The Flats and Other Thankful Thoughts


Last night, Matthew McConaughey and I walked leisurely through Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. As we made our way through throngs of hurried travelers, I noted that we were both wearing our signature airport attire. Matthew, in his slightly wrinkled ivory shirt, cobalt blue jeans, a tailored tweed sports jacket casually hanging over his left shoulder like a willing companion, was the picture of relaxed Southern charm. I kept pace as we climbed slow moving escalators and dodged texting teens, wearing my seven year old Costco jogging pants, purple woollies and hot pink hoodie that screamed “Branch Chick” unabashedly.  Matthew didn’t care that we were mismatched. All he wanted to do was talk about Branch. So much so that he later tweeted “I want to live here” alongside a picture of the Flats.  

But of course this was all a dream, a nocturnal adventure featuring one of Hollywood’s greatest actors and directors and gentlemen. And he wanted to talk about Branch.  That didn’t surprise me. Not one bit.  If this odd, inspired little

dream had featured Betty White or Beyoncé or Lynn Burry passionately describing their infatuation with the Gulch or the Tilts or Cuslett Brook, no surprise there either.  Any of these places are as breathtaking as the worlds greatest wonders. 

So, on this Thanksgiving Day when we are all hopefully giving thanks for our numerous blessings, big and small, from the delicious Jigg’s Dinner shared in circles of love this weekend to the fine Fall weather to the God given health and happiness of our family and friends, let’s take a quiet moment to be thankful for the gift of place, your place in the world wherever that might be.

As I write this, the Branch fire truck is whirring around the Gut, it’s siren blasting noisily and continuously. This siren is not a warning that a state of emergency has been declared after a hurricane has made landfall.  There isn’t any indication that a bomb has been dropped.  A ruthless dictator hasn’t invaded to move us all to a refugee camp far away from our homes. Instead, the volunteer fire department has children aboard the fire truck, showing them the bells and whistles in recognition of fire prevention week. For that, I am thankful.

So Mr. McConaughey, you are more than welcome to come and visit Branch.  We’ll show you the Flats....and the Gut and the lower and top roads and the Knap and the list goes on.   Be sure to bring your family and a change of clothes.  You won’t want to leave.  


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