Thanksgiving

My dad decided that going to visit his friends in Corvallis, Oregon for Thanksgiving would be a fun adventure.
We were to meet at his place in Oakland, California and then drive up that Thursday morning. He figured that traffic would be light and it would be a lovely ride.
My dad got ideas in his head like this and wouldn’t be dissuaded and it sounded like fun, so I went along with it.

I’m not sure why we didn’t prepare more.
With an 8.5 hour drive one way, it would have made sense to bring snacks.
Instead, we threw a couple of overnight bags together, tossed them in the car, and got on our way.

We started early, so that we would arrive before the 3pm Thanksgiving dinner.
Driving up the coast would have been a beautiful drive, but it also would have taken almost twice as long. Instead, we shot straight up I-5 through Redding, California and Ashland, Oregon. Somewhere around 10am we started to get hungry. After stopping at a couple of closed fast food restaurants, the hunger pangs really started in on our bellies.

Now, my dad suffered from the particular type of low-blood sugar that made him cranky. Very cranky. After an unsuccessful hour of searching for an open eatery, he was getting downright unpleasant.

The closures were confounding us. We felt like some terrible luck had befallen us.
And then, as if lightning had struck the car, at the same time we yelled out, “Because it’s Thanksgiving!” Our eyes connected and we burst out laughing.
Dad almost had to pull over the car he was laughing so hard.

Soon after this realization, we managed to find a gas station that had some candy bars and snacks, so we loaded up on those and headed on to Corvallis to a wonderful Thanksgiving feast and traditional football with some of my dad’s oldest and dearest friends.

I usually spent Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family.
This was one of the few Turkey Days that I remember spending with my dad.
It was wonderful.

Happy Thanksgiving, Pop.
I miss you.

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quiet

This morning was our first real frost of the season.
As part of my getting ready ritual I ran to my car, turned the defrost on high, then went back into my little house to finish my warm tea. The outdoor cold brings a crisp quiet to the neighborhood, but it’s usually quiet at 6:30am anyway.

Where I work is not in town – it is out off a small highway surrounded by fields and hills. I arrive at work before anyone else. When I park my car and step out, there is usually a moment I pause and look around at the sunrise.This morning the sun was hitting the frosty grasses and trees and making them glisten. The sky was quiet with no birds chattering. I felt isolated and at peace with my surroundings.

These silent wintry mornings are times where I can imagine a post-apocalyptic world with a minimal population and survival of the fittest.
It sparks my imagination and stories run through my head.

I’ve always been an imaginer.
I suppose growing up an only child who moved often would create that as a survival skill.

When I was in my teens, a good friend of mine and I would often go to a field near our small country town and pretend that we were the last people on Earth. Some days we were a team searching for others, other days we were strangers to each other and had to figure out if the other was friendly or not, and then if we wanted to join forces or battle to the death.

Those days were usually warm spring or fall days, where being outside for long periods of time was an enjoyable adventure.
But these wintry mornings spent in solitude often remind of those care-free days running in the fields.

thanks

There is a meme going around where people post (on Facebook and the like) “28 Days of Thanks” and write each day about something for which they are thankful.
At first, I thought it was a little annoying because some folks were writing things like “I’m thankful for being a nice person”, but then some friends wrote things like “I’m thankful for my family” and I got to thinking about it and realized that this is a practice that is not foreign to me.

Almost a year ago, I first moved to the small town in which I now reside, I put a bowl in my windowsill, a little pad of paper and a pen next to it. Each day I would write something on one of the pieces of paper about something that pleased me that day. I was determined, that even if I had a bad day, that there was something in which I could find a bit of pleasure or happiness. It was a great exercise that I unfortunately stopped doing some months ago out of nothing more exciting than forgetfulness.

The idea for “28 Days of Thanks” is to write one thing you are thankful for each day.
Today, I had two things that were rumbling around my head:

I have been working a lot lately and it’s been making me a bit grumpy at times. But the fact is, I am supremely thankful to have employment. Being out of work, or underemployed, is ridiculously stressful, and I am thankful for not having that stressor right now.

My friends are wonderful. I am so lucky to have such amazing people in my life. They have helped me move multiple times all my boxes, tools, and concrete gargoyle Zim, they have taken care of my critters when I’ve been out-of-town, they have answered my anxious calls at 1:30am. They have kept me fed, curled up with me, and kept me company on twisty rides.

Those are my two for today.
I hope you have some too.

Thank you for reading my ramblings.

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