I love a holiday. A holiday that’s actually two holidays in one is even better. And when those two holidays are Thanksgiving and Christmas: whoa. Food! Presents! Chalk! Glitter!
Let me back up.
Robin Hood and I spent Thanksgiving weekend in his homeland of Texas. We began our odyssey on Tuesday evening, driving from Albuquerque to Lubbock, where we spent the night at a friend’s house. On Wednesday, we continued eastward until we reached a parcel of land near the town of Graham. Here we would remain until the following evening – Robin Hood’s family had decided to shift Turkey Day to Friday – with one goal: venison.
Hunting is still shiny and new to me, so I eagerly camouflaged up and joined my man in his tree stand. I was there as an observer (someday I’ll be skilled enough to actively hunt, but not yet) and tried to absorb as much as I could. Not for the first time, I noticed similarities between hunting and another favored outdoor activity of mine: running.
For both, it seems the optimal times are during sunrise and sunset. Whether sitting still in camo or striding along in neon, those hours are magical. They’re a chance to fill ourselves with quiet before a bustling, noisy day, or a chance to relax and exhale at the end of that day.
Perspective is also key in both activities. In hunting, few things are more frustrating than shooting the quarry but then not being able to find it – whether because of a setting sun, a spry animal, or just bad luck. In running, a comparable experience is being this close to a PR, only to have it elude us by a few seconds. Or having one foot out the door to go for a daily run, only to have an urgent task call us back.
None of that is fun. But in both hunting and running, as tempting as it is to stew and re-analyze the situation over and over, we have to maintain perspective. There will be another day. There will be more animals to hunt, and there will be more miles to run. Dusting ourselves off lets the light in.
Long story short: Robin Hood didn’t get a deer. But it was still fun, memories were made, and we drove on to Fort Worth just in time for….
….Thanksgiving-Christmas-Black-Friday-Day-Of-JOY!! The hunting trip delayed Thanksgiving, and the fact that Robin Hood will accompany me to Virginia for Christmas brought about his family’s decision to celebrate Christmas early. Combining the two holidays into one turned out splendidly. We cooked a bunch, ate a bunch, wrote down what we were thankful for on chalkboard placemats, and wore paper crowns. I can’t remember where the glitter came from, but it was there, and it was fabulous. We exchanged gifts, and I caught my eyes welling up more than once.
I snuck several runs in during our stay in Fort Worth, and yup, they were right around sunrise. I wasn’t stalking any deer or chasing any PRs; I was just loping along under tall, leafy trees in early morning quiet. When I reached my turnaround point to head back to the family I’ve come to love, I thought to myself, Louis Armstrong was right.
What a wonderful world.