Posts Tagged 'Thanksgiving'

Thanksgiving – My Favorite Holiday

Thanksgiving Color on Joy Road

Favorite holidays come in many forms.  While I love Christmas and must always do something special on New Year’s Eve, the two holidays that I find the most rewarding are Easter and Thanksgiving.  Yes, they both have deep family traditions of food, friends and relaxation.  I seem to be more verbal about my Thanksgiving feelings as I find posts from every Thanksgiving since I started this blog but there is nothing about Easter.  I will try to remember that come Spring.

This year will be again with friends who graciously share their home each year.  I have been the beneficiary of their generosity for four years now.  This year my daughter and her husband are attending with me.  The rain will most likely interfere with the Sock Golf but dinner will be just as wonderful.  I am bringing the brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce.  Jen was assigned pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes but I think she has expanded that to include pecan pie and cauliflower mash.  My stomach is saying “Eat, eat, eat!” as I think of it.  There will be turkey and yams and dressing and wine and cheese…  the list goes on.

Also, in a metaphorical sense, Thanksgiving signifies my new life.  I reflect on this past twelve months and am inclined to go through the ritual that often accompanies a new year.  Evaluation – Celebration – Goal setting.

Home Celebration by Homebuyer Alicia Marie

This has been a year of steady improvement.  Recently I have been receiving comments on my “progress” in pulling my life together.  These complements (and, yes, that is what they are) at first seemed unwarranted as I thought that I have been doing pretty well over the span of the last year or so and still struggling with the immense changes in my circumstance.  But in this evaluation stage, I reviewed my journal from a year ago.  I can only marvel at the difference between the thoughts and aches of November 2010 and those of today.  I have come a long way, baby!  Emotionally, socially, professionally – things are going pretty darn well in November 2011.

On the celebration front, today will be a blast.  Forget the diet – share with family and friends.  I am a consummate celebrant.  I celebrate when I complete a workout or close an escrow.  (The picture above is a wonderful woman and new homeowner with some of her guests at their house warming party.  Now that was a celebration in style.)  I celebrate when I arrive at an appointment on time.  I celebrate life daily.  But there are those special times.  I was given a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Brut Rose when I left Conor Court in January 2010.  This is my favorite champagne and I have saved it for a time when my feelings were in true joy.  The bottle was consumed last weekend and it was as good as I remembered any champagne ever tasting.  A true celebration of life.

I am thinking of plans for the coming year.  I will keep on the road of healthy living.  I will maintain or improve upon my business successes.  I will enjoy my many wonderful friends.  The specifics will be played out throughout the year and next Thanksgiving I will be thankful for all the blessings in my life – just as I am today.

Friends at the Pink Martini Concert in Marin Civic Center

Thanksgiving in Sonoma County

Autumn Morning in West Sonoma County

Autumn is definitely here when the mornings are cold – even frosty – and the days are only brisk enough to encourage a hardy walk in the afternoon.   I love to snuggle in the covers knowing that I will have wonderful temperatures for doing fall garden cleanup.  This year I am planting a draught tolerant garden in place of the water hogging lawn in the front so a lot of the cleanup is just not happening.  Yesterday was perfect for walking 20 acres of undeveloped land in hopes of finding the perfect building site for clients.  Is there a time of year that I do not love Sonoma County?

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  The preparations are enough to know that something special is going on but the duration is limited to a couple of days at most.   Over the years we have celebrated Thanksgiving by hosting an extended family and friends gathering (often including those people with whom we worked that did not have local family) to intimate family gatherings of 4 to 6.  A few years ago it was only going to be the two of us and we did not know how to deal with that.  Solution – friends invited us to their traditional celebration.  It was great fun with meeting new people, helping in someone else’s kitchen and being introduced to “sock” golf.  It was so much fun that we have gone every year since.  This year our son, daughter-in-law and new granddaughter were included in the festivities which made the day as close to perfect as possible.

Practice Range for Sock Golf

“So, What is sock golf?”, you ask.  Sock Golf is a take off on golf where instead of a ball and club you have a sock with the toe filled with sand/dirt/rocks.  The goal is to get the sock into the coffee cans associated with a particular course.  Most holes are par 3 and they all seem to have a tree or shed or fence as an obstacle.  There is a technique to flinging the sock and, sometimes, it goes behind you or only a few feet forward.  There are penalties for losing your sock and landing in the flower beds.  If you hit a turkey, you are allowed to take away a stroke just as long as you do not hit a grapevine.  If a player is over 80, they get a two stroke handicap which comes in very handy.  The team with the lowest “best sock” score is awarded a prize after dinner.

Resting and Eating after Sock Golf

Once nine holes of sock golf are in the bag, the food starts coming out.  With about as many cooks are eaters, the kitchen is usually full.  My specialty to bring is the cranberry sauce which has become an expected condiment.  My recipe calls for dried apricots soaked in sherry and then cooked with the fresh cranberries, honey and sugar.  It is always a hit where ever I take it.  Tom took some of his cheeses so he had a number of great conversations about fermentation.  This group is largely drawn from Palo Alto, previous home of our hosts as well as us, so there is a broad spectrum of techical folks who want to get into the nitty gritty of what is happening scientifically.

The Spread for Warming Up to Eating - including Cheeses by Tom

Dinner was a group activity with turkeys, dressing, gravy, brussel sprouts, sweet potato salad, cabbage, green beans and mashed potatoes.  Great Russian River pinot and lively conversations topped off the meal – a good time was had by all.  We are so fortunate – even in these times of depressed housing costs and high unemployment – to live in a country, county and community that protects our surroundings and nutures our souls.  I wish everyone a heart full of thanksgiving.  My your table be laden with health and your bodies full of love.  Namaste.

One of the Two Thanksgiving Tables


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