Many people have Thanksgiving in the city. Having ours this year in Reston was one of our options. Yet we were there in October and having Thanksgiving among the forests and fields of Carteret County just seemed right.
Because the holidays are all about being with your family and friends, no matter where you get together, any place even a city can work out great. However, in my case, enjoying Thanksgiving beyond the urban sprawl makes it a little more special. For some reason the pull of the country is especially strong at this time of year. Being able to get some of your meal direct from the farmers is part of it. Still we each have our own reasons.
For me perhaps it all goes back to that first Thanksgiving after we graduated from college. After finishing my degree, I managed to buy a farm on the Nova Scotia shore for $6,500. It had an old farmhouse, a carriage house, and a barn. The farm had 140 acres and was walking distance to the Bay of Fundy. Three college friends came to Nova Scotia that first summer to help renovate the farmhouse.
It was a huge project and for a while we were taking showers with water warmed in a coffee pot. But by Thanksgiving we were ready for visitors.
The house was roofed, painted, insulated, wired, plumbed, and even had some walls. We were still mostly sleeping on foam pads on the floor. We had hot water, heat, and a kitchen with a dishwasher. I had gotten a brick mason to build us a new chimney with a stone fireplace.
A number of friends from college came up to visit us that first Thanksgiving. While most of us had spent a Thanksgiving or two away from home, it had always been in someone else's home. This was to be our first Thanksgiving on our own.
There were a number of capable young ladies in the group, including my good friend Sally. Still none had ever attempted a turkey on their own. Then there were all these details like what to put in the stuffing, how to make the cranberry sauce, and what vegetables to have with our meal.
There was a lot of give and take, and we eventually had a magnificent meal that I am sure most of us still remember fondly. One of our friends died a few years ago, she is certainly missed, but the rest of us are still doing Thanksgiving dinners. A couple of years ago we had Thanksgiving at our youngest daughter's house.
A few weeks ago we returned from a trip back to Canada. After riding nearly 2,800 miles, my wife declared that we weren't going anywhere for a few weeks. Since we have sold our home on the mountain and said good-bye to Roanoke, Virginia, our 2012 Thanksgiving will be here in the country along the Southern Outer Banks instead of on the mountain in Roanoke.
We are lucky to have two of our three grown children with us this Thanksgiving here on the coast. Having family or friends around at Thanksgiving just seems to make it feel right.
That the deep blue sky of Carteret County reminds me of the blue Nova Scotia sky is no accident. I came here to the Crystal Coast because it reminded me of Nova Scotia except the weather is a lot better and the water is a lot warmer.
We could have done Christmas in Reston, where our other children live, but I feel a little trapped up in the DC area during the holidays. The malls are packed and it is a challenge to go to the grocery store much less do any shopping.
Here we can walk by the quiet waters of our Inlet or go over to the beach for hike. Then there are all the trails just waiting for us. Among all the trails, the one at the Croatan National Forest access in Cedar Point are my favorites and are perfect for this time of year. There is just enough shelter to get out of the winds.
I am hoping for an opportunity to go kayaking or boating on Thanksgiving day. We might have a beautiful bluewater-morning on Thanksgiving day. Kayaking in Reston just isn't the same as kayaking on a pristine two mile wide tidal river.
With the beauty surrounding us and our family members already safely under our roof, Thanksgiving should be a lot of fun. I know there will be turkey, it has been thawing in our fridge for a few days.