Friday, November 6, 2009


Today is Friday November 6. The year is 2009...

As I type this I have my feet propped up on the deck, sitting in the sunshine. There is a slight breeze blowing and the temp is 62*. I am fairly sure I got my fascination with knowing the temperature from my grandma. As long as I can remember her morning ritual consisted of walking out onto her front porch and checking the temperature. She had a big metal thermometer nailed to one of the porch post. It was rusty and you could just make out the RC Cola logo that had at one time been painted on it. She would go back into the kitchen and write on the calender what the temperature was that morning. She kept old calenders in a kitchen drawer so that one could look back and compare the temps to previous years.

I have often thought of doing this myself, since I now have that thermometer, but I suppose keeping records of day to day temperatures is no longer a necessity like it was in my grandma's time. If I want to know what the temp was on a certain day in the past, I can just go to a web site and look it up. But just for tradition sake I think I may start doing as she did. That way, one day in the distant future, my kids or grandchildren can look back with fondness on my little habit of making note of the daily temps. Sorta like carrying on a tradition...

Speaking of traditions...with the holiday's drawing near I have been again, as I always do, thinking of the traditions that we as a family keep. Moving around like we do, we don't have traditions that relation to a place or location. Like some people go to the same festival or parade every year, or eat at the same restaurant to celebrate an event. Or even go to the same pumpkin patch or Christmas tree farm each year. Since those types of things are virtually impossible for nomads like ourselves, we have to choose traditions that we can do no matter where we find ourselves.

One tradition we have is putting up our Christmas tree the first weekend in December. We usually all gather around and put on an Elvis Christmas CD and decorate the tree as a family. I am glad that Lauren will be with us to continue the tradition this year. I was afraid that she may not be here at that time. But due to her job situation she is giving up her apartment in Little Rock, putting her things in storage and moving in with us for a few months.

Thanksgiving is approaching and I am thinking about how to have a semi-traditional fare while still eating I have been searching for healthy, clean recipes that would still fall into the traditional categories. Turkey is a clean healthy meat, so I think the turkey is a safe bet. However the traditional corn bread dressing that I am so fond of isn't so clean and healthy. Veggies are clean and healthy as long as they aren't loaded down with the extra fats that we love to add to them. With all of this in mind, I am working on a Thanksgiving day menu.
However, Thanksgiving is still up in the air for now. Our original plan included us going to Tennessee to be with Andrew's family. But now Andrew will be flying to Little Rock the weekend before Thanksgiving to help Lauren move her things into storage and they will begin heading back here the day before Thanksgiving. We talked about them driving to Tennessee and us meeting them there. Having Thanksgiving and heading back here on Friday. But the trip for us would be 11 hours one way...I just can't imagine driving 11 hours on Wednesday, having Thanksgiving on Thursday and then driving 11 hours back on Friday. I am all about simplicity, and for me, that doesn't seem simple. It seems like two long tiring days with a little bit of rest and visiting in between. It just seems like to long of a trip for one day. " To much sugar for a dime", as my grandma use to say. We would also have to board the dogs from Tuesday until Saturday and at the current rate for three doggies that would be around $150 just for the dogs, add in gas for both vehicles plus the little extras of eating and snacking on the road and Thanksgiving could not only be tiring but a bit expensive as well.

The other option would be for Lauren and Andrew to drive to Tennessee and stay there for Thanksgiving and Megan, Noah and I would stay here and have Thanksgiving---alone! Boy doesn't that sound like fun! It would be the first Thanksgiving that I ever spent without family. Of course I would have two of the kids here with me, but it still seems like a lonely option.
So now, we aren't sure yet what we will be doing. If Andrew and Lauren do go to Tennessee and we stay here, then I think I will hold Thanksgiving dinner off until say Saturday or Sunday when we will all be here together. I suppose as long as were thankful, it shouldn't matter what day we celebrate it.

So with all of these thoughts in my head, traditions seem to be weighing heavily on my mind. It got me to wondering about traditions that other families share. How do each of you spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday's or other holidays? Are there special things that you do from year to year?

Since I am one for keeping records and writing down memories, several years ago I started making printed sheet of copy paper decorated with traditional Thanksgiving graphics and writing at the top of the page; This Thanksgiving I am Most Thankful for: I then record the year and the location we are having Thanksgiving. I ask that each person in attendance write on the page what they are most thankful for that year. I have some that date back to the late 1990's when we were still in Louisiana. I enjoy looking back on them and seeing who all shared in our holiday's. I haven't done it every year, although I wish I had started it sooner and had not skipped some years. But starting this year, I want to do it every year here on out...It is a wonderful thing to put into a binder and look at each Thanksgiving and remember.

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