Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. In fact, the only thing that keeps it from being unequivocally my favorite holiday is the whole remnant pilgrim/Indian thing; it continues to strike me as insulting (at best) to insist on that particular national myth, as if the founding of this particular nation did not take place on the bodies of those who lived here before. I find the happy pilgrim/Indian iconography deeply disturbing, given the genocide that it hides. It is entirely reasonable (and in fact, so much more reasonable) to have a holiday whose main goal is to focus on giving thanks for what we have, without adding that layer of denial.
If all of that extra layer of myth-making were wiped away, then what would be left is, really, a harvest festival, something of which I heartily approve. Quite simply, this is the time to turn inward, the time when everything moves towards its winter rest, the time of quiet growth in the dark. At its heart, Thanksgiving seems to me to be a chance to stop a moment in order to be quietly grateful that I have food to eat, a safe, warm place to cook it, and people I love to share it with. The core things. The things that really matter.
One of the best bits about celebrating up here is that my parents' home has amazing access to walking paths and to the American River bike trail. So we've taken several long walks each day (to Tilly's great joy; on the topic of giving thanks, one of the best ways to remember to be grateful for the small things is to watch the joy of a dog running after squirrels).
The weather has, until this morning (the rain clouds finally arrived), been perfect, which makes for beautiful views of the river.
The whole trail along the American is lined with piles of rounded river rocks. I don't know whether they were carried there by the river in past centuries of flood, or whether they were piled there by intrepid panners for gold during the Gold Rush (Rick's theory; I subscribe to the former). I also don't know that it matters; I love looking at them either way.
Right now, the salmon are running, so the upriver side of the bars are filled with seagulls and vultures and herons, eating their fill of the river's bounty. These turkey vultures are taking a break from all the feasting in the sun.
Last but not least, I should mention that this year I'm feeling grateful to have finished Elektra Redux. It fits, I wore it last night, and I'm so much happier with it. Ripping and reknitting was the right choice.
The yarn survived the ripping fairly well, I think, and everything blocked out quite neatly. I'm much happier with the color distribution in this version, as well.
To recap. This is Elektra Redux (Rav link), knitted from Twisted Sisters Petite Voodoo (a silk/merino blend), on size five needles, size extra small. So I went down a size, both in pattern and needles, and it's definitely not too small. It fits much better than the first version, and I think I'll be wearing this a lot.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!