On Thanksgiving break

A few days off classes and four days with family does wonders for the psyche.

My partner and I left for Jacksonville on Wednesday afternoon. Spent the morning at a jiu-jitsu class, as the only student who showed up I got a one-on-one session with coach who helped me tie together some grappling concepts. Last week, I received my second white belt stripe and an invitation to the advanced class, so this session boosted my confidence to survive the incoming onslaught of sharks and bears.

After cleaning and packing up the Toyota, we made the three hour journey to Jacksonville in about four hours, with holiday traffic. My mother had recommended that we leave early in the day or late in the night to avoid the rush of traveler. Of course, we left smack dab in the middle and caught it all. Mom’s always right.

We arrived in the afternoon and greeted my brother, who had flown in the previous night from Maine where he teaches at a public high school. We ate food and caught up on each other’s stories. He’s applying to PhD programs, my parents just had a church retreat, and they wanted to know how school went.

Over the next day, my body became increasingly sore after a double-header of a workout late Tuesday and the grappling session Wednesday morning. Woke up on Thanksgiving Day, groaned a lot, and soaked up some sun while my mother clanged and moved throughout the kitchen, preparing our late afternoon feast.

My parent’s godchildren (my godsiblings?) came with their baby Lucas in tow, and we all got a chance to play with the energetic 18mo old. We gave thanks and enjoyed our meal outside, a lovely reminder of late November in Florida. As the sun set, Lucas ramped up in his chaotic energy and we went inside to avoid the mosquitoes and to enjoy some cake and pie made by my partner. I laid down on the floor, almost immediately.

The next day, another set of godsiblings arrived for lunch and we enjoyed the warm weather outdoors. They brought another 1yo, Maximo, who enjoyed running about and playing with the slackline as my brother sang a few tunes on the guitar for us.

The evenings were filled with TV, movies, and boardgames. My brother left early Saturday morning. We departed later that evening with lots of food and leftovers, to fuel our studies until finals week and winter break.

Only a few weeks until that delicious, long reprieve from powerpoints and practice questions. I needed this break from Tampa and our small (but lovely!) apartment. Now, to stay focused and survive the end of Course Six.


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