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One of my kid's favorite lines at dinnertime is, "We have to ding!"

It started on a Friday when he was not yet two, and we had finally sat down to dinner at the end of a long week for all of us. Mrs. Peterr raised her glass, I raised mine, and in a quiet, exhausted, but happy voice she smiled at me and said "To the weekend." "To the weekend," I echoed, touching my glass lightly against hers. Then, from the high chair, a little voice chimed in loudly and proudly, punctuating each word with a swing of his sippy cup: "To. The. Weekend! Now ding with me!"

And so it is at our house, especially on Fridays: We have to ding.

The beverages vary widely, from glass to glass and from day to day – juice, wine, water, sparkling cider, beer, milk, scotch, etc. – and so do the toasts. Some days, we toast each other; other days we toast something great that has happened. Some days, the toasts bring happy thoughts, and on other days, they carry a note of sadness and loss. Some toasts are short, simply naming the person or thing for which we are grateful. Others are longer, and take on Dr. Seuss-like rhymes and rhythms.

The one thing they have in common, though, is a sense of shared gratitude. Mark Twain put it like this: "To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with." Science fiction writer Spider Robinson takes Twain one step further: "Shared joy is increased; shared pain is lessened."

It's Friday, it's the end of a rollercoaster of a week, it's five o'clock somewhere, and we've got to ding.


(rising to my feet, and raising a glass)

First, a short one:

To *ilbo, looseheadprop, and patient Firepups!

(ding!)

Why? Because I don't have any little merit badges to hand out for "trying to resist the urge to commwnt" and not bringing down the servers. It was tough, trying to remember "when did I refresh last?"

Speaking of remembering . . .

To comments kept short and links that aren't broken
To words best avoided, and sources, outspoken
To zigs best pruned down and to Preview my friend,
To helpful reminders, reposted again
.

(ding!)

Thanks, twolf1 and everyone else who edited and reposted my helpful FDL hints on the first couple of threads each day to welcome the newcomers and remind the oldtimers. I don't know how to measure it,  but I think it helped to keep things going a bit smoothly this week.

The traffic here at FDL has been unbelievable this week, including seasoned firepups, curious newcomers hungry for firsthand news and powerful analysis, and also trolls and other nasties. The moderators and tech crew have been keeping the toobz clear and running amazingly well, under incredible pressure, and we owe them all a whole lot of love.

So at the end of this most incredible week, fill a glass with your beverage of choice, and raise it high. For the folks who make this place what it is, we've got to give it up:

To Jane and to Christy, to Swopa and Pach,
To Scarecrow and Marcy, to TRex out back,
To Friday, to Firepups, to Mods without peer
We lift up our sodas, our wine, and our beer!

(ding!)

Who's next?

(photo from lifeinitaly.com