Thanksgiving 2015: Bootstrappers Potluck and Rainbow Shiny

A recap of the Bootstrappers Potluck Thanksgiving 2015, and an essay by Rich Mullings that we appreciate Thanksgiving like a rainbow, knowing it won’t last

Thanksgiving 2015: Bootstrappers Potluck

What started as an experiment for Thanksgiving 2014 is becoming a tradition. For the second year in a row we hosted a Bootstrapper Breakfast (actually from 2-7pm) potluck on Thanksgiving Day. We used the clubhouse at our complex to share food, get acquainted, swap stories, do puzzles, and distribute leftovers for the rest of the weekend. It was similar to a regular Bootstrapper Breakfast, we pushed a number of tables together to make a single large table, but unlike a breakfast there are many conversations and perhaps only a third were related to entrepreneurs even though it was a gathering of entrepreneurs.

Rich Mullings: Have a Rainbow Shiny Thanksgiving 2015

Rainbow Shiny: It was the day before Thanksgiving; crisp and clear. I was giving the Mullmobile it’s quarterly treat: A professional car wash. At Andy’s Car Wash in Alexandria, you drop your car off, then go inside to pay. A woman and a little girl – about three-and-a-half – were paying ahead of me. It was a cold day, so the little girl was bundled up in the way little girls are on a cold late-Autumn day. I asked the woman what little girl’s name was.

“Destiny,” she said, beaming. “She’s my baby.”

In the way of precocious little girls, Destiny asked me where my car was. I told her it was right behind her mom’s. Destiny looked up and me and asked me if my car was going to be a shiny as her mommy’s. I said I hoped so and, in that patronizing way that grownups talk to little girls and boys, I asked her how shiny her mommy’s car was going to be.

She thought about this, staring off toward the seafood store across the street with that look of deep concentration little girls assume while contemplating great concepts. Then she looked back up at me and said, “Rainbow Shiny.”

The magnificence of that phrase took my breath away. The problem with looking at the world through a senior citizen’s eyes is we can no longer see things as being “Rainbow Shiny.” Even on those rare occasions where we see things as beautiful as a rainbow, we know from long – and often harsh – experience that rainbows are, like riches and glory, fleeting.

But for children of Destiny’s age, everything is decorated with the brilliant hues and gentle shadings contained within the infinite colors of her world’s rainbows. Her entire future is adorned in vivid thoughts and sparkly dreams.

On Thanksgiving, we should try–just for a few minutes–to look at our world though Destiny’s eyes: Look at our world as being “Rainbow Shiny.”

Even though we know it won’t last, we should enjoy Thanksgiving for this one day while we look around the table eating the wonderfully familiar meal, repeating the well-told stories, to the same precious people, remembering fondly, if sadly, any who are missing from this year’s gathering of friends and family.

Rich Mullings in “Rainbow Shiny” (first published in 2002).

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