So going "home" to Texas over Thanksgiving has become a bit of my own personal tradition. My brother and I run, a lot. He kicks my butt and is 20 years older than me. I like to think of my running more like training for the eventual zombie apocalypse (where you'll have to be very careful about pacing yourself).
This year we not only did the 8-mile Thanksgiving day Turkey Trot through the middle of downtown Dallas, but we also did the Pineapple Classic that I mentioned earlier - now THAT was a difficult 5k obstacle course through cow-patty forest country. We scaled giant circular hay bales, way too many plywood walls, net-climbs, hurdles, tires... thank god the army-crawl obstacle wasn't a live-fire exercise, or I'd have gotten my poor excuse for a booty blown to smithereens. I would have done much better with the really high sawhorse crawl if there hadn't been absolutely the biggest daddy longleg residing on my horse that I've ever seen in my entire life. Anyway, the finish was a run-and-slide across a giant blue tarp covered in dish soap and really cold hose water... while waiting to start we saw lots of folks finishing, hesitantly crab-clawing their ways across, but I tell you, I was so grateful to see that finish line, I didn't think twice. I ran and slid head first, got flipped around ass-over-teakettle and almost lost my pants. It was awesome. Note to self, next year, bring dry clothes.
So Thanksgiving, with the whole family along for the ride, the house gets interesting. I get claustrophobic because I'm usually here in Portland all by my comfortable lazy lonesome, and being thrown into the midst of a busy bubbling family isn't something I'm used to on a day-to-day basis. Therefore when I'm there, I tend to resort to my role of complaining-selfish-too-told-to-be-pouting-self, whispering to mom when I think things aren't fair. Which is quite often. Then I have those moments sitting around listening to the whole group and all their own personal crazies - the fights with the neighbors, the drama, the pointer-out of every horrible headline in the paper and online, the overstated opinions, the chatty kids, the angsty teens... the dogs and yes, the ferrets (I don't get ferrets, I'm sorry - why do people keep elongated rats as pets?) Anyway in the middle of sitting there listening to all the crazy, I had a very odd moment of clarity: We're all, in our own special ways, bananas. Our families are all their own brands of bananas. And this year I realized that I am so lucky to be a part of it all. I am grateful for every single one of those nutjobs, and I fit right in. It's what family is all about.