Thanksgiving Break

29 11 2010

I miraculously got Wednesday the 24th of November off work so D and I drove to the Cities after we got home from work on Tuesday night. I got home around 5pm and we decided to drive up to beat the bad weather that was coming the next day so I had 1 hour to pack my stuff and get in the car for the 4.5 hour drive to my dad’s house in the Cities.

I threw sweaters, jeans, books, movies, groceries, blankets, pillows, Mr Tubbs, shoes, coats, wine, cross-stitch kits, and other random stuff in 1 suitcase (for clothes), 1 lg black bag (for toiletries, books, laptop, etc), 1 PINK bag full of winter gear, 1 reusable grocery bag full of stuff to cook, a giant purse, a blanket, pillow, coat, boots and bag of drinks in the car (plus D’s one suitcase) and we were off. Luckily, I am a type A personality and I had already made a packing list and done all the laundry the week before so all I had to do was locate the items and throw them in bags…this made for some fast packing (I was also on the phone with Chili Pepper during most of this and texting, facebooking and watching Grey’s Anatomy as I packed).

The drive was long, dark and uneventful and I was happy to make it to Daddy’s gorgeous house (that I was seeing for the first time). The house was filled with hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, granite countertops, 4 bathrooms, 5 bedrooms, a sauna, a giant pond in the backyard with a three-tiered waterfall, 3 car garage, awesome spaces and decorations and the best atmosphere. I loved the way my dad and stepmom melded their very different personalities and styles to make this cohesive, modern, cozy house.

The week was filled with cooking (I made stuffing, green bean casserole, garlic bread, stuffed shells, brie en croute and pies), eating (at all times of the day and night), ginger ale, lazy days putting together a puzzle, watching Criminal Minds marathons, reading by the fire, cross-stitching, sleeping in (I had some catching up to do and honestly, who wouldn’t sleep like the dead in a California King Tempurpedic bed), watching the waterfall, shopping (2 hoodies from AE, some Xmas shopping, a new wool dress coat for winter, 3 pairs of heels from Charlotte Russe, 1 Brown Sugar set from Sephora and a purse from Express) and decorating a Christmas tree with my cousins, brother and his girlfriend, my dad and my boyfriend. (Please note that Daddy got an 8’ tall Canaan fir to celebrate the vaulted ceilings and we decorated it with white lights, red and gold balls, bulbs and ribbons, Wedgwood ornaments, Waterford crystal figurines and glass bulbs that my aunts had given my Dad for years. Very different, but my Dad thought it would be less painful for my brother and me if we put up new ornaments rather than hang our kid ornaments on the tree with Cheryl’s things…and it was a wise choice.

I was pleased to see some family (my cousins, Josh and Kevin and aunt and uncle) and spend some quality time with my brother and his girlfriend. It was great to relax and spend the mornings drinking coffee by the fire while looking out at the lake and listening to classical music. I envision my someday home being a similar retreat where I can sit in a deep leather chair with a cashmere throw and read some little book or just listen to music and drink coffee while looking at a beautiful view as I wake up to face the day.

The departure was bittersweet, we didn’t finish the puzzle and I never got to sit in the sauna to dry out my sinuses, but it was a great staycation and I loved spending time with my Dad. It was hard to come back and head out for work this morning but I was glad for the respite so I could partially recharge my batteries.

My plan to visit my grandpa at our family cemetery never came to fruition as the visit was emotional enough and I didn’t think I could handle more sadness and loss in one visit so maybe the next time I am up in the Cities, I will go see the place, bring him a wreath and see how he is doing…I think he would understand as he looks down on me.

I tried to find beautiful and happy thoughts to balance the sadness that has been hovering over the family with the recent family crises but I cannot understand how one family can see so much loss while others can barely be touched by loss. Unfortunately, this is one more holiday season that will be tinged with sadness for me as opposed to being a time of happiness and celebration.

I hope you all had a great holiday and enjoyed the food and family!

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