Thanksgiving’s Bounty

I just crashed and burned on my chem midterm, which means two things: 1) there may be tears in the future when I discover my mark, and 2) I’m done studying for it so I can binge on Halloween candy and watch TV and post on Valourbörn yay! I think the pros far outweigh the cons here.

Aaaaaanyways, what I wanted to talk about is this past weekend: Thanksgiving weekend.

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Thanksgiving is a time of good food, loving family, and being thankful for the blessings you have, and so my family celebrates it by going camping with all of the relatives on my dad’s side. This year it amounted to 21 people taking up multiple campsites.

It’s always a little crazy, going camping with my family, but it’s a lot of fun. The weather ended up being gorgeous: sunny and almost what you could call warm, although the nights were frigid.

And we brought a pumpkin up with us! The neighbours across the street were selling them for a fundraiser so we bought one to bring camping that I was put in charge of carving. I didn’t go for anything fancy with this one (partly because the knife I was using was falling apart, partly because it was freezing cold) so I made a happy traditional pumpkin face. He got nicknamed Jack, and my aunt Catherine embarrassed the poor squash by putting an upside down red solo cup and leaves on his head, as well as some sticks in his sides for arms (after having played us a rousing tune on her native flute while we watched the green flames of a burning charcoal bag). Then my friend Lauren, who came with us, took him home for her dorm. Apparently he’s mouldy now :S

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But the true highlight of the weekend was the scavenger hunt. My cousins Jessie and Sarah Jean organized it, creating a list of things for us to find on our hike through the forest. We then had to take the things we’d collected and put them together into a display. I was teamed up with Lauren, but we only ended up finding three things, BUT we came in fifth place, so we didn’t do too badly. My grandma made the winning display, which was a rather impressive model of Bilbo Baggins’ hobbit hole. I always love the scavenger hunt and have a ton of fun just traipsing through the forest looking for things and taking autumn photos.

On the last evening there, I managed to edit seven chapters of my manuscript, which was a fantastic morale boost. And then we got into a long conversation with my cousin Michaela about all sorts of things—books, movies, boys, school memories. There were a lot of laughs and it was a touch bittersweet when the evening came to an end.

There was certainly a lot to be thankful for over the weekend. The magnificent fall weather. Getting to see my extended family. The comfort of a warm fire on a cold night. The simple joy of a jack-o’-lantern. Skies so clear, they were full of stars I never see in the city. Memories and creativity and laughter. Dreams. Camaraderie and kinship. Peace.

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This is what I love about autumn—that it’s one time of year when all the things I’m thankful for converge into one stunning feeling of peace. That feeling you get when everything is right and you want it to stay that way forever. Even that borderline melancholic feeling when you know it has to end.

There’s a lot out there to be thankful for, and I can taste it in the autumn air, see it in the golden trees. Pumpkins, hikes, laughter–they’re things I love and things I’m grateful I have the chance to experience.

What more could I ask for than the small happinesses that these things offer?

What are you thankful for this time of year?

May your blessings be many and your joys be simple.

-Alex

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