Our visit to our hometown of Ashland was brief this time, just long enough to take care of various appointments and maintenance on our home and trailer. We rolled into town the day before Eric’s appointment with his cardiologist. How’s that for avoidance behavior? I was feeling more than a little anxious about returning to the scene of last fall’s trauma. Truthfully, if we could have just zoomed on by Ashland I would have happily done so (although we would have missed seeing our friends).
No Time To Waste
It wasn’t that we had any reason to worry. Ever since we were released by the cardiologist last May, we’ve been hiking, biking, kayaking, and living life just as fully as before. Nonetheless, I often turn to Eric when we’re hiking or biking strenuously and ask (in my most nonchalant tone of voice), “How’re you doing?” He’s always doing great. I hope, in time, that I won’t feel the need to ask.
We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of Eric’s unexpected open-heart surgery. Seeing the cardiologist and having Eric receive an A+ (with no need to return until next year) helps somewhat to put the event a bit further behind us. Still, I remain keenly aware that there is no time to waste in this life on anything less than what is truly satisfying on the deepest level of being.
So Much To Be Grateful For
We’re grateful that we have the ability to travel as we do, that we’re able to spend extended time with family and friends, and that we’re welcomed “home” with open arms each time we return to Ashland. Our circle of friends has expanded since we started our travels, and we’re grateful for the friends we’ve made on the road and the friends we’ve made through this blog.
We’ll be celebrating Thanksgiving this year in the hills above Monterey, just the two of us. We’ll miss our family and friends, but we needed to get out of town before the winter storms arrive. (No more deep winters in our trailer if we have anything to say about it!) We have a little Thanksgiving feast planned: chipotle-rubbed turkey breast on the grill, cranberry ginger chutney, roasted maple sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, a spinach salad with grapefruit and avocado, and an apple crisp. We’ll raise a toast to the splendor of this beautiful world, the small gifts of everyday life, and to family and friends. And we’ll read to each other the poem “Invitation” by Mary Oliver, one of our favorite poets.
Thank you all for being part of our lives, and for being part of our journey. It wouldn’t be the same without you. Happy Thanksgiving!
Oh do you have time
for just a little while
out of your busy
and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles
for a musical battle,
to see who can sing
the highest note,
or the lowest,
or the most expressive of mirth,
or the most tender?
Their strong, blunt beaks
drink the air
as they strive
not for your sake
and not for mine
and not for the sake of winning
but for sheer delight and gratitude –
believe us, they say,
it is a serious thing
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in the broken world.
I beg of you,
do not walk by
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.
It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.
Monterey is a spectacular place to spend Thanksgiving. Your menu sounds amazing- enjoy!!!
Brenda, it’s been a few years since we’ve been in Monterey, and we’re excited about returning! I’ll bet you’re planning something delicious for your Thanksgiving feast. We have fun planning and cooking. And eating. :-)
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving in my former
home, a paradise on the Monterey Peninsula.
Thanks, Peggy. I know Monterey holds a lot of wonderful memories for you. Wish you could be here with us! Enjoy your Thanksgiving. oxox
Happy Thanksgiving sweet friends!!!
Kim, I’m sure you have a fabulous vegan celebration planned! Hugs to you and Rick.
So much to be thankful for… It’s certainly worth reminding ourselves of that every so often. Happy Thanksgiving to you both, and safe travels!
Laura, I hope you’re having fun preparing for your first Thanksgiving on the road! And yes, we have so much to be thankful for, in so many ways.
Mary Oliver always says the right thing! I’m grateful to have met you two on the road! May your continued travels be safe and fulfilling!
Lisa, I agree — Mary Oliver always does say just the right thing, and in such a beautiful and profound way. We’re grateful to have met you and Hans, too. :-) How lucky we are in this life!
Happy Thanksgiving! I’m so grateful for you both and for dad’s radiant health. :) Love you!
Amanda, we love you so much! And we’re deeply grateful for you and Fin. Have a joyous Thanksgiving — we’ll be missing you!
What an absolutely beautiful Thanksgiving post. Every single day gives each of us something to be grateful for. At this moment, I’m grateful for you and for Mary Oliver who writes the poetry that touches my heart. So wonderful to know that you love her work too. Blessings to you both!
Thank you, Sherry. I think gratitude is powerful medicine, and I know you feel the same. Small wonder that we share a love of Mary Oliver’s work. We’re grateful for meeting you and David, and are so happy we’ll see you in Florida in March!
Your feast sounds fabulous. Happy Thanksgiving!
