Thursday, November 27, 2008

thanksgiving alone

Okay. I am spending Thanksgiving Day alone.

I am not trying to play the sympathy card, though. On the contrary... I really like being alone. I sent the kids off to their grandmother's house. Her mom just passed away last week, so she needs a little ghost medicine, I think... and what better way to dispense it than with kids?

And I'm not especially moved by holidays, anyway. I think that's a guy thing, too. I'm not a sourpuss or anything. I just look at every day with equal amounts of enthusiasm, joy, and dread.

But today is an incredible day. The storm has passed, the trees look incredible, and the air smells so amazing (in a very non-turkey-and-gravy way). So I slept late, fed the horses, ran five miles in the hills (awesome), and now I'm going to go sit in my sauna and read.

Now that's a great day, I think.

A couple of years ago, I had to spend my birthday alone. During the middle of the night (I think it was around 2 a.m. the morning of my birthday) the police drove through our little town announcing an evacuation. There was a terrible wildfire and it was cresting the ridge on the hills behind our house, where firefighters had lined up to make what they said was a "last stand." There are no homes behind mine, just open space.

Well, I sent my wife and kids away, but I decided to stay because I wanted to be able to at least let our horses go if the fire got down onto our property, because I figured they'd be safe if they ran down to the lake (sound familiar? Well... it would if you'd read Ghost Medicine).

Anyway, the horses were fine and the fire never crested the ridge. But all that day (my birthday), it was so eerie, because it was like the world had been destroyed and I was the only survivor. Nobody was around at all. All the other homes were dark and abandoned, and it was so quiet. And my wife and kids were prevented from coming back home for the entire day.

So that was an interesting birthday, to say the least.