Friday, November 29, 2013

Yeah, Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving has to be one of the keenest holidays out there.
It's got this forever-vibe of family being rubbed into your pores mixed with cinnamon sticks and essence of snuggly-bunnies.

Right?

I've got a lot to be grateful for. A whole lot.

Right now I could start listing it off, but I'm pretty sure most of it would come off as pretty predictable to anyone who knows me.

I'm grateful for a functional family that makes me feel loved and secure and that encourages personal growth and creativity.

I'm grateful for friends that gush love all over me. I'm grateful for those friends where, when you say, "You make me feel like part of the familiy," they say, "Mägi, you are a part of our family."

I'm grateful for the peace and confidence I have in knowing I'll never go hungry or without shelter, even if I were to give every cent I had away, I know there are folks out there who would take me in.

I'm grateful for a place to call home, my little cave.

I'm grateful to live in Haines, Alaska.

I'm grateful for this year of travel and all the unplanned adventures that I got doused in.

I'm grateful for a job that's never felt like work, not ever. I'm grateful to be able to describe my job as simply to be loving on and hanging out with the raddest folks in town.

I'm grateful for dancing feet and snazzy beats.

I'm grateful for the rice cooker on my counter.

So those are the thank-you's.

Thanksgiving away from my immediate family was swell. It ended up being celebrated within the homes of four different families who took me in.

I guess I sort of celebrated Thanksgiving with my immediate family back in October when I first flew from Iceland  to Washington. Since I knew I'd be missing this Thanksgiving, I gathered the family and they were sweet enough to make time to make it happen.

I know most folks think this - but my family is really dandy! It's a copacetic collection of musicians, comedians, and engineers with a lot of nerd/geek culture mixed in. We usually up for breaking out into song and laughter leaves my guts feeling all jiggled up.

After the meal, all the present-attending cousins went for a walk. We've got a lot more than this, on my dad's side of the family, but this is who could make it and was still around after a couple of hours. It's cool to be around people I'm related to.

So this is our non-Thanksgiving day that sort of looked like Thanksgiving:

We are the Hubert family.
This is our lemonade.

Then, about a month and a half later, I was in Haines and real Thanksgiving came around.

Pre-Thanksgiving occurred on Sunday with the Marquardt mob. We sculpted pierógi around the table, feeling oh so satisfied. I love this crew. They're super chill and really amusing to be around.


When Thanksgiving day came along, I got a call that I would be celebrating at the Jackson family's home with the lovely H family. I used to live in the H's library for a few months! I love them so much - ever unit of their 12-person family.

You could put me in a cabin with any of those folks for 24-hours and I'd be a happy camper. A lot of the time was devoted to making Fluffy Thanksgiving Rolls - a legend among those who know the H family. I remember my first Thanksgiving with them, last year, when I was converted to a true lover of these magical rolls stuffed with gooey delicious sweet nut guts.

I got to meet Olive who grew up in Elkins (shout out to Scotty!), used to work for the FBI, and then drove to Alaska and started living there pre-statehood. Haines is full of the raddest old folks!


A short jam session (super short) and it was time for me to move on to the next household - Byrne's place. At Byrne's, I got to celebrate with his awesome mom, Shirley, and him. I had only met Shirley once before - at her home when me and a friend made Christmas music.

I really appreciated the conversations I got to have with them - but am keen on seeing Shirley again so I can be the one to ask her questions. I know she's one of those rich human beings that's fun to get to know (rich like fudge, not like Scrooge). One of the highlights of the time was when she wanted to know if I ever was around "old folks." I got to inform that yes, indeed, a lot of my favourite folks and humans I spend a lot of time with are "old." Age doesn't make much of a difference.

Byrne made a delectable duck. I never knew I liked duck until Byrne roasted it up. Sigh. So grateful. The entire meal was delicious - especially the stuffing! He puts malt vinegar and cardamom in his which would make it legendary in my books (if I had books). He asked me for a hand at beating the whipping cream, but made it pretty clear that I was incapable of properly whipping it... I have so much to learn in this world.

After hanging out with Byrne and Shirley, I was driven over to the Green's home where a collection of Greens and Mackowiaks were all starting to make nests for a post-Thanksgiving film screening.

Oh Haines!
Feel the love.
Happy Thanksgiving.

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