The packing list is complete, the mail and newspaper stopped. Dutch brown bread lies cooling on the counter. My sister will take care of Hobbes while we’re away.
I’m ready to take the kids to Iowa for Thanksgiving.
“You’re still going to the Tuckers, even though Jon’s away?” my mother asks on the phone.
“Yes,” I say. It’s their year.
Jon and I have alternated holidays between our families since we were newlyweds. Thanksgiving with the Tuckers, Christmas with the Malsbarys. Lather, rinse, reverse. No hurt feelings, no surprises. We don’t stop just because his job calls him away.
My sister tells me, “If Jon gets home in time, we’ll set a place for him at dinner.”
“Thanks,” I say. So he’d be with my family, and I’d be with his?
We’re going on twenty-five years of marriage, and every one of those years held a Thanksgiving, a Christmas, an Easter and a Fourth of July. The special ones contained births, retirements, weddings, reunions and funerals. In other words, family time. Lots of family time.
Over the years the lines blurred. The difference between the home-grown and the grafted-on diminished. If Jon gets home, he’ll break bread with family. If I go to Iowa, I’ll do the same.
If. Did you hear that little word too?
There’s a 70% chance of snow across the entire state of Iowa on Wednesday, and the heaviest snowfall will occur directly over our route. I’ve driven in those conditions before, but never willingly.
This may be the year to choose flexibility over tradition.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers. I am thankful for you.
How will you celebrate the holiday?