Until yesterday, I hadn't any plans for Thanksgiving. I was going to stay in San Francisco and not go on a bike ride and wallow in the misery of being an orphan in my home town (my family does not "do" holidays, so to speak of) and refresh www.perezhilton.com every thirty seconds, but I was invited last minute to celebrate Thanksgiving at the Burwells' up in Healdsburg, from where I now sit as the high-powered men play pool and smoke cigars and the ladies sit on comfortable ottomans and sip juicy zinfandel.
I arrived around 3pm after taking a scenic route through the horribly constructed new downtown Windsor and past the old family farm, which Grandma sold three or so years ago to finance her retirement and her move to Oregon. Visiting Healdsburg is always bittersweet for me. It's strange to suddenly be a celebrity of sorts for being a fifth-generation Healdsburger; when grandma was growing up Healdsburg was barely a town, and when I was growing up it was not the groovy land of Diesel jeans and fine zinfandel it is now. I can't even afford to live here now but my status as built-in hick lends me a street cred that people bring up at dinner parties for an entertaining conversation tidbit.
There were twenty some-odd folks here; friends, family, and orphans like me. None of my family lives in town any more, and I don't know that my mediocre salary as a freelance writer and Restaurant Girl will ever afford me the luxury of the beautiful surroundings I'm in right now. That's okay, though, because the paths that I am following in my late twenties seem to be taking me in a direction I never thought I'd see, and I'm thankful for that. Greetings, all, and count your blessings be they large or small.