Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I was born in Kansas but moved to Texas when I was 8, so every November, we’d pack the car and drive 8 hours north to good ‘ol Kansas City.
Every year, my aunt and uncle host anywhere between 35 to 40 hungry relatives followed by dessert, a mini ping pong tournament, and good wine. This year, after devouring Darren’s oh so moist and delicious deep fried turkey – no worries, we had a classic oven baked one to share as well – some of us gathered around the dining room and played a couple of heated rounds of Mafia.
The next day, Black Friday, a throng of us ranging from 15 years old to their mid 60s, converged on the historic Massachusetts Street in Lawrence, KS to shop locally and get some early holiday shopping done. We met at Adorned Boutique and Ravyn and I crossed the street to spend time in The Raven Bookstore. They had the cutest matchbook books and Ravyn snapped photos of books she’d later put on her Christmas list. Gap was having an amazing sweater sale that I took advantage of, and after commenting on the attractive baristas at Starbucks, we decided to have lunch at the 715.
Jess joined my family for the rest of our time in Lawrence and I was so happy to be able to hang out with an old friend during my time in Kansas.
We ended Friday back at my aunt and uncle’s house and found that The Preacher’s Wife was on television. Naturally, I had to watch it and was pleasantly surprised to see my teenage male cousins enjoy it with me alongside Nate, the precocious 7 year old who pretended to hate the movie despite the fact that he sat through the whole thing. Oh children…
Saturday I’ll call, “The Great Purge.” Because I moved quite hastily to NYC, I had to leave the contents of my KCMO apartment in the basements and rooms of various family members’ houses. It went quickly enough, the trashing, donating, packing and shipping of my things, but it was bittersweet to see the unnecessary belongings leave my life for good. There’s this quote I remember from Baz Luhrman’s Australia. It went something like, “All we really have are our stories,” and that struck a chord with me. So as I saw my things being whisked away to the Salvation Army, I remembered that line and reminded myself that I didn’t need those things, I just need to remember them and the stories they told.
We ended the Thanksgiving weekend with gumbo and Skyfall.
Dark and early Sunday morning I headed back east to New York missing my family all over again glad to be starting a new life for myself.