Monday, November 30, 2015

The Miracle of Compounding

Husband, by training and by natural bent, is a numbers guy. He married someone who is, by lack of training and general distaste for the subject, not a numbers gal. As a result he has tried to explain the miracle of compounding to me multiple times and I still don't understand its complexities, except to say that it's a miracle and I'm not supposed to understand it. 

But the group picture from Thanksgiving at the House on the Corner begins to make sense to me when I think of it in terms of compound interest.

We began hosting Thanksgiving for my side of the family at least a quarter of a century ago. At that point most of my siblings and my parents lived on one edge of Kansas and the House on the Corner was located on the other edge. That meant we were the ones who drove--to the holiday meals, the family camp-outs, the weekend get-togethers. And while it was always totally worth the effort, I suggested that for one day a year everyone else make the drive and I would make the turkey.

Thus was born the Best Day of the Year. Everyone would pack up the spouses and babies and I would make my famous cranberry sauce while they were on the road. It was wonderful.

Over the years the group grew both in size and in number. Want to know how many were at the original gathering?

With the exception of my mom (who we will miss forever and always) and a brother who called in from Australia, only those with stickers. My dad, siblings, three spouses (one of whom was taking this picture), and three grandchildren.

This year we had 33 people eating off plates. Ages ranged from six months to 90  years, a miracle of compounding.

I still can't explain it, but I'm beginning to see why economists are so enthusiastic about this principle: It's means there are kids old enough to do dishes, and more kids young enough to be sweet and cuddly and wildly appreciative of pie.

It's still the Best Day of the Year, and it's a miracle I'm not going to question.

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