December 7, 2008

The Highs and Lows of Thanksgiving 2008

Ah yes, Thanksgiving has come and gone again.  It is now a distant memory as the more sensational, commercial, and excessive signs of Christmas are upon us.  However, I'm not above reporting a week late as I am in need of blog fodder with the snow staying away and the in between season lengthening. 

As the holiday name states, time to give thanks.  In brief, I am thankful for a supportive family.  I'm thankful for a wife who tries to understand me and who will ride or ski with me.  I'm thankful for each of my kids--unique in their own way.  I'm thankful for a headstrong 10 year old daughter who can accomplish just about anything she sets her mind to (she just has to set her mind to it).  I'm thankful for our 8 year old daughter who is a quintessential peacemaker (living up to her middle child status) and who already has a deeply rooted love of learning.  I'm thankful for a carefree 4 year old son who is truly free of malice and who can often be heard laughing out loud in his sleep.

But enough of that.  Thanksgiving is also a time to throw as many people around a table as possible and eat, talk, visit, play, laugh, argue, fight, eat some more, cry a little, and eventually leave.  So here is a brief rundown of our holiday weekend in true Veep "high and low" format (from my perspective):

Low:  Veep leaves for Salt Lake with the kids on Monday afternoon leaving me alone to work and attend meetings for 3 days.  My aversion to Utah, which stems directly from this abandonment, ticks up a few points.

High:  Tuesday morning I awake to a strange presence in the house.


The mylar balloon has finally descended.  I suppose there is a profound lesson here but it's a little fuzzy for me.  Sometimes virtues like patience are a great justification for being lazy and procrastinating a job that is fully capable of taking care of itself.

High:  I fly down to Salt Lake after work on Wednesday.  Glad I missed the drive.

Thanksgiving day.  

High:  Hiked up Rock Canyon with Veep. Oddly enough we see someone I knew from our time in Portland.  Utah has a way of doing that.

Low:  Two mountian bikers pass us on our way down.  It would have truly been a great morning ride and I was searing with jealousy and bumbling with regret for not putting my mountainbike on top of the car.

High:  We watched the masses of cousins as they filled the playground at the park by my inlaw's house.


I don't think you can appreciate it in this crappy cameraphone photo (my resolution was on the lowest setting for some reason), but the playground was completely filled by kids from the same gene pool.

High:  We played in the obligatory Thanksgiving morning soccer game.  I discovered a few muscles I haven't been using.

Low:  On the last play of the game (or what became the last play, as the last play is usually tragic in these situations) I slide tackled Veep's youngest sister while trying to end the stalemate tie.  I totally made her twist her ankle and felt like a dolt.  Maybe my Mother-in-law and some of the older, more conservative sisters, will thank me, however, for keeping her from tromping around in the impractical, towering high heels she loves so much and they detest so abhorrently.   

High:  We enjoyed an excellent, traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  Veep was very happy she didn't have to cook (that's two years running now, not bad).  Though she doesn't want this to be her legacy, my Mother-in-law can bake some amazing rolls and pies.


High:  Visited with extended family I hadn't seen for a while (I have a strict "every three years" policy of visiting Utah) and had fun catching up and playing a mean game of Mexican train dominoes.


Low:  The anticipated snowstorm wasn't materializing.

High:  Friday morning Veep and I headed for Alta anyway.


Nothing like getting your first turns in November.  Even though there wasn't a ton of snow, there were four inches of fresh the night before, covering large patches of ice from the several warm days earlier in the week.  Alta holds some good memories for me.  Maybe Utah isn't so bad.


Low:  Saturday I should have gone skiing but felt lazy and tired.  At this point the fun of having large numbers of people in tight spaces was aging.  It was starting to feel like a Beijing job fair where no one could decide which booth they wanted to go to.

Job fair

High:  The long drive home started on time Sunday morning.  It was nice to spend time with the kids, even if they were sequestered in the back seat against their will.


We stopped in Idaho Falls for a late breakfast, hit the Patagonia outlet in Dillon, and made it to Missoula just as darkness was falling.  We saw this weird, upside down cartop bike rack on the drive into town.


I don't really understand why you would want to mount your bike this way, I can't think of a single advantage.  If you have hydraulic brakes it would certainly be a bad idea.  Interesting none-the-less.

High:  Slept in my own bed Sunday night.


  1. Next year will you make a trip to our home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Can't promise snow at Bogus Basin, but the company will be good!

  2. Looks like the highs outnumbered the lows.
    See? Utah isn't that bad.

  3. I think the sprained ankle story will live on far beyond Camille's injury, that is, unless you caused permanent damage. Of course, stories about permanent damage have a way of outliving the patient anyway.
    I like that you included as part of your chronicle the descension of the balloon. But I'm sad to see it leave. I liked thinking of it resting up there, an idiosyncratic part of the well-ordered ceiling. Oh well, what goes up...

  4. A psychoanalysis of your blog entry suggests that you have superficial issues with Utah that stem from deep-seated jealousies that some of the very finest skiing in the country can be found in the Wasatch. Embrace the truth, bro. ;-)