Books to warm your heart, nourish your soul & spark your sense of adventure



 This year at Thanksgiving, we did something we’ve only done once in the last seventeen years; we left home for the holiday. Since moving to Colorado, there have been a few tweaks to our turkey day program, but all centered on family, food, and fun in our home in Loveland, CO; all things that warm your heart.

So why the change this year?

One simple reason: family. Our oldest daughter couldn’t make it out from California and will be gone during Christmas, so we packed our bags and met our two other daughters in sunny CA to enjoy Thanksgiving with her, her boyfriend and his family.

Definitely there were some big changes. One benefit was we didn’t have to do any of the cooking. We left that to the experts, our hosts, and man-oh-man, did they ever do a great job! Yes, things were different, but they were delicious as well.

On Thanksgiving Day proper our tradition was to enjoy a morning movie, have breakfast and then start on the fixings for dinner.

Their plan was slightly altered, mostly so in the morning. Friends of our daughter, schoolmates of her boyfriend, some of his family, and several of their rugby friends gathered in a nearby park for a morning scrum of touch rugby. Though I didn’t play (but I wanted to!) nearly thirty others joined in a brisk, ninety-minute session of fun. At the same park were two other games; one a highly organized flag football game with spectators and full coffee mugs, and the other was a small, loosely ruled game of semi-tackle football. In attending a new tradition, we witnessed two others that might be able to trace their roots back a decade or more.

Rugby DeanKMiller

Later in the day, in between brunch and dinner, we played a few card games. Our usual pattern would be to play board games, but the change of pace was good. Our host family are huge Dallas Cowboy fans, so they spent much of the early afternoon watching the game while tending to the prepping and the cooking.

One tradition we did manage to hang on to was the cleanup duty. We couldn’t leave without helping in some way and this was the easiest fit. I know we made out with the best deal for the day and we whole-heartedly appreciated their Thanksgiving Day feast with relatives dropping in throughout the day.

It was fun to strike out on a new adventure during a time when plans are usually in place well in advance. It warmed our hearts to meet new friends, enjoy the ones that were there, and then ponder just what we might keep – and what we might change – come next year.



 Dean K Miller is the author of 100 Haiku for the 80s Generation, And Then I Smiled, Echoes, Oddysey of a Monk and the Editor of Sunrise Summits

                         HaikuBookCover small

Be part of the Hot Chocolate Press community by signing up for our Monthly Newsletter featuring book information, recipes, contests and other fun stuff. Sign up today and receive Jenny Sundstedt's short story, When the Wolf Comes, for free.