Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving

Since my law school years I have seen Thanksgiving as an opportunity to travel.  Sometimes, Thanksgiving at home where I'm a bit of the odd man out ("one of these things is not like the other") as the only non-family person can be a bit lonely.  I figured out that people must be on to something with this "busiest travel day of the year" thing so I have often joined the masses and traveled about the country enjoying new traditions and making a lot of wonderful memories.

My first year of Law School I went to my roommate's parents house in Southern Minnesota.  It was the year I learned how much I love to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.  I had a migraine the entire weekend but on the way home we stopped at an apple orchard.  I was in search of some good hand pressed apple cider (a favorite of mine) and the apple orchards were prevalent in the area we were traveling through.  The one where we chose to stop had a cute red barn area where they sold their products.  We walked up to the automatic door and it didn't open.  We looked through the glass and saw a family inside having dinner and realized quickly it was closed.  Three members of the family jumped up and opened the doors for us and welcomed us to join them for dinner.  We were flattered but respectfully declined.  We were already interlopers.  That seemed to be a step too far.  They asked us what we had stopped for and I told them I was looking for some apple cider so the Patriarch of the family disappeared and came back with two giant containers of apple cider.  When I tried to pay him he said they were closed and couldn't take any money but that he would be honored to give the cider to me as a gift.

Minnesota nice is not just a saying.

My second year of law school I went to Chicago to visit Jess' friends Josh and Anna.  I had never been to Chicago and I fell in love with the city that weekend.  All of the blaring horns and the novelty of the L (I hadn't really been in a town with such a great mass transit system since my time in London), the museums, the chance to see the Home Alone house (and meet the woman who lived there who beckoned me across the street so she could give me a picture of the house during the time the movie was being filmed), the great shopping and doing more cooking with Anna who taught me to really cook the summer between Willamette and Hamline made that weekend one of my favorites.

My third year of law school I spent the holiday with Kit, Jan and Adam in Iowa.  We stopped at the little Brown Church in the Vale, played games with Heyo and Jan's sister and nephews and I cried when I had to leave them.  I was a frequent visitor back to Iowa to visit Heyo after that weekend.

Since then I've spent some Thanksgivings with my family, making the trip over the mountains to sit around the dining room table we've had since I was a kid but I have also gone to Colorado Springs (I HAD to meet this Chris fella) and the family has come to me.

This year I'm looking forward to the second Thanksgiving morning in my own home.  I don't have to prepare the full meal but I will be making my usual Great Grandpa James' Pecan Pie and a fancier version of green bean casserole that I discovered and my family fell in love with last year. 

I feel so blessed this year.  The amount of things I'm thankful for are at times overwhelming. 

I'm thankful for my loving family and my extended family made up of friends.  I'm thankful to have a good job that makes me happy (most of the time).  But most importantly I'm thankful to have a Lord and Savior who has me in the palm of his hand.

I pray your Thanksgiving is full of good food, laughter, family and love.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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