This guest post comes from a resident east coaster. I realize that most people reading this blog are from MN, but for the people who do not hail from this great state I need to clarify two things. One, for anyone who rags on Minnesota (I empathize, I’m from NJ) – It’s not true, Minnesnowta is pretty cool, and it snowed on Thanksgiving. Second, people from the Midwest really are that nice. I’m about to expand with some evidence to back that up.
I’ve spent the last few days at the Cloyd residence celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday; something I was also lucky enough to do in 2004 and 2005. I don’t want to deny the fact that every day here is stressful. Every morning brings a new obstacle and a new unforeseen challenge. That being said Terri still remains one of the most beautiful and intelligent women I’ve ever met (second only to my mom). Cokely is still one of the wittiest and smartest people I know- I learn something new (actually many things) every day that I spend with him. Elizabeth still keeps the energy level high, bouncing in and out of every room. (Thank you Art Glickstein for the coining the term bouncing for Elizabeth, it’s perfect)… and despite everything, Thomas still has his amazing sense of humor and talks about all the things he would normally… chest hair, puffy vests, mustaches, and other pleasantries that will remain unmentioned. In the past, whenever I described the Cloyds to friends, I said they were the most brilliant, quick-witted, loving family I’ve ever met. (I’m running out of hyperbolic superlatives) They even come with an adorable snow covered home on Maple Rd with a tree swing in the front yard. (Albeit now replaced with a U of M flag). I’m happy to report that none of that has changed.
On to the Midwest stereotype… it’s true. They really are as nice as people say and because we’re all celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, I’m going to give a shout out (maybe inappropriately) to all the things I’ve seen that the Cloyds are thankful for. Cliché, but true, we are all so lucky to be surrounded by the most loving friends and family.
It was great to see the Glicksteins again. When I said earlier that Cokely was the smartest man I had ever met, that was until I was reintroduced to Jed and Scott… and Sophie, Lilly and Sidney. Sorry Cokely, your reign is over. (The Glicksteins also win the award for best cheese spread.) Another great help for the Cloyds is the MealTrain program, organized by Sidney Glickstein. Friday night we had a traditional day-after-thanksgiving-leftover-dinner mixed with some amazing dishes provided by MealTrain. As a guest in the Cloyd house I can attest to the culinary delight of the MealTrain home chefs. There are so many things for Thomas, Terri, and Cokely to think about during the day. Not having to worry about what they’re having for dinner is something I know the Cloyds are thankful for. Through Elizabeth’s stories I have come to know the entire Cloyd and Bowman families. I was not disappointed when I met Uncle John and Aunt Sue- they lived up to the hype. Uncle John’s new infatuation with after dinner drinks is sure to lead to many more good family tales. Thomas is certainly enjoying his creative and thoughtful care packages- every letter and box received gives him a lift. The winner for the best care package goes to four girls whom I’ve never met. They made the most neon, collaged, stuffed care package I’ve witnessed. It even included socks… some that may have disappeared into Elizabeth’s suitcase- that’s how cool they are. Lastly, I just went through the box of leftovers from the McCoy’s event. Wow. The donations, friends, and pictures that were a result of the event are truly impressive. These are just some of the positive highlights from my visit. If I covered everything in this post, you all would stop reading (hopefully you haven’t already).
The outpouring of love I’ve witnessed in the past few days is overwhelming. At an incredibly challenging time for the Cloyds, every care package, meal, card and visit helps. Please keep the love coming.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays to everyone.
To contribute to the MealTrain program please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You can send Thomas a care package at:
4820 Maple Rd
PS- Please take a look at the latest post on the events page. For any NY friends of Thomas we have a fundraiser coming up on 12/12/12. Come get funky for a good friend and a good cause.