Posted: December 1, 2004 in Uncategorized

“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” – George Burns

(Okay, so I’m pro-dating this entry because I was too lazy to finish it last night. Writers block is a bitch.)

Over the past several years, Thanksgiving for me has been spent as a squatter, the single guy invited out of pity to someone else’s Thanksgiving gathering. Fun nonetheless, being a non-relative at a holiday gathering has the feeling of attending a play and being pulled on stage; you may have a part, but you really don’t know what it is, while everyone else is well rehearsed.

This Thanksgiving however was the first time spent with my extended family in some 5 years and change. Oddly enough, everyone on the whole seemed just the same, and the small differences were for the better. Given how much I enjoy spending time with that branch of my family tree, it was rather comforting to feel like I hadn’t missed out on much.

Colorado itself was a mixed bag. Having just spent the weekend before camping in weather in the teens, the cold wasn’t a big shock. However, coming from the extremely green and mountainous PNW, driving through the starkly uniform brown of the midwest is always disquieting. Countless new housing developments are being dropped in the middle of rolling fields, like someone is playing a real-life game of SimCity, placing identical blocks of residential, commercial, and industrial on a blank landscape, hoping it will coalesce into a thriving community, and that Godzilla won’t come through and demolish the power plant.

Thanksgiving day itself was spent just barely within the embrace of the Rockies, which felt comfortingly like home, but with a simultaneous hint of what the European Alps must be like. Once you drive in far enough, you can only see mountains every direction you look, which to me is endlessly inviting, since the landscape changes over each peak and ridge.

Getting out of Colorado was not nearly as easy as getting in. Thanksgiving weekend crowds, the ever-vigilant eye of Homeland Security, and a conveniently timed snowstorm all converged on Denver International on Sunday morning, turning air travel into a huge game of musical chairs. People were getting bumped 20 at a time, and cell phones were popping out everywhere as holiday plans were frantically rearranged. Not to be outdone by some piddly airline, nature was threatening to force my flight to redirect to Medford, a 3 hour drive from home. But, after being the first to make the cut to board, and the fog decided to release its grip on Eugene airport, I left the chaos of DIA up the gangway, and came home to move TVs and flip through the photo slideshow of my week.

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