Hope you and Mike have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Debbie. We enjoy cooking. Well, truthfully, mostly we enjoy eating. :-))
Happy Thanksgiving to you and Eric. Watching you get through that frightening time, one foot in front of the other, together, reminds us all of how precious life is. Reminds us to be Thankful not just at Thanksgiving.
Thank you, Sue. Life is precious, and we’re so fortunate — all of us. Wishing you and Dave a lovely Thanksgiving. We’re so happy we’ll be reconnecting with you in Arizona in December!
Your post is very moving and I am so glad that Eric got a clean bill of health. You two are an inspiration for those of us who read your blog. Happy Thanksgiving to you both and I am so glad to call you friends.
Thank you, Brenda, for your loving comment. We’re always so happy to hear from you, and appreciate that you stay in touch. Here’s to meeting up with you and Morey on the road somewhere in the coming year! Happy Thanksgiving!
Sending you grateful blessings on your journey. We are at the Oregon Coast (Florence), meeting Taran and his girlfriend. Touched by your writing and so glad to know that all is well!
Yahya, how lovely to hear from you. Thank you for your good wishes. Wishing you all a wonderful celebration at the coast — how fun that you’re with Taran and his girlfriend. Please say hello for us.:-)
So glad that you are heading our way:) Your meal sounds wonderful. Enjoy! Thanks for sharing the lovely poem:) Happy Thanksgiving to you and Eric! We all have so much to be thankful for as we continue with this amazing life on the road we all live.
Pam, we’re so grateful that we embarked on this life adventure four-and-a-half years ago. Little did we know that we would meet such wonderful friends on the road! We’re looking forward to seeing you two soon. :-) Enjoy your Thanksgiving hike!
A very Happy Thanksgiving to you both. We will be thinking of you and looking forward to your visit very soon. Love you both. Your sister and all your family here in Poway and San Marcos.
Penny, we’re sorry to be missing Thanksgiving with all of you — but we’re excited to be seeing you soon! Enjoy a wonderful celebration with the family — we send our love!
A beautiful post Laurel. We all have much to be thankful for and we are so pleased to hear that Eric’s doctor visit was uneventful. We had no doubt it would be anything other than that. Traumatic events in our lives always allow us to step back and evaluate how we are living each day and how we want to continue this life journey. You two are embracing each day, as we all should, with gratitude and a sense of wonder. We wish you both a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are heading to Encinitas today for a few days, to celebrate the holiday, our anniversary tomorrow. and to get some time at the beach, breathing in the salty air. We are very excited for our upcoming visit with the two of you. See you soon!
LuAnn, Encinitas sounds like the perfect place for your anniversary celebration! How lucky we are to have met you and Terry. I agree completely about finding gifts in the challenges we face. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon, and to more adventures together in this wild and wonderful life journey. Enjoy that beautiful beach and ocean air!
Never never ever consider passing by without stopping…we love you both so much and would haunt you forever! Life is precious and more so with you both in it! Love the reminder from Mary Oliver via your sweet blog. PS ( Look around you and remember the threat of haunting…happens thru familiar objects). But no need ..seriously…you always have my voice whispering…”get..er..done!”
Diana, there’s really nothing that can keep us away from our beloved friends in Ashland. We count ourselves as incredibly fortunate to have such a loving, fun, generous tribe always welcoming us home. I have a blast with you on our “art days.” Thanks to your talents, I always leave home with more creative projects realized! And hey, there’s still room for more!
So happy to hear about the “clean bill of health”. As a cancer survivor, I can totally relate.It changes everything when you face huge health challenges ~ and makes one even more appreciative for confirmation of good health.
Love the photo of the glorious sunset. That sounds like a memorable meal!
Peta, I know you understand on the deepest level the preciousness of life. :-) I’m glad you like the photo — although it looks like a sunset, it was actually sunrise at Black Butte Lake on our first morning after leaving Ashland.
Beautifully written as always. Every day is a gift, and how lucky we are that ours are wrapped in this wonderful life of freedom and discovery. I’m so glad (and not surprised) to know Eric got high marks from his check-up. Your holiday sounds perfect in every way. We count you both among the blessings in our lives.
Thank you, Jodee. You are so right about the gifts of our nomadic lives. We’re so grateful that our paths crossed and that we’ve been able to share adventures — we’re looking forward to more! :-))
We thank every moment but most especially this year. We both have real challenges and obstacles this year that coming out of it and looking back makes the word “gratitude” even more deep and meaningful. This is a beautiful post, Laurel and Eric thank you for your friendship
ML, little did we know the challenges we would all face this past year! So much to be grateful for. We’re looking forward to seeing you and Steve next week, and are thankful for meeting you in our travels. :-)