I headed out west on Thursday morning, dessert in hand, for Thanksgiving. Due to a variety of unforeseen circumstances, the family traditions were slightly uprooted this year and we ended up in Benson, at my brother and sister-in-law's house. It was, despite the change in venue, like Thanksgiving always is in my family. Great food, lively conversation, lots of laughter.
And this year, with the addition of three new children celebrating their first Thanksgivings, perhaps just a little bit louder. But in a good way.
After the party, as I was continuing on to my parents' house, I was struck by the scenery. There is a certain barrenness to the landscape of Western Minnesota in November, before the empty fields have been covered in their white blankets of snow. The land seems to go on forever and combined with the infiniteness of the sky, it gives one the feeling of being very, very insignificant. Broken silhouettes of abandoned farm houses, collapsing barns and tiny country cemeteries sit in sharp contrast to the brilliant sunsets while their contents sit undisturbed, gathering an abundant coating of dust and grime.
As I drove past several of these empty homes that were at some point undoubtedly filled with the same life and love I experienced that day, I wondered who lived there. And I wondered what they did for their last Thanksgiving.