thanksgiving, alone and together [weekend musings]

As I said on Twitter earlier today, I hope all of you are celebrating Thanksgiving in ways you enjoy -- and that if that isn't possible, that you are doing what you need to do by the way of self care to keep yourself healthy and sane.

Hanna and I are enjoying the weekend together this year -- together, and alone. We went out for coffee this morning at our local Peet's, and sat with our respective books (hers on Irish nationalism, mine on American Transendentalism) until the dregs of our eggnog lattes grew cold and people in line at the counter were starting to eye our table covetously.

Then we walked back home the long way around Corey Hill, admiring all of the electric menorahs with their first-night candles lit and standing sentinel over sparsely-populated city streets.

Now Hanna's napping on my chest as I balance the laptop on her shoulder and type out this blog post, cuddled up under the down comforter, listening to old episodes of "The Goon Show" online.

We're thinking about making a pumpkin pie later, and maybe canning some applesauce.

Over the past week we've gotten a wide range of reactions from people who, upon asking our Thanksgiving plans, hear that they amount to "Not much," and "About the usual." Colleagues with packed multi-household schedules, friends with travel plans, often respond with envy: That sounds so peaceful to just stay home and go nowhere! A few have given me the look of baffled disbelief: What's Thanksgiving without a turkey? Without an extended family gathering?

My first Thanksgiving in Boston, I rented a Zipcar and spent the night at a hostel in Harvard, Massachusetts, near Walden Pond. The hostel was a big rambling farmhouse, and when I arrived I walked in on the remains of the potluck family dinner. I spent the evening in my room reading God's Harvard and enjoyed myself thoroughly, probably with a bottle of wine and crackers and cheese from Trader Joe's.

In some ways, this Thanksgiving is radically different than that: instead of spending the day on grad school homework and then retiring to rented rooms in the countryside, I'm cozying up with the wife and cats after a morning out at one of our many neighborhood coffee shops.

Of course, looked at in another light, you might say the two Thanksgivings are more similar than they are different: A day spent reading and writing, books and quiet time. Two solitary women being solitary ... together. With our solitary cats.

It seems we are, the four of us, well matched. I hope you and your people are too.

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