Despite all that I shared about Thanksgiving’s roots and deeper meaning last week, it is still a day my family has long treasured and spent together, focused on gratitude. With this in mind, we slipped away last week for a brief but lovely visit with my parents back at my childhood home.
I’m so grateful to live close enough that a two day trip isn’t a ridiculous prospect, and that we are fortunate enough to have my family to call on–during the holidays and every season.
We read aloud a couple of the books from the Decolonizing Thanksgiving book list, then dove in being helpful as best we could with dinner preparations. Lupine harvested some of my mom’s herbs, then bundled and labeled them and hung them up to dry. So sweet.
During the weekend, my mom pulled a worn gold ring out of a jewelry box, and despite not having seen it for nearly 25 years, I recognized it instantly. It was my grandmother’s wedding ring, and I slipped it onto my finger, awash with memories.
Later that night, knitting beside the fire, her ring was in context once more. Juxtaposed against my yarn and needles, the sight of ring and wool together transported me back in time. My grandma was the only knitter I knew as a child, and she (like me today) was rarely far from her yarn.
I suppose she’s at the heart of why I make.
Seeing that ring alongside my yarn took me back to a seat on the floor beside her chair as she patiently talked me through my first clumsy stitches. I watched as she expertly maneuvered the work in her hands. Like magic, those fluid stitches flowed off her needles.
Such a gift to remember her in this way.
And then… another gift happened.
On our return trip from Thanksgiving, we detoured past a farm that we visited on our arrival trip as well. A farm with a single, sweet-faced puppy for sale.
We were smitten the first time we met him, so–logically–we brought him home.
This puppy pick-up wasn’t half so spontaneous as it sounds. It was a year-and-a-half in the making.
A short time after my sweet Charlie died, Lupine began asking in earnest for another house dog. We delayed while my heart healed, but the requests never slowed. A year passed, then more.
She asked weekly, sometimes nearly every day.
Finally, Pete and I decided that we were ready (all of us).
And so, for her 12th birthday, we gave her a book on dog training – this favorite – (afflink) and tucked a coupon inside for a dog or puppy of her choice. Upon reading it she shrieked with joy, disbelief and tears in her eyes. That night as she drifted off to sleep she whispered, “I can’t believe you gave me a puppy. This is the best gift in the history of every gift that has ever been given to me. In. My. Life.”
A girl of my heart, she was set on a golden, but when we saw this goldendoodle (half golden retriever, half standard poodle) she was sold. We’re not poodle fans per se, but loved the idea of a golden’s personality crossed with another breed to provide some hybrid strength after losing Charlie so young to kidney failure. The fact that they’re touted as hypoallergenic and non-shedding didn’t hurt his case either.
This little newcomer’s name has changed a few times since coming home… first Moose, then Fredland, and now O’donoghue, after our favorite pub in Ireland.
I think this last name is going to stick.
And this little face? Yeah, I think we’re all pretty smitten. Welcome to the family little guy. I hope you love it here.