I had a date on Tuesday night. Nice dinner, warm atmosphere, engaging conversation. It wasn’t our first, but it has been a while since we just sat and talked, so it was nice to just reconnect.
Of course, I insisted on getting the check, although now that I think about it, she really didn’t put up much of an argument. In fact, I’m not even sure she knew that the waitress brought the bill, or that I handed it back to her.
That’s OK, she really doesn’t make any money. Other than the occasional birthday check or bribery money for taking care of the dog, her income is relatively negligible.
She’s only 11 years old, so I can’t really expect much, and since she is my daughter, I should probably relish these moments rather than complain about them. I start to see it in her, this internal struggle between being scared of leaving her “kid” years behind and moving forward with her own independence.
Heck, she’s in middle school – all bets are off when you have a daughter in middle school. But for every roll of the eyes, every “it’s not fair,” I still get a snuggle on the couch, the holding of hands as we walk down the sidewalk. I get dinner with no little bother – I mean brother. And while our talk included discussion of what she is asking for from Santa (Ever feel like you are getting played?) and the silly things our dog, Max, does, we also discussed what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri, and what charitable deeds we can do this holiday season.
We will be celebrating Thanksgiving this year much like we did last year – in our popup camper somewhere in Utah. It has become somewhat of a tradition to join my father and his wife as well as my sister’s family to see how long it takes for the turkey, gravy and stuffing to get cold.
Last year established the record of about 34 seconds. We sat (on blankets) high above a gooseneck of the Colorado River at Dead Horse Point, and while I knew the view from up there is unbelievable, the farthest I could see was about 15 feet. Dense fog and snow made most outdoor excursions quick in nature, including the Thanksgiving feast. So let’s hope sunny, and warm, skies prevail; otherwise, I may suggest “camping” in Mexico for 2015.
Regardless of the environment, or that I may be eating at a wobbly table that converts into a bed in about a minute, I will be thankful. I will (hopefully) be gazing out on the Utah landscape with a full belly and a happy heart; I will have a slice of pecan pie and a glass of Kentucky’s finest; I will have my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews in my company; I will have my kids – Asher and Elena – on either side of me.
I will have found my happiness far away from the troubles of the world or from the nearest box store wooing me with deals on stuff I really don’t need. And for the moment, with a frosty breath and a chill that travels down to the tips of my toes, all I can do is smile.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Even when life throws you curve balls and it’s difficult to look beyond the end of the day, find something to be thankful for. Look toward the La Platas or the Animas, or simply across the table. And give thanks. And smile.
firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6464. Darrin Parmenter is director and horticulture agent of the La Plata County Extension Office.