At the last minute, we changed our Thanksgiving plans and went home. My home.
My hometown is a modest, quiet little dot on the map north of the big city. The room I had decorated in Wildcat purple & white my senior year is now a sewing room. Mom spends the days of her retirement, when her arthritis allows, stitching lace trimming onto Victorian-era dresses and taking care of my dad. My dad spends his days annoying the every loving crap out of my mom.
Not much has changed in 14 years.
Except the arthritis. And the surgeries and heart attacks and weekly trips to the various specialists. All the things that happen when you get older and so caught up in the day-to-day churn that you forget that the people around you get older, too.
But I’m thankful for another day with the people who drove me crazy in high school. The ones that couldn’t even entertain the idea that the pack of empty wine cooler bottles belonged to me. (Sweet underage baby Jesus, were those things terrible.) The ones that couldn’t see that the broken piece of siding on the house outside my bedroom window was actually the perfect height for a foot-hold.
And I’m thankful for a baby brother that shook some pretty dramatic, troubled teenage years and is now responsible for a family of his own. For the record, he didn’t throw a hissy fit when his beloved broccoli & rice casserole was replaced by a fancier, less-processed version. (He saved the hissy fit for when I handed him a beer that wasn’t Bud Light. Or Miller Light. Or whatever else he usually buys from the gas station.)
And I’m thankful for a partner-in-crime who taught me how to use a camera and would burn a sick day at the drop of a hat to play Halo with me.
And I’m thankful for the little punk with the shiny blonde hair who’s obsessed with dinosaurs, and lizards, and gross bugs. I just wish she’d inherited her father’s attitude instead of mine. And her father’s patience. And her father’s – SERIOUSLY?! BUGS AND LIZARDS?!