Archive | 6:05 pm


28 Nov

Around this time last year, I took one of my last tests of Mod 1, ran home to pack (a.k.a. throw random shit into a poor, unsuspecting dilapidated carry-on), hopped an overnight flight to Rome, and met my husband in Florence.  We spent a rather unconventional  Thanksgiving in Sienna: no turkey; no family other than each other; about 4,000 miles from home.

This year could not be more different, yet it ended much the same: a very harsh awakening Monday morning; an oscillation between feeling completely overwhelmed by the work I pushed aside for the last 4-5 days, and feeling so emotionally fulfilled by the quantity of quality time spent with loved ones I see far too irregularly.  Instead of a nontraditional feast of sea bass, chianti, and fire-roasted chestnuts, we had turkey three times (at three separate Thanksgiving dinners).  John and I made up for our lack of family/friend-time last year by this year seeing ALL THE FAMILY/FRIENDS!  A quick midnight stop for me to fall asleep on the couch of Sarah and Scott while John actually caught up with two of our best friends.  Thanksgiving with two blood families, three surrogate ones.  Friday catch-up with my favorite first-year RA (who taught me how to wear UVA orange with pride), chill/study-time with the Blasingame-Packs (how they still put up with me, I have no idea), and Yaya-giving!  Roadtrip north with Erica and Dan (no need for radio or podcasts with these two) and puppy Meta (my backseat cuddler) early Saturday morning, followed immediately by John and my trip to the Baireuther Thanksgave in Lancaster, after which we stole Kathleen and Isaac for the return trip (I know Lancaster isn’t the hippest place to grow up, but since we can’t see one of our favorites at her Austin cottage nearly enough, we’re damn thankful she still has family a mere 68 miles from us).

Clearly, I haven’t done this weekend (and the people included in it) justice.  Can I blame lung cancer?  It is the #1 cause of death of any cancers, so I think I should maybe get cracking on learning a thing or two about it.  But, I do want to take a moment to say “thanks.”  As my last Thanksgiving day stop, I went to the home of my nextdoor neighbors growing up–they’ve been like family to me since I was three years old.  I got a chance to see my childhood home from the outside:

Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday.  I think I had at least 20 years of Thanksgiving dinners in that house, and I miss the idea of the house always being there, should our entire family be able to reconvene for a holiday together.  It was a great home for Thanksgiving dinners, complete with a kitchen that so naturally opens up to the dining area and family room so that one can cook and converse at the same time, and it feels like the end of an era.  Still, as my dad and I took our traditional Thanksgiving morning walk together, this year through a small wood in Annandale rather than our typical jaunt over to Burke Lake, I was thankful for the things that have remained in the face of (good) change.  My sister was married two weeks ago, and my dad is to be married in March.  Holidays are not so simple anymore, but I’m thankful for the complications–and the med student in me sees them as a problem-solving opportunities.