Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Very Rockefeller Thanksgiving

Here's the thing about having Thanksgiving at the beach - it only perpetuates the idea that all Southern Californians live like Rockefellers in mink lined flip-flops. Well, I can guarantee you that had I been a Rockefeller, I would have had a much warmer sleeping bag.

This was our second year of Thanksgiving up at the beach and I have to say that it really does feel like the lap of luxury when you're sitting on the beach and eating green bean casserole while the sun sinks into the ocean. But that's about as fancy as it gets when you're living in a tent. Sure, other people have RVs but we like to honor the Native American participants in the first Thanksgiving by staying in our very own wig-wams. Except that their tents probably were made of animal skin and kept some heat in. Ours were made of, I don't know, tissue paper maybe. Possibly the Ephemeral Turkey Spirits of Thanksgiving Past. Both of which retain as much heat as the ice crystals that formed on my nose. What I'm saying is that it was very cold at night. The kind of cold that makes you wonder why you always think camping is going to be super fun and adventurous, when really the only adventure you're having is anticipating your bladder exploding because you refuse to get out of your almost-warm sleeping bag cocoon.

So it was cold at night. But boy did the days make up for it. The days were exactly what makes people in the Frozen North kick themselves for not living here. Warm sun, no clouds, no wind (like ALL the weather people predicted) and the Blue Bird of Happiness nestled in the hearts of everyone on the beach, which, believe it or not, was not that many people. (Dear People Who Camped at Carp for Thanksgiving But Spent Their Days Playing Horseshoes at the Camp Ground Instead of on the Beach: I know you know how hard it is to get a site for Thanksgiving. We all united in spirit 6 months ago and fought for those sites. We were victorious! And yet, you were not fully enjoying your victory by being on the beach. How come? You know, you can play horseshoes on the beach. We played all sorts of games out there: bocce, paddle ball, catch, Frisbee. If you wanted to just hang out under the shade of your awning all day why didn't you get a spot at some RV park in Santa Barbara or something? Don't waste the hard earned victory. You owe it to the poor saps who didn't get a spot. Next time, I want to see you frolicking! Sincerely, Rachel).

I mentioned to one of my Sunday School kids that we did Thanksgiving at the beach and from underneath all of his hair he said, "That's not Thanksgiving." Um, I beg to differ. If Thanksgiving means being thankful and eating a lot of food then we were successful on both counts. Thanks to our pioneer heritage we Knechts have Dutch ovens practically growning in our gardens and you would be amazed at all the things you can cook in them. Things like the above mentioned green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes, and rolls, and rolls and more rolls. Oh, the rolls. I was really thankful for those rolls. I informed the kid that we should not be suckered into believing that Thanksgiving has to look a certain way (i.e. - a swirl of leaves blowing outside the window, the smell of snow in the air, uncles in sweaters.) We're never going to have that Thanksgiving (well, maybe uncles in sweaters, but let's cross our fingers it doesn't happen. Uncle Jeep in a sweater? The world would stop spinning.) and that's okay. We can still be thankful at the beach. And eat our weight in carbs. Did I mention the rolls? And the turkey fryer? Because I'm really thankful for the turkey fryer. Best turkey I've ever had. Better than any Rockefeller ever ate.

And I can promise you that my family is more fun than the Rockefellers. Yeah, that's right Rockefellers, we eat fun for breakfast and follow it up with hilarious hi-jinks and left over pie! There are times when I'm sitting around with the fam - aunts and sweaterless uncles, cousins with their kids, brothers and sisters, parents and the Golden Child - laughing until my face explodes, and wonder how I got so lucky to be a part of it all. They're on the top of my Thankful List.


Karina & John Calderwood said...

Sounds awesome...except for the whole camping in a tent thing. I would like to show up for the festivities and then leave at bedtime and then come back when the sun is up. That is my kind of camping! :) You are correct about your family. Whenever the Manderino's get to visit with the Knechts we have so much fun and never laugh as much with any other group of cousins. :)

Ginger said...

Karina & John, I'm with you. I showed up for all the festivities and come to the motel and a nice warm bed. Then up at dawn and back to the festivities. My toes & nose stayed toasty. My tent days are over. Happy Holidays! Aunt Ginger

Laura said...

Ya gotta love Knecht Family Fun!!

Anonymous said...

Isn't fried turkey the best? We fried our turkey too, although it wasn't on the beach, it was in our driveway. I mocked those who did it until I actually tasted the deliciousness of a fried turkey. It sounds like your Thanksgiving was fab.

Stacy said...

Let me confess, we are kicking ourselves for living in the Frozen North. And your welcome, I'm just glad I could provide the Golden Child.