24 November 2018

Thanksgiving Traditions

My favorite Thanksgivings were always the ones we spent at the cabin. Sometimes we were there and sometimes we were at my parents' house in town, but one event was (is) always constant: taking down a tree or several, and splitting a ton of firewood for the coming colder months. Those were our Thanksgiving must-haves, just like turkey and football are for the rest of America.

These back-breaking holiday chores came with several benefits: (1) They helped us work up an appetite for dinner, (2) if I was helping with the wood outside, it meant I wasn't helping with the food prep inside, and (3) once we sat down to dinner, our list of things we could thank God for included the fact that we were all safe and out of harms' way (falling trees) and a little closer to having the heat we needed for the winter ahead.

It wasn't a bad way to stay in shape, either.

Now that I make my abode in warmer climes, I miss those days of Thanksgiving tree work, of bracing cold air and food cooked by someone other than me. My dad and my brother did the wood cutting without me this year, and I'm sure I felt my own absence more keenly than they did (I'm a bit shorter on brute strength than they are, but I do what I can).

It couldn't be helped. I was moving into my new house in a new state this week, so that event kind of made my plans for me. My Thanksgiving day was spent sorting through piles of boxes and junk and answering texts from friends and relations who dropped me a line to ask if I was finished moving in yet, if I was cooking my turkey yet, if I was traveling for the holiday... After the umpteenth inquiry along these lines, I admit I kind of wanted to slap the well-meaning inquirer with something. Except that all of my "somethings" were still packed up carefully in their boxes.

I was a little bummed about missing out on turkey and cranberry sauce, but then Wesley said, "Hey, let's hit up that Indian buffet we drove past the other day!" -- and just like that, I wasn't thinking about turkey anymore. After several rounds of tandoori chicken, tikka masala, curried lamb and chai tea, I wasn't even thinking about the giant pile of mess waiting for me at home anymore. It was absolutely wonderful. In fact, I actually felt a little sorry for all the poor people who only got to have turkey and cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving day -- how boring!

I think I may have found my new Thanksgiving tradition.

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