Holidaze: Thanksgiving

The day of the turkey has come and gone. I’m sorry to report that a not a flake of snow was in sight nor has it been this entire “winter.” Though, I suppose it’s fitting; a brown Thanksgiving. The color scheme for those that decorate their homes for the fall involve a lot of browns and warm oranges. Turkey’s are brown, or at least they are pre-dinner. If this year was a color, it’d probably be brown too. Right?

I was fortunate enough to spend the holiday with my immediate family at a cabin in the middle of Minnesota. This was the second time we’ve rented a cabin and the first for Thanksgiving. It was cozy and beautiful. The cabin had a sweet bunk room where all of us kids stayed and all I could imagine was how wonderful it would be if this could become a tradition; pausing our lives just for a few days to gather together in the middle of nowhere surrounded by cedar walls, jingle bells, and my dad’s legendary fried egg sandwiches for breakfast.

Spending those couple days with the people I hold closest to my heart helped to level my emotions out a bit. I don’t think they realized how incredibly healing it was to just be in their presence. To stay up late talking, to play games old and new, and just laugh. How fun it was to make Christmas ornaments and gingerbread houses that wouldn’t stay together. How relaxing it was to take a nap on a Friday afternoon and get woken up by Emma’s little girl snuggles. It wasn’t long enough but I know it was far more than some people were able to spend this year, if any. And I’ll do my best to cherish those couple of days, though brief.

I know we’re in a tricky time of comfortability with being in close proximity to one another and I won’t argue that. Some may even frown at the fact that our family selfishly spent time together and I get it. My feelings of physical safety vs mental health stability change nearly every single day. I watch the news too; I see the reports.

Way back before we knew that COVID would take over every other thought in our minds, we had planned to spend the holiday at my aunts house. She was over-the-moon excited to host Thanksgiving at her new home but unfortunately, she wasn’t able to thanks to our friend, C-dawg. My mom and I, however, did take time to visit with her from afar. She, at the top of her front door steps, and us at the edge of the garage. It was weird and unnatural and distant and cold but it was also warm and pretty amusing. A good story to tell in the years to come.

While I’m about a week late sharing my feels, I’m thankful for my nieces imagination and for my family’s unconditional love. I’m thankful to the people I’ve met this year and the kindness they’ve exhibited. I’m thankful for my job and technology; for the truck drivers and the health care workers. I’m thankful for love and God and the hope of a bright future. I’m thankful for my health and for your health. I could go on for days but I’ll leave it here.

Until next time. -Ori

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