For the first time since I was about eight years old, my family decided to do Thanksgiving at our house in upstate New York, rather than the house I grew up in outside Boston.
I am the only one of the four cousins on this side of the family who is old enough to remember Thanksgiving at the Lake (henceforth referred to as TATL), and therefore the only cousin to fully understand both the perils and the rewards.
The perils of TATL:
1. The risk of heavy snowfall that would basically prevent departure due to the long inaccessible dirt roads, the lack of town-sponsored snowplows, and the prevalence of citified sedans in our family
2. The risk of plumbing failure, heating failure, oven failure, or electricity failure in our old house. In the summer, these things aren’t so bad. In the late fall—especially when a cold snap results in 8-degree temps outside—these things are somewhat concerning.
The rewards of TATL:
1. You know that song that begins, “Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go”? (AKA the only Thanksgiving carol in existence?) It should have been written about this house.
2. It is the coziest place on earth
3. There is a particular kind of beauty about it in the winter that we never really get to see, since normally we close the place in October.
Fortunately for everyone involved, no major systems in the house failed, and the potentially heavy snowfall that was predicted never really materialized.
Therefore, we got to enjoy the fire…
and the view(s)…
and the company…
without any major catastrophes to contend with.
(images 2, 6, 7, and 8 courtesy of my uncle Geoffrey Parkhurst.)
My vote: TATL forevermore.
(I hope you all had very merry Thanksgivings and happy post-Thanksgiving sandwiches as well. And that you used nutritionless white bread on said sandwiches. Nutritionless white bread is the only way to go.)