Here in Rocky Point Black Friday is actually black. The sun has yet to rise, and I have no plans whatsoever to tackle all that crazy shopping that is going on out there in the world today. I woke with the disquieting feeling that I was terribly behind for who knows what reason. Yesterday was a beautiful day, one of the smallest Thanksgiving dinners I have ever hosted, though not as small as many full-time folks who managed a great dinner for two from the compact kitchens of their rigs.
My children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are scattered across the country, and as the years go by it gets harder and harder to get everyone together for the holidays. For many years I managed huge dinners shared with extended family and friends. Times change, and the delights of a small, intimate dinner can be wonderful as well, as I discovered yesterday with my celebration for five.
I cooked ahead with the same fervor I would have if serving fifteen, but with much less food. The morning was beautiful with sunlight and light winds blowing the pines around, temperatures in the 40’s. Melody and her family thought we would be sledding as usual on Thanksgiving Day, instead there were only a very few residual piles of snow at the base of steep roofs and the lawn showing beautiful green grass. NOT a usual occurrence in November in Rocky Point.
Communication was different as well. Although the phone was busy for much of the day, with long distance visits from my kids and friends, I also read emails, read blog posts from full time travelers, saw photos of pies and turkeys from all over the country on Facebook and Google+. Our communication is different but some things never change. The smell of the turkey as it roasts, the delight of pies on the table, and the warmth of family hugs as the front door opens to the brisk fall air and coats and shoes are shed at the door.
We sat together holding hands before our meal, each saying what we are most thankful for, a long time tradition for us. Some roll their eyes at this, others embrace it fully. My 18 year old granddaughter said “Grandma, I practiced for this”, and then proceeded to voice her thanks in words that made me cry.
With no snow for sledding, we instead took “the family walk” between dinner and pie, also a long time tradition for our family. Just enough to convince us that we were indeed working off all those pie calories, and of course we knew better but it didn’t matter in the least. It was a lovely day and I am so grateful that in the midst of busy life and busy world, there is always family and shared traditions.
Back to that feeling of being terribly behind? I need to work today, finalize the last few weeks for the California survey before I move to the next few weeks working for Oregon again. I hope to take down all the fall decorations. The brilliant fall colors have brightened the house for the last two months, and I love them, but Christmas is coming. I need to get out the Christmas stuff. My quilt is waiting to be finished, the fabric for a dress I want to make is crying to be cut.
Instead, tomorrow, Mo and I must travel to Northern California once again for a memorial for Mo’s fabulous Uncle Don, who passed away recently. Sad to lose such an amazing man, WWII and Korean Conflict pilot who actually passed away on Veteran’s Day. We will visit my sweet mother-in-law who lives in the same area and return on Sunday. Hopefully I will find time to pack Sunday afternoon for my trip to Florida on Tuesday. Once again I will be off to Ocala, to spend some time with my long time friend Bel. In between all this, on Monday, I get to visit the dermatologist for one of those fun outcomes to a youth spent in Southern California sun and a lifetime of an outdoor career.
Writing has slipped again. I suppose I may never actually manage the day by day, blow by blow description of our last cruise to New England. Instead, I hope to actually write about the last three weeks that included a fabulous visit with my life-time friend Maryruth in Oroville, California. I drove past Shasta on a gorgeous sunny day and spent four wonderful days to a girly weekend of spa and our favorite hand and foot game. I started that blog post yesterday, and when I opened up LiveWriter this morning decided instead that I needed to write about Thanksgiving, before it slips into that accumulated list of life moments that are as yet unwritten.