November 25, 2009
thoughts before the feast
In many ways this upcoming Thanksgiving feels so momentous. It's my first turkey and my first major holiday away from family. It's the first Thanksgiving I've planned and honestly one of the first camping trips I've planned without some major emotional hijinks. I'm starting to enjoy being Natalie -to lose some of the guilt and get back in touch with my desires. It's the night before we leave, and I'm not running around worrying about the unswept floor or the laundry yet to be stowed away. Most of my meal prep is done. I didn't leave a huge pile of dishes in my wake. Allen's pleased, and it looks like the turkey will just fit inside my dutch oven. The vegetables might get the ultra-traditional cooked in an aluminum foil pouch treatment, but but I think it's all going to come together. And no one is crying, yelling, or forcibly losing hair. It's a nice feeling. Tomorrow I'm going to pull together our clothes and personal sundries, prep the turkey, pack the ice chests and freezer bags, and head out to pick up Allen from work before wandering off into the hills. This is probably the least stressed I've been about any trip I've taken this year. Of course this is still the night before. We'll see when I wake up tomorrow morning. Still, I can remember feeling absolutely sick to my stomach the night before a trip from massive amounts of guilt and worry. Yes, and I still wanted to go camping. "The mountains are calling" is a pretty powerful motivator. By God's grace though I've been able to see through much of that guilt and frustration to the larger issues beyond, which has allowed me to reconnect with what's really important. Planning for this Thanksgiving has been so much fun (after the initial bout of homesickness and frustration) because I'm seeing just how far I've come in the past few months. When I look back on the first year Allen and I were married I can't believe just how much of me was buried in a swirling pool of pain, hurt, and denied longing. Sometimes I feel as though I'm only just now waking up after a long hibernation. So like any old bear crawling out of her cave I'm going to wander around in the woods and each a bunch of food.