Ramblings on a snowy Thanksgiving day

A holiday in a new home and the first in eighteen years without my son. Not bad, not really, at least (I’m forever the optimist). Only different. All new.

New experiences. Of course it would be better if he were here with us. Better for us, that is. He, well, he’s spending the weekend at Whistler, snowboarding. So my heart shall not bleed for his loneliness on this holiday weekend.

Here, for me, it’s all new. And that’s OK too. New view from the window in front of my computer. Under a pale grey sky are bright white and tan snowy, rolling hills reaching only as far as patches of dark timber scatter off into the distance. Nothing above tree line. No hills across this river with avi shoots torn into their sides. Instead, houses with lights I know I can see at night. The ground twinkles with a constellation or two. Something I haven’t lived with for more than passing spells in twenty years. New state, new home, new job, new neighbors, new friends.

And old familiar scents grounding me. Bread is baking in the oven.

I write to a (new) friend:

“The house now heavy with the waft of baking bread. I have read your blog posts, one after the other. I should have spaced them out, allowed them time to settle, but breaked for no more than changing loaves in the hot oven. My mind as heavy as the bread scented air with thoughts stirred up from your writings – at once thoughtful, beautiful and horrid. And still a broad smile spreads across my face to have had the opportunity to read, share, and meet… It is good. Somehow at the end of the day, it does end up good, you know?”

I’m feeling sappy and sentimental. Bear with me, or pass me by today, friends, but I’m feeling my age, my sex (yes, I am a woman, and allowed if not expected to be emotional, thank you!), my life and world settling into newness like heavy snow on tall tired grass.

I have much to be thankful for, this new friend included in my lengthy list. (Karen and my other fellow fans of four leggeds, please be sure to see the writing of Tricia M. Cook in the Mountain Gazette. I believe I may not be only one to find a new friend.)

I’m thankful for a new girlfriend and look forward Ladies Night at the local Ace Hardware and someone to kick up snow along a new backcountry with old snowshoes and young dogs.

I’m thankful for chains for the pickup. I would like to agree with Tricia that “girls don’t do chains,” but truth is we’d never get to our new home without them. So although getting wet and muddy jeans and jacket, and frozen fingers each morning before work is not ideal, at least we get there. (Snowmobiling home the 6 ½ miles we were used to in Colorado, believe it or not, was easier.)

I’m thankful for that snow and slush and even the glaze of rain than fell on top and hardened to a sheen that holds you up for just a second then drops you down past the surface into the soft snow below. It’s a good work out with each step. It’s this stuff that makes these trees grow. And there are some BIG trees here. Beautiful big fat hearty happy fir trees. Sweet smelling and picture perfect with boughs laden with the load of snow. I’m thankful for these big trees and to be living amongst them.

I’m thankful for neighbors. What a pleasure it is! Neighbors! Such good ones. Plowing us out as we’re busy plowing out someone else. Helping each other out of the bar ditch on the side of the road (a seemingly regular occurrence for vehicles – without chains – around here). Baking bread and sharing a hot coffee or cold beer (or locally brewed hard cider). The folks at the local internet company that make you feel at home in town when you walk in their office (even when you don’t bring them a fresh batch of cinnamon rolls).

I’m thankful for dogs, mine, my neighbors, and the ability to let my dear dog be both a family member and a dog, and a very happy one at that.

I’m thankful for Nature. She is new to me here. I am learning her like a stranger on a second date, not sure yet where you stand together, how close to sit, what the other person eats and drinks, and when and where to drive her home.

I’m thankful for my readers – friends, family, strangers, those I have not met but feel somehow close to, and those that haven’t written me directly but peak in from time to time or on some random search – for putting up with my ramblings.

I’m thankful for my son in a wonderful, exciting, challenging and unique university experience (or happily snowboarding as the case may be this weekend), far away but so very close. And my husband by my side. Completing, balancing, grounding me.

So I’ll try not to feel too terrible sorry for myself that my son is not here to complete my day. Because when I look around, it’s pretty complete even without him. But that’s how a good relationship should be. Fine without, but better because you’re there.

12 thoughts on “Ramblings on a snowy Thanksgiving day

  1. Check out THE PROPHET

    who has some important things to say about your children.

    I misquote Gibran (mine is packed)–but paraphrased

    your children are on loan…individuals of their own

    • And indeed I am pleased to see the person he is growing into. And honored to share what time I can with him. As I wrote, “Fine without, but better because you’re there.” Even if “there” is infrequent, I’ll enjoy it when I can. Or in the case of you and I and our distant but (to me) so important friendship I would feel incomplete without, “there” is terribly far away. But close inside. And that is where it matters most.

  2. Gin, you are so gracious to mention me and my writing… thank you. And what a lovely photo of our fur-children, Gunnar and Tsunami!

    I must offer one correction: You quoted me as saying that, girls don’t do chains. I know many who do and yet I am (happily and intentionally) not one of them. I believe what i said was that, I don’t do chains. I would rather park at the snowplow turnaround and hoof it up to Bear Fight than mess with chains. However, I do carry a shovel in the back of my rig for those -infrequent- times I end up sideways or over the edge and need to dig out. OK, maybe, just maybe, chains would be a boon, but then again… ( ;

    Peace, T.

    • So many good things, Julian, no doubt, indeed, and yet now I seek a balance for I am lost without my wilds. There is a part of me, not severed, but hanging, grasping, grabbing… You think I will let go and be fine. I think I might grow sharp claws and hang on, crawl up, and find my wild place again.

  3. Gin,

    Thanks for your post on Thanksgiving. We have been having a great time with our family, kids and grandkids. But one is missing – our oldest son is in Dubai now, and traveling all over the mideast and Africa. So good without him, but much better with him here. Thanks heavens for phones and computers. Can’t even imagine a time 100 years ago, when goodbye had a much more permanent sense of separation. I have recently been doing some ancestry research and my predecesser relatives had a much different time of it. When they left home across the ocean to never see kin again, dying on the ships, scraping out a living in a new place – Mom and Dad a long long way a way. It has made me stop and think, and count my blessings.

    Did you receive the photos I sent?

    Al

    • Agreed with your thoughts on the severity of “good bye” a hundred years ago, and how grateful we are today for easy communications at our fingertips, not to mention the greater comforts and healthy conditions of travel (and life in general) available to us now, here in this country especially. I did receive your photos, thank you, Al, always welcomed and appreciated! Especially loved the one of the bougan. by the pool… and the shot of Peggy Sue looking out at you and Maggie!

    • Thank you, Maggie, and a most wonderful holiday season to you and yours and how lucky we are to have so much to be thankful for, both of us, including our friendship, and all the beauty around us both that inspires and drives us.

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