Monday, October 11, 2010

kinetic thanksgiving

Thanksgiving isn't just a day to my family. It's a three-day weekend into which we try to cram as much kinetically frenzied activity as possible before collapsing in a heap on Monday night.

Side note: For the thousands and millions of American readers who are wondering why I'm talking about Thanksgiving in October, today is indeed Canadian Thanksgiving. Yep, that's right. We eat our turkeys in October. You can read why here.

Friday evening, Phillip and I went for a ramble in the bush to hunt grouse. Grouse hunting is a sensible way to break into a busy weekend. You get to enjoy the bush without having to exert yourself too much. Grouse are usually smart enough to keep an alder or tree between them and the hunter. They're also dumb enough to think an alder or tree will keep them safe . . . unless you spook them, then they fly. Hunting grouse involves a controlled, careful type of walking that is just perfect for enjoying a fall evening, but not strenuous enough to to be considered exercise. Our hunt was semi successful. Phillip shot one and spooked another. That was Friday evening.

Saturday, I chainsawed a door out of logs for the cabin the boys built last spring. Chainsawing doors into existence is definitely considered exercise, by the way. The cabin now has four complete walls, a mostly completed door, half a window, and 99% of a roof. Not quite ready for winter, but getting there. As a bonus, Phillip shot another grouse that happened to wander along at just the wrong time. We got home in time to help cook a pre-Thanksgiving dinner for a passel of Phillip's friends. Then we watched the Leafs whip the Senators 5-1. That was Saturday.

Sunday we took the same passel of friends on a hunting/fishing combo hike through the bush to a lake that was one of my favourite hangouts as a teenager. Hiking through a mile of fields and forest, and slogging through half mile of spongy swamp to a boreal paradise is definitely considered exercise too. On the way, Phillip spooked two more grouse. At the lake we built a campfire, roasted marshmallows and bannock, and pretended to fish for a while. I say "pretended" because if we had really been fishing, we would really have caught something. Really.

Here's one of the pretend fishing expeditions.

And here's Vanessa enjoying a piece of Canadian Shield.

And here's a very real, and quite traditional marshmallow roast (also on the Canadian Shield - I didn't want to write a campfire-turned-into-forest-fire blog entry).

After the hike, we went to my brother's place for another campfire, this time with bannock, marshmallows and hot dogs. And stories. Lots of old (and mostly true) trapline stories from our reckless younger years. And that was Sunday.

Today, which is the real Thanksgiving Day, we celebrated by sleeping in until 11:00, then eating lots of homemade waffles with wild blueberry sauce. Erinn is now reading her book. Vanessa (who is industrious) finished her homework and went out to play. Phillip (who is usually industrious) stated he was going to do his homework, them promptly fell asleep in the armchair with the dog in his lap. Too much kinetic pre-Thanksgiving fun I guess. And I'm sort of blogging. Not real blogging, where I grapple with the titanic forces of evil that align themselves against volunteer firefighters. Not even semi real blogging, where I tell you about our peripheral edge of the universe fire department. This is holiday blogging.

Lest you think that we are hopelessly untraditional, or even sacrilegious, I haste to assure you that we will enjoy a somewhat traditional Thanksgiving dinner this evening with my parents and lots of friends.

And that will be Monday.

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