D. and I were supposed to head down to the Land o' My Youth yesterday, as we almost always do the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, to spend the holiday with my family. But all of those plans went kerplooey this weekend when it became apparent that my mom, who had been sick with who knows what (pneumonia? bronchitis?) for a week, still wasn't well, and even worse, that my poor brother had a terrible case of shingles. It's an accute case, and he's in agony; it's on his face, but fortunately hasn't gone into his eyes. So clearly no one was really going to be in a mood for a cheerful family get-together, so my mom officially cancelled Thanksgiving.
And, although I'm sad that my family members are ailing, I'm soooo glad to be home this weekend! FGS is on a trimester system, so we always have exams right before Thanksgiving, which means that the teachers spend the "holiday" grading exams, calculating final grades, and writing up comments for each student. I have always managed to do this by working hard the last couple days of the break (we usually drive back Saturday so as to avoid the worst traffic, and then we have Monday off school as a teacher workday), but how much nicer to work at a more leisurely pace this year. I put in a couple of dedicated hours yesterday afternoon and am now almost done with my sophomores' exams, which I'll finish up this afternoon; the junior exams can wait until after Thanksgiving Day itself.
Plus, it's been such an exhausting term that I'm really worn out and am just as happy not to be undertaking 18 hours of driving and lots of high-energy family time this weekend. Instead, D and I are having a low-key, quiet weekend. Right now I'm hanging out on the couch with a cat at my feet, gazing into a roaring fire, while D is enjoying herself by playing around with the many features of her new phone. I did haul myself out of the house this morning to go to the gym, but I'm now in sweats with no intention of leaving the house again today, and D. is still in her pajamas. These are the kinds of things we couldn't do at my mom's house, and yet they are most necessary for my recovering the peace of mind I seem to have lost this term.
We'll visit my family between Christmas and New Year instead, and in the meantime D. and I are making ourselves a small Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. Maybe we'll even put up the Christmas tree before I go back to school; normally I wait until later, since D. is a liturgical fascist and won't let me take it down until Epiphany, but I think that the extra lights will be so bright and cheerful that they'll help my always-iffy mood this winter.
Here's the other thing I'm doing this week: writing! Clearly my November plans fell apart in terms of writing, although I did manage to stay on top of my teaching and department head work. But now that we're staying home, it's as though extra days have dropped into the calendar, and so this afternoon I sat down and got 408 words written. It took ages to write them since I'm feeling very rusty about all of the research I've done, but I'll pick up speed, and maybe I'll even hit my 2,000-word goal this weekend. But even if I don't, it's a good project for Thanksgiving.
So that's what I'm feeling thankful for tomorrow: that I'm home! And of course I'm thankful that my mother and brother are both getting better, although not as quickly as they or I would hope.
Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving!