Happy belated Thanksgiving to the US folks out there! Jason had off this week from work, so we got to spend a little time just hanging out, and our Thanksgiving festivities started on Wednesday. We had a few errands to run, and decided to turn “errands” into a fun date day. First, we stopped by the store to pick up a jacket I’d ordered a couple weeks ago, and then wandered over to look for potential 2023 calendars. (The calendar bit is a thing we do every year together, usually as part of our anniversary festivities. We didn’t find the right one yet this year.) Then we headed across town to pick up a few Christmas gifts at Knight Watch, stopping by Mildfire Coffee for some beans along the way. Then as a spontaneous surprise, Jason took me next door to Knight Watch’s clothing shop, The Sanctuary, where we picked out a flowy skirt to match the new jacket.
Lunchtime followed, eating out at a place called Eggspectations (which I’ve wanted to take him to literally since March 2020, but every time we’ve tried, something’s gone wrong!), before we came home. Our pumpkins from Halloween were starting to get a little soft and mushy in places, so we took them to the back corner of the yard and used a sledgehammer and a pickaxe to smash them up. The squirrels, raccoons, possums, skunks, and foxes can steal what they like, and maybe some of the seeds will take root and grow. They didn’t last year, though – our little urban zoo ate it all, heh. After smashing pumpkins (ha!), I got into the new outfit with two different shirts to see what color scheme worked best, and what’s the best way to get an accurate feel? Impromptu photo shoot in the yard, of course! I decided to play at fairy tales, and got a couple fun photos. While I edited those, J made some orange cranberry muffins for Thanksgiving, and then we watched some silly tv together before bed. It was a really fun day.
Thanksgiving morning started, of course, with the Macy’s parade. It was a little bittersweet this year – our first time watching it without any of the kids home. After the parade, we headed over to my aunt and uncle’s house for Thanksgiving proper. They combine Thanksgiving festivities to invite both sides of their family. Since the pandemic, there are a lot fewer folks from my biological side of the family. My aunt’s mother is elderly and immunocompromised, so only vaccinated invitees can attend. My dad’s sisters are very liberal, but have gone down the extreme new-age road of personal body purity, including distrust of traditional medicine like vaccines. (Just goes to show, both sides of the political spectrum can get sucked into misinformation campaigns.) On a better note, there is no bitterness or family divide because my aunts can’t attend Thanksgiving – there’s a specific reason, and everyone makes the choice for themselves. It’s one of the nicer ways I’ve seen people act about this when opinions are divided.
My aunt does a phenomenal job with Thanksgiving each year. We all bring dishes, but as far as I’m aware, she handles the bulk of dinner. With such a large array of people there, there are quite a few allergies and food restrictions to contend with. Thanksgiving has such a wide variety of food that most of us can find things to eat, but my aunt makes sure there are good options. This year, for instance, there were separate batches of mashed potatoes (one dairy-free), a vegan mushroom-lentil chili for an alternative main course, regular and gluten-free pies, etc. And to top it all off, she made this absolutely beautiful spread of appetizers, fruit, and decor, along with several spiked punches, for people to enjoy before everything was set up.
The day itself was horribly muggy and nearly 80 degrees without even a breeze. We sat outside a lot despite that, and it’s a good thing we did! One of the city’s greenway trails passes right behind my uncle’s house, and a biker saw us outside and hailed us. He’d been out longer than expected, and was a diabetic whose blood sugar had suddenly started crashing. We rushed inside to bring him a variety of sugary foods, so good deed done for the day! Being outside also meant spending more time with my aunt and uncle’s dog, Stella, who has a tendency to pee when excited if she’s inside. All in all, it was a lovely afternoon with a great meal, plus getting to see my sister, brother-in-law, and one of my cousins for the first time since the holiday season last year.
Friday ended up being a little strange. Traditionally, this is the day when my family puts up all our Christmas decor and lights. We made a little progress on this in the morning, and then I drove across town to a new-to-me park for my first hike since June. The semi-hike up a hill for October’s photoshoot gave me the confidence to sign up for a few easier walk/hikes. This was the first. It was a drizzling, grey day, but not as hot as Thanksgiving proper. Even though we didn’t put in a lot of miles, it was actually a really beautiful park (esp with the trees finally starting to turn!) and I didn’t have too many issues with those tendons/nerves in my back/hips, so yay!
For the bad news, though: My dad contacted us to let us know he tested positive for covid. He hadn’t been sick at all the day before, but he felt weird on Friday, so he took two rapid tests and both were positive. This of course means the entire family gathering was exposed, including the elderly, immunocompromised folks. Also possibly my hiking friends, though we were outdoors and mostly not in close enough proximity for long enough time that it’ll matter. Still. And there was meant to be a gathering at my dad’s house that evening, this time with those aunts who couldn’t come to Thanksgiving dinner, which would have been the first time I’d seen them in person since the pandemic began. Obviously that was canceled. Instead, my sister and brother-in-law came to our house to hang out (after all four of us had negative rapid tests, of course). We’d all been equally exposed and everyone (except me) had recently had the omicron-specific booster, and I’d had my fourth booster in July. I guess we’ll see what happens from here. I felt so bad for my dad. His symptoms were mild so I have hopes he won’t have too bad of a case, but I know he’s feeling really bad to possibly have exposed all those people at Thanksgiving. Stupid covid.
So anyway, that was our long Thanksgiving. We still need to finish putting the Christmas decorations up today, but we’ve mostly been taking it easy. Unfortunately, I seem to be sick. As of yesterday, I was still testing negative for covid (haven’t taken a test yet today) but I’m achy and my chest is tight and last night I spiked a fever. Fun times. We may just have fallen to the Virus for the first time in almost three years of this pandemic. Or maybe it’s just a plain old cold and I’m a bit baby, heh.
ETA: Positive for covid, going to head to urgent care for meds. Jason is still testing negative but he had his omicron booster fairly recently so hopefully he can dodge it!