Last year for Thanksgiving we traveled to New Mexico and spent the days visiting both of our families. The night of the feast, we were at Amy’s aunt’s. After an interesting dinner, William started throwing up. Red Jello. Everywhere. Amy’s uncle did a yeoman’s job cleaning up, and we got in the car to head back to Los Alamos from Albuquerque. It is a 100 mile trip, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
I’m sure you’ve wondered, as Amy did last year, why on earth places like K-Mart were open on Thanksgiving. We know, now. It is for parents traveling late at night in the car with a kid who has just totaled his clothing after throwing up again in the backseat. On the Interstate.
So, Amy and Carolyn go in to get clothes for him, paper towels, and also cleaning stuff, as the backseat and his carseat are not pretty. As he is just too covered in it to take in, Will and I, we stand outside in the cool air.
Okay, we get that all straightened out. The poor kid has the heaves the whole way home. Amy is driving, I’m leaning into the back, hold a bag out for him if he so much as breathes funny. After I catch the next one, hollow-eyed William looks at me.
“Hey, Dad, this is a working plan!” he says.
We all laugh, and laugh, and laugh. I love William.
The next morning, Carolyn woke at 5 am with heaves. I loaded the car, and we prepared for a fun-filled seven-hour drive back to Colorado. I drove this time, and Amy got to try the “working plan.” We made it home, but we were completely exhausted.
Well, that brings me to this year. Our Thanksgiving was much quieter than it has been for awhile — we spent the day together, just us four. No family came up. None of the friends we had invited came over. It was decidedly peaceful. I cooked the bird, and it came out fine. Amy has mastered the gravy. I said a prayer of thanks for our bishop allowing this day as a local feast day without fasting restrictions. For dessert, we went to a friend’s house and had a nice get-together with a couple of couples, and their kids. It was really fun.
This year, though, the big event was the day after Thanksgiving. We went to Liturgy to celebrate the Feast of St. Catherine the Great Martyr. Not only is she the patroness of our parish, but she is Carolyn’s name saint, and this is the first name day to come up for our recently chrismated family.
She started the day with the gift of a new watch. I’m pretty sure that as long as I’m around her, I’ll not need mine again, as she happily announces the time frequently — over 50 times last Thursday, I think! ( Amy tells me the today she only announced the time twice. ) After, we went to Liturgy, and it was wonderful to be there, still warm in our Thanksgiving glow, to celebrate the Great Thanksgiving in Eucharist. Afterward was a blessing of the loaves, wine, and oil, followed by coffee hour. Carolyn was told χρόνια πολλά (chronia polla) by our Priest and others, and he explained to her that it means “many years”. She just glowed with delight. We also had the gift of the protopsaltis from the cathedral come help with the chanting, and he is wonderful.
I hope you all had a blessed and wonderful day of thanksgiving as well!