We just returned a couple nights ago from a long Thanksgiving trip to Michigan, to visit my family and friends for the holiday.
It’s been a while since we were in Michigan for any holidays – we passed on Thanksgiving and Christmas last year in favor of a stopover on our way home from the presidential inauguration in January – and I missed it all much more than I thought I had. More than I swore I would. Even my family’s brand of laid-back, microwaved-turkey, pajama-clad holiday celebrations. And Michigan’s freezing cold weather.
And this year things were even extra laid-back, as my grandma spent it in a nursing home, recovering from a nasty fall which left her with a fractured pelvis. My grandpa gets up at 5:00 AM to trek over there before sunrise and sit by her side all day, every day. We couldn’t quite get up that early, but we did make it there almost every day to watch the two of them hold hands, eat off each other’s plates, and chat about their favorite judge shows…
We missed visiting one day, though, because we went to Ann Arbor overnight, to see all my friends from college and to wake up early for the Michigan/Ohio State game. But Grandma understood – there was an epic college football rivalry demanding our attention. And 113,500+ people we needed to hang out with, a few of whom I needed to party with like it was 1999 and I was 21. Literally.
Hang on… It’s just too good…
Anyway, awesome Prince jams aside, there was nothing really elaborate or even traditionally “Thanksgiving” about this trip. We didn’t even really have Thanksgiving dinner. But somehow, it made me feel more grateful than I have in a while for my life and all the people in it. I guess sometimes microwaved food, old people holding hands in nursing homes, and waking up hungover in your best friend’s two-year-old’s bed will do that.
And college football. I will always be grateful for college football.
See all our pics of Thanksgiving in Michigan here.