Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m a little early yet, but I hope you’re all looking forward to a chance to be with your important people, eat something tasty, and get some extra sleep!
I’m home in Steamboat again, and every time I come back here I’m reminded of how much I love coming home. I’ve only been home for two hours and already my cat is underfoot, my dad is sharing ski racing stories and cookies with me, and I’ve settled into my spot at the dining room table to do a bit of grading. I love how easily I can settle into this place each time I come back.
For my family, Thanksgiving involves A LOT of cooking. Tomorrow Mom and I will make pies (pumpkin and pecan) and chop broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, potatoes and sweet potatoes. We’ll shred bread and celery for the stuffing and later in the evening we’ll set the sweet rolls to rise overnight.
In the midst of all of that, it’s also Scholarship day! Steamboat Ski Area likes to open the day before Thanksgiving with Scholarship Day; everyone, including season pass holders, buy a $25 pass and all the proceeds go to the local winter sports club. There’s only going to be one run open (the newspaper says five, but that’s because they name different sections different things) but it’s worth it to go out and get the first couple of runs in.
Thursday is another day of cooking extravaganza! I always stay elbow-deep in warm soapy water, washing the three spoons and two mixing bowls that are everyone’s favorite. I love being in the kitchen with Mom helping. I’m getting to the age where I know that someday I’m going to have to cook my own Thanksgiving dinner, but for now I’ll stick to dish duty and setting the table! I used to (alright, still) pretend that a queen or something is coming for dinner and I set every plate and fork and spoon just perfectly straight.
Friday is yet another tradition – it’s the day we go get the Christmas tree! We used to do this a bit later, in early December, but when I went to college we moved it up a bit so I could still go with everyone. My family drives way up Seedhouse Road, until Dad gets the car stuck (he always gets it unstuck too!). Depending on the year and the snow, we hike in to different spots in hunt of the perfect tree. We like to send Jeff off to the trees to have a scale for how tall they actually are – he also shakes them off (and gets covered in snow) in order for us to see the branches without the snow weighing them down.
Jeff and I take turns cutting it down; one of the two of us always manages to remember who’s turn it is. We bring hot chocolate and cookies and a tarp to drag the tree out with. I have some memories of being very little and getting pulled in on sleds – then on the way out Jeff and I would be on one sled and the tree on the other! My parents are way strong, and way cool for doing that.
Inevitably there is always at least one snowball fight, and Jeff tosses me in a snowbank at least once. He always wins.
In and among all of this, I do still try to get work done. It’s always so very desirable to walk out of break ready and prepared for the last three weeks of school…and it’s always so tempting to sit in front of the fire and knit instead! But I’ll start today by knocking out as much grading as I can, and we’ll see how far I get from there. In that regard, Christmas is my favorite break, because I refuse to leave school until every last final is graded and final grades posted. Is there always more I could be doing? Of course. But I’m much better at Christmas about setting it all aside and acting like I’m five again.
So far I’ve told you about how this Thanksgiving break will be the same, but this Thanksgiving was also extra special because I got two of them! This past weekend Jonathan and I had Thanksgiving with his parents in Golden. There was lots of tasty food, knitting and watching football, and a really lovely hike up Clear Creek Canyon. And then I got to bring him home with me, for yet more tasty food, playing outside, and probably some more knitting.
I have a lot of things to be grateful for, but as always my people remain at the top of my list. You all make my life so much richer by being in it. Thanks for that.
Your homework is completely cliché this week, but I see no need to break from this tradition. What are you grateful for? Which people can you send a little extra love to this week?