Tag Archives: Turkey Trots

Feel Good 5 Friday … 10-12 pounders and No Turkey Trots

27 Nov

I’ve mentioned this before.

Turkey trots.

Haven’t participated in one and usually take to the road on my own designing my own race and hearing my footsteps as they rock they track. Only in adulthood years have I found Zen moments involving Saucony running shoes. I hated running when I was younger. Couldn’t stand it. But after college and kids, I realized that swimming, running, and obstacle racing bring out the better parts of me when I can’t make it to the beach.

The freeing sense of getting away, of moving forward, of making that giant push at the end is extremely satisfying. In truth, I don’t always wake up excited feeling like running is the greatest, but I do feel better every time after I’ve finished. Don’t regret it.

But Turkey Trots … I’m not big on them. I’ve done plenty of other races, just not that one. Maybe it’s more of a group event, you do with a whole lot of your people, wearing turkey costumes.

I’m not big on those, but I don’t think anybody was this year. However I still went on my run. 3.5 miles and that little extra was just in case I had to reach deep to tap the reserve. Thanksgiving provides for loads of material for any artist, but this year the dysfunction was at a minimum in part because we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Silver lining.

But even with the run, with the breathing and the sweat trickling down, with feeling tired, that good kind of tired, with being in that zone, the one that feels like a reward, I felt something missing. There was no where to go this week. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were busy with grocery shopping, kids school, my side project, and pandemic life. But I was not in a giant walk-in fridge-freezer taking inventory of turkeys as I had done for so many years in a row growing up. There were no index cards with orders for 12-14 free range turkeys. No moving or inventorying hundreds of boxes. No customers. No parking validations. No coffee breaks with my dad.

He’s been gone 10 years, but Thanksgiving is still the week and day that I remember him the most. Owning a poultry shop for years, you get to know what weeks are complete chaos and when the countdown needed to begin. And that was it for us. Thanksgiving. Late nights recording new orders with pops at the dinner table, while he drank his coffee.

Boxes. They weren’t my favorite. At the time I dreaded it. So much work. So many 14-16 pound birds. And now I remember it all the time. I can see his distinctive block printing, he only used Parker pens. His white butcher’s coat and collared shirt. His blue Diestel Farms cap and black Samsonite briefcase. His tired eyes but will to keep going because it needed to be done.

I thought about that all week long, 16-18 turkeys, and more so when I was eating the turkey and mashed potatoes on Thursday. The laziness of the day use to always hit us, more him than me. No waking up at 4 a.m. to drive to the shop and get ready for the rush. He’d sleep in on Thanksgiving. He always slept in on Thanksgiving and I thought about him as I rose to run.

Thought about all those details and it pained me to remember that it had been 10 years. But I kept walking with that hurt in my chest knowing it was there because he was loved and missed. Still. And grateful that I could remember the details and picture the moments in my mind. I’m lucky that way I guess. I tell the stories to the kids. They found the endless boxes of turkeys in the walk-in fridge and me freezing hilarious.

Ten years later, no more index cards, 18-20 pounders haunting me, or white butcher coats. Just green bean casserole, mac-and-cheese, fresh rolls, and pumpkin pie … and of course our own 10-12 pounder.

Buen Camino my friends …

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I’ll Be Your Man — Zac Brown Band

Something Just Like This — The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

Let My Love Open The Door — Peter Townshend

Vivo La Vida — Olga Tanon

Last Dollar — Tim McGraw

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Thankful for Pies and Non-Turkey Trot Early Morning Runs

23 Nov

So there I was feeling all the feels as I made my pumpkin pies in the morning. Remembering the early morning run and being grateful for the fresh air after a good night’s rain.

I was one of the few in the city probably not participating in a Turkey Trot that was up that early. And the quietness of the Thanksgiving morning was a peaceful blanket I was happy to wrap around myself.

I felt the feels and tried to keep that moment with me the entire day … when my mother came over and started her normal mothering observations that immediately make your eyes roll and take deep breaths … when the kids  just lost it because the ever so important golden string was pulled out from the ever so important LEGO Palm tree outdoor set and they couldn’t put it back the “right” way and the arguing felt like forever … when I couldn’t find parking on my own street and had to park three blocks away … when there were too many people in the kitchen and opinions were everywhere … when it felt like we were having a Costanza Festivus Thanksgiving Holiday Extravaganza instead of the Hallmark moments I imagined everyone posted on Facebook, which is why I don’t check it often anymore.

I closed my eyes and felt the feels of the early morning and remembered the crisp air filling up my lungs. I remembered feeling good just breathing. I remembered my Dad.

I remembered it being my Dad’s favorite holiday and the day I definitely think about him the most. The Diestel turkey was bought in part because we sold hundreds of them every year at the shop and remembered it being my Dad’s preference. Remembered all those long days at the shop when he was alive and the ginormous refrigerator where I was the inventory champ, but still complaining about why I’d always be the one in the freezing temperatures. He’s just smile and say I was younger and should be able to handle it. I remembered the hard days. The long days. The endless paperwork. The stress. And then the relief of sleeping in on Thanksgiving morning.

I remembered driving in his gray Nissan truck, picking up pies, and listening to jazz on the radio as he tapped the steering wheel.

I remembered the pies, and so when I pulled them out of the oven, I knew.  He would have smiled and asked to taste-test it before everyone … you know … just to be sure. I’d probably argue and reason with him, but eventually taste-testing would be an important reason.

And so on the chaotic day where the good, the bad, and the ugly show up at varying levels and different times during the day, I was grateful for moments remembered, moments with pies, moments of loudness with family, and moments of morning quietness in my Non-Turkey Trot run.

I held onto those moments as I remembered my Dad, and I took a deep breath because I missed him. I missed him with everything I got. Then I closed my eyes and sent him some light and love.

And pie.

Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

Buen Camino, my friends!