Dim The Lights

And so we come once again to November, one of my least favored months of the year, containing my least favorite holiday.

Actually, I could do away with Thanksgiving altogether, and never miss it.

I think I’ve borne a deep-seated resentment towards this holiday since I was a child, to be honest, and I’ll tell you why.

As a kid, Thanksgiving meant having to dress up, and stay dressed up, All Damn Day. As a tomboy, this was one of the worst possible punishments you could inflict on me. I loathed wearing dresses, and having to wear one for a whole day… Not being able to climb trees with the cousins, or scurry up and down the cliff behind our house – hell – simply having to stay clean all day… It was hell.

And OK, the food thing was alright, but I was always a picky eater, so I pretty much stuck to turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing & corn. No funky salads, no strange fruity jello things, nothing unidentifiable, thanks. Pumpkin pie for dessert, with plenty of whipped cream, & I was done.

And then… Ultimate boredom set in.

The menfolk took over the living room to watch football, while the women ruled the kitchen.

There was nowhere for a tomboy cursed to wearing a dress for the day to go!


I usually ended up sitting in my room, playing records on my record player, wishing I could change into my ratty jeans & scuttle down the cliff to the freedom of the river below. 

No joy. The maternal police in the kitchen guarded the stairway & would’ve caught me.

As a grownup, I became resigned to the holiday – until my brother destroyed it a few years ago for me with his hate-filled email one year, & a ranting phone call another year.

I… Quite simply… HATE … Thanksgiving with pretty much every fiber of my being.

And yet – every year, I’m forced to partake in this much-loathed ritual, to make my parents happy.


At least I don’t have to explain why Mom asks me to make the pumpkin pie every year anymore, since my sibling & his family moved away. 

I wish I could say no.

I wish I could be far away this year & not have to “do” Thanksgiving.

I’ve never really seen the true need for this holiday. A secular holiday “celebrating” something that ended up being basically a farce? Pilgrims & natives eating together in thanks? And then European settlers basically trying to destroy the natives in their greed for land and domination? 

Why are we giving thanks again?

I’m thankful most of the year for what I have, I don’t need this one freaking day to remind me to give thanks – thanks anyway.

And shitty things always seem to happen at this time of year, so I walk around, cringing, waiting for the other shoe to hit me on the back of the head.

I’d like to just fit a dimmer switch on November… Turn it down, gradually, a bit at a time…until that day rolls around… And I can just dim the lights & pretend to not be home?

Giving Up on Thanks

I’m done with Thanksgiving.

For 3 years now, Thanksgiving… or rather, the end of November, has been an exercise in surviving hell for me.

Next year I’m headed out of the country, where tomorrow will be called “Thursday”.


Wake me after New Year’s, would ya?


Life in the Minefield

Holiday get-togethers with my family are a never-ending source of surprise.

Just a nice, leisurely stroll down memory lane…

and BOOM.

One more casualty, blindsided, more often than not, by some half-forgotten slight from years gone by, or a previously unremarked grievance brought twisting and kicking out into the blinking holiday lights.

Served up with the bird and a healthy helping of guilt sauce.

2 years ago, I had an altercation, via Facebook mail, with my sibling.  He saw insult where there was none, and lambasted me with venom and bile.  Right about this time of year. 

It was actually the catalyst that spurred me into blogging, originally.  I had posted something, a philosophical question, on Facebook, and he took offense – “calling me out”, as it were, even though I’d meant nothing towards him, and was simply exploring a personal question I had.  Anyway, I took it to the internet, and found myself creating a space where I could post whatever I wanted, without worrying about getting hoisted on the pike of sibling rivalry.

Last year, there was another altercation… at this time of year… oddly enough.

Over pie.

Yes, you read that right.  PIE.

Pumpkin Pie, to be exact.

It was stupid, really, but it caused a lot of hurt feelings on both sides, and laid a new web of mines in the family field.

You see, for many years, I was always the one who made the pumpkin pie.  It was my favorite, and my mom had 2 or 3 other varieties to make, so I was the one who made it.  It was just assumed, by my mom, myself, by just about everyone, that I would bring the pumpkin pie to dinner.  I got pretty good at them, at any rate.

Well, last year, after the dinner was over, and everyone had gone home, I got an angry phone call from my brother, burning my crust because, I guess, my sister-in-law’s feelings had been hurt when she didn’t get to make the pumpkin pie. 


I didn’t understand.  She hadn’t said one word about pie.  And Mom hadn’t even hinted that my sis-in-law had wanted to make them.  If she’d spoken up, I’d have gladly brought something else to dinner!  But, of course, according to my brother, it was all because I was such a brat, and had to have my own way all the time.


So, this year, I told my mom that, under no uncertain terms, I was not making pumpkin pie to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.  I was not going to get my chestnuts roasted again, not over a stupid pastry.

Mom asked my sister-in-law what she wanted to bring.  Anything she wanted, she told her.  Because I said I was staying well out of it, and would bring whatever I was asked to bring.

She didn’t pick pumpkin pie.


Uh, really?

So, one guess what I’m taking to Thanksgiving dinner this year?

That’s right.  Cool-Whip coated landmines. 

Bring on the good times.



Brea, The Feral Dandelion

Every year, about this time, I start thinking about what the true meaning of Thanksgiving is.  I contemplate our land’s history, how Thanksgiving got its start, and what does it stand for, anyway?  And I get all wound up over origins.

You see, I’m a feral species.

Not in the eat-your-face-off-on-a-whim type of feral, but in the my-people-are-not-from-here-originally type of feral.

My Dad is Austrian by blood.  His family emigrated here, loooong time ago, and settled in Iowa.  My Mom is Norwegian/Swedish.  Her family emigrated too, loooong time ago, and settled in Minnesota. 

So, technically, my people are not related to the people that lived here when all the madness started back with the Pilgrims.  Then again, going back even further, the people living here when the Pilgrims got here weren’t truly native to the land either, they emigrated from elsewhere too.  Some historians say they took the long way, from Asia, across the land bridge, through Canada and on down to the good ole USA.  I don’t know, I wasn’t there. 

*deep breath for long segue* ANYWAY, That means that no one living on the continent of North America really has roots that go allllllll the way back to the dawn of time.  So, if everyone that lives here now, was introduced to this country at some point, then there really are no people that are native to the land.  We’re all feral introduced species, living on borrowed ground.

Much like dandelions.

Dandelions are thought to have evolved about thirty million years ago in Eurasia; they have been used by humans for food and as a herb for much of recorded history. They were introduced to North America by early European immigrants. * source-Wikipedia*

 But, and here’s where things get a little sticky for me – Dandelions have been around for so long, that people don’t know anymore that they’re on introduced thing, that came here in some other guy’s pocket, on a boat, from overseas.

They’re just a part of this country now.  They’re a deep-rooted species that belongs to our dirt here now.

So, when does a feral species truly become native to the land?

This Thanksgiving has seen me thankful for a lot of things.  I try to be grateful all year long, and not put it off till November, practically the end of the year, and try to show my gratitude by paying back or paying forward when I can.

But one of the things that I’m most thankful for, is the right and the ability to be able to say it.



With new friends and old.

Thank you.  I appreciate it.

Happy Holidays.

With love and wishes for you all ~ Brea, the Feral Dandelion