, I opened my home to the local poly community for a Thanksgiving celebration that has become a tradition here.
Though I grew up in Colorado most of my family is now far away and traveling to see them is expensive for a family of five. When I was close to my family, Thanksgiving varied between nice family time and serious clashes with my brother who often needs to be the center of everything. There was no way we could celebrate with our family and our poly partners and friends. We had started to feel like Thanksgiving orphans. We figured other people in our community might have similar issues and thought a Thanksgiving gathering would be nice, thus started out poly thanksgiving tradition.
Now Thanksgiving is something that I and my kids look forward to every year. We will have anywhere from 30 to 80 people join us with their kids, lovers and even the parents at times. We eat, play games, watch movies and hang out usually until midnight or later. Some people come every year and each year we have new people. It has become great fun and a wonderful way to share gratitude.
It was just such a gathering five years ago that I first announced taking over Loving More. The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving the business transfer was complete including email. I was doing my usual prep for the feast when I noticed my email box filling up rapidly. When the transfer was made all the spam filters dropped and I was getting over four hundred junk emails an hour. I am not a computer tech person and I had no idea what to do. I was overwhelmed, taking over Loving More was challenging enough and this just added unneeded anxiety. Luckily Tom Vilot came to my rescue and helped.
Last night, while preparing for the annual Thanksgiving celebration, I realized that this is my five year anniversary as Director of Loving More. It has been a journey that I treasure. Despite the challenges, the long hours, the setbacks, the financial issues and all the ups and downs I would not change a thing Ok, I might change the money issues if I could but overall I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve an amazing group of people, the polyamory community and movement.
Since it is Thanksgiving I wanted to take a moment to share my gratitude with you.
I want to thank first and foremost my family; my ex husband and father of my kids for helping me start and being our best copy editor to date, my mom Jimi who has helped me with Loving More in many ways including being our official accountant, my sister Gini who for my first year with Loving More was my right hand and still helps with conferences as a volunteer, my kids Michael and Marina who have given up so much of their time with me and been so completely supportive of my work, my oldest son David whose contributions in the past year with the website and the leadership summit have brought us to new level with technology and Jesus my partner and my love who is as dedicated as I am and puts in donations and many volunteer hours on top of his full time job. My entire family has volunteered for Loving More and the community whether helping at a conference, stuffing envelopes, doing data entry or building a website. All together the hours put in are immeasurable and all without any financial reward. Their help is part of what keeps me going.
My gratitude goes out as well to all the volunteers who have given time, sometimes just a few hours, to help get things done, to the people who call and write to let us know they appreciate what we do and help inspire us to keep pushing forward and the entire community for their continuing support. Specifically I want to thank Misty, Vince, Elise, Gerri, Jim, Jem, Lin, Claudia, Fred, Tom and many more from my local community that were so supportive when I took over, without them I never would have gotten Loving More back on her feet.
All of us in this community should extend special thanks to Alan of Poly in the media, Joe Melhado of Tri-State Poly in New York, Jesus Garcia, Loraine and Wally, Buck, Donna, Mark Van Pelt and Ken Haslam, this handful of people in the community have since 2006 contributed ninety nine percent of the donations and money that have kept us going. Without their considerable financial support, our doors would have been forced to close.
Last but not at least, I want to express my gratitude to Ryam and Brett for founding Loving More and to Ryam and Mary for entrusting me with the care of an amazing organization that has meant so much to so many.
I am grateful for this continuing journey, for all the wonderful people I have met, the lives we touch, the difference we make together and the honor of helping to move freedom and choice in relationships forward into the future.
Happy Thanksgiving, I hope you, your lovers and your families have an amazing day.