|The Feller runs his first race, the 1/4 mile "Gobbler Chase" on Thanksgiving Day, 2011.|
This past Thanksgiving was a quiet one. We didn't travel far. . in fact we were at home for Thanksgiving Day itself, although we did go down to the Leens for the weekend. There was no need for an added table or even the fold-out leaf at the Thanksgiving table, as there were just five of us this year.
Though we missed our traditional Saipan Thanksgiving gathering, we still had a wonderful time with our family. The usual holiday traditions were there, just writ-small.
The Thanksgiving Morning Run: Here's my boy and I sporting our medals andcomplimentary t-shirts, post-race back at home.
One thing I've missed in the years since we relocated to the States was the traditional Thanksgiving morning race. This year I was finally able to run in the annual Flying Feather Four Miler in Dublin, Ohio. It wasn't nearly as challenging as Saipan's Turkey Trot, but I made it challenging by pushing myself for a time of 30 minutes or less. It was a tough run, and though I finished in 31 minutes, I still felt really good about my effort. It was nice to really test myself after having held back to support my students during the Buckeye Classic.
Great swag with this race too. They had the usual technical t-shirt and finishers medal, but also a nice hat and set of gloves, and a bottle of wine (or a box of cookies for the non-drinkers) as well.
The Thanksgiving Table: (Minus the turkey, but since I was raised a vegetarian, the turkey has only recently been part of my traditional Thanksgiving, and really, if the turkey hasn't been roasted by Carol Paez, what's the point, right?)
The Big Meal was a little smaller than we're used to but still more than enough food for five--Mom and Dad Leen drove up from Dayton Thanksgiving morning and joined the three of us for the feast. We had a lot of traditional favorites: special K loaf, dinner loaf, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes (made using Carol Paez's luxurious recipe including sour cream and cream cheese), stuffing, layerd salad, cranberry sauce, and dinner rolls. I also added in a new dish of pureed squash with ginger and pumpkin pie for dessert. Actually, I guess that is quite a bit of food isn't it? At any rate, we had plenty of leftovers to last for several more meals to come.
Family: There's no substitute for Mom and Dad.
We really appreciated Mom and Dad making the drive over to Columbus to spend the holiday with us. Originally Babs had been scheduled to work both the day before and the day after Thanksgiving, so we had asked them to come to us this year so we wouldn't have to go down to their place on the night before Thanksgiving, come back the next afternoon and then drive back to Dayton yet again after Barbara got off work on Friday. Well, it turned out that Babs ended up getting both Wednesday and Friday off, but by then Elijah and I were already registerd to run Thanksgiving morning. So they came up Thursday morning and spent the night, and then we all drove down to Dayton for the rest of the weekend. It was nice to spend time with them, as it always is. It's so nice that we live so close and can see them so often.
Black Friday! Babs and Mom Leen didn't have the presence of mind to take photos of their Black Friday shopping adventures so I snagged this one from the Web via a Google Image search.
This is a relatively new tradition for us--well, mainly for Babs. I did a little shopping during daylight hours on Friday morning and got a pretty decent deal on some snow boots (which so far it appears I'll get little use from this winter). We dabbled a little bit last year in Oregon, getting up early to hit some of the stores (a relatively easy feat since we were awake with jet lag anyway). That's when I bought the laptop I'm typing this on. But this year, Babs and her mom--avid shoppers year around as it is--took in the full experience. They left the house not long after the menfolk had gone to bed, around 11:30 A.M. and didn't return until 9:00 A.M. the next morning. With the stores staggering their openings throughout the wee hours this year, they were able to hit multiple stores. Babs only bought a few things, but I guess they were out there for the experience as much as for the deals.
They say that Black Friday actually features only a few real deals, and often similar sales are available throughout the year with much less fanfare. But if you like to shop, and thrill to finding a true bargain as my wife does, Black Friday can be a lot of fun and a real adventure. It's fine with me as long as the doorbusters don't bust our budget!
So it was a pretty quite holiday, but we still managed a nod to the usual traditions, and we were thankful as we always our for a rich blessed life and people who we love and who love us in return.