The inaugural “Friendsgiving” took place back in November 2008 with a free 20lb turkey, courtesy of MMPI, bottles upon bottles of cheap wine and about 30 of our closest friends. We ate, we drank and we made merry with our new city friends, all while relishing in our newly acquired adulthood and big girl jobs.
Over the years, Friendsgiving has taken on many forms and has been hosted at a variety of fabulous Chicago walk-ups and houses. But after almost two years (can you believe it?!) and in the midst of a blizzard comparable to Chicago’s 2011 Snowpocalypse, Friendsgiving finally made its way to the High Country. About 20 of our heartiest friends ventured out into blowing snow and sub-zero temps to celebrate Thanksgiving a few weeks early, as most everyone who attended works in the ski industry and would therefore be working on the actual holiday.
We ate, we drank, we commented on the weather and the exciting amounts of snow being blown in by an extra low jet stream and we reflected on how lucky we were to be living in such a beautiful part of the country and working in an industry that truly appreciates the beauty of Mother Nature.
I for one, am so grateful to have each and every one of those people in my life. While I miss my family everyday, the holidays really pull at my heartstrings, but the laughs, the adventures, the exciting passion for an exciting industry and the spectacular support system found in this tiny mountain community are more than I ever could have asked for.
To you and yours, I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings.
“It’s knowing that your door is always open
And your path is free to walk
That makes me tend to leave my sleeping bag
Rolled up and stashed behind your couch
And it’s knowing I’m not shackled
By forgotten words and bonds
And the ink stains that are dried upon some line
That keeps you in the backroads
By the rivers of my memory
That keeps you ever gentle on my mind
It’s not clinging to the rocks and ivy
Planted on their columns now that bind me
Or something that somebody said
Because they thought we fit together walking
It’s just knowing that the world will not be cursing
Or forgiving when I walk along some railroad track and find
That you’re moving on the backroads
By the rivers of my memory
And for hours you’re just gentle on my mind
Though the wheat fields and the clothes lines
And the junkyards and the highways come between us
And some other woman’s cryin’ to her mother
‘Cause she turned and I was gone
I still might run in silence tears of joy might stain my face
And the summer sun might burn me ’til I’m blind
But not to where I cannot see you walkin’ on the backroads
By the rivers flowing gentle on my mind
I dip my cup of soup back from a gurglin’
Cracklin’ caldron in some train yard
My beard a rustling, cold towel, and
A dirty hat pulled low across my face
Through cupped hands ’round the tin can
I pretend to hold you to my breast and find
That you’re waiting from the backroads
By the rivers of my memories
Ever smilin’ ever gentle on my mind”
I’d like to make it known that today, November 17, 2014, was my first day on the hill for the Winter ’14/’15 season.
Not a bad way to spend a Monday.
That’s all that NOAA, AccuWeather, heck even Joel Gratz from OpenSnow, predicted that Keystone, CO would receive Tuesday night. So when I wandered sleepily into the living room at 5:40 on Wednesday morning and peeked through the blinds, you can imagine my surprise when I was greeted by white-out conditions and four inches of snow caked onto my windshield. I did a quick happy dance (squealed, jumped around the living room, you know the drill…) turned on Eric and Kathy (yes, even mountain women such as myself enjoy little snapshots into former city-girl lives…) and then hustled to get ready for work.
My typical Wednesday consists of a marathon of meetings. They start at 8:00am and generally go on and off until about 3:00pm. I spend a lot of time driving across Keystone from one building to another. But this particular Wednesday?
This particular Wednesday, the snow never stopped falling. This particular Wednesday, the plows couldn’t keep up. This particular Wednesday, all my meetings were cancelled and I spent the day staring dreamily out my office window as 12 inches of snow drifted down towards Earth and piled up in fluffy pillows of white pow.
November, I’ve never been so happy to see you.
LET. IT. SNOW.
I am thankful for this.
The view as seen from my front porch.
Last weekend, on a quintessential fall day in the Windy City, two of my favorite people in the world got married.
Moody, gray clouds surfing the blustery skies and rolling seas crashing into the rocks that line Lake Michigan’s craggy shores, punctuated the weekend, setting the scene with a sense of drama. And as the doors of Rockefeller Chapel burst open in a joyful introduction of the newlyweds, The Sun peeked through the clouds offering up her blessing, not to mention her approval, of the happy couple’s union.
That was the theme of the weekend.
Love radiated from table to table, spun around the dance floor and vibrated off of the soaring walls of the chapel. Well-wishes, kissed cheeks and bear hugs were shared among friends, new and old, and squeals of glee vibrated through the weekend from old college roommates and high school friends that were catching up for the first time in years.
And every once in a while, when you glanced at Holly and Tim, you felt as though you were catching a glimpse into a moment in which two people, two of the best people to grace this Earth, two people who love so wholly and live so fully, were coming finally coming together and gracing the rest of the population with a love and a craving for the adventures to come.
Congratulations you guys. It was an honor to share in your special day. All my love, to the moon and back.
It was 50° when I walked out of the house this morning at 6:40am.
Alas, nine hours later I was trekking through three inches of snow, in leopard print flats.
Mother Nature, you sure are a funny gal!