Returning: Autumn & Thanksgiving in the US

The door is closing on autumn in Asheville. In a pure reminder of the autumn season, I’ve raked and bagged thousands of fallen oak and maple leaves over the weeks.

October 2



nov 5




Our front yard maple treated us to a classic display, changing colors from the crown through the lower branches over the weeks. It now stands on winter duty – naked, stripped of leaves, it’s a bony sentry overlooking our home. I look at our maple a bit differently having just finished the novel Overstory for our neighborhood book club.

Nov 10

This morning, dark and chilly at 7:00 am, I emptied the final scraps from Thanksgiving into our green plastic city-issued garbage bin and set it out curbside for the normal Wednesday pickup. The 17 pound turkey – raised free range, organic, hormone free, purchased from a local farm sounded fitting for this special gathering.  Indeed we maximized 5 days of leftovers. (I think we miscalculated the size we needed)  This morning it was time to part ways with the final scraps!  I have to admit, as Thanksgiving turkey experiences go, it was an exceptional bird!


So, Thanksgiving has come and gone. Another return from abroad milestone.  For months we anticipated our first Thanksgiving in America. As a family, we haven’t been together for thanksgiving since 2004. In recent years, we talked about this opportunity as a benefit of returning to the US.  Being together for a few days did not disappoint.  Enjoying our company with good laughter, good food, and good times. We feel blessed, no doubt.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday.  I had no idea that this trio existed.  Of course I knew of Black Friday sales though I’ve never actually faced a shopping crowd at an outlet mall on such a day. Nor did I venture out last Friday!  I’ll tuck that potential experience away for a future date. Christmas decorations are starting to go up.  Our Halloween pumpkin that sat on our porch for weeks is finally ready to be composted, and we’ve had a few snow flurries, a winter tease.  December has arrived and more holiday landmarks await in coming weeks.

We continue to investigate, explore, and burrow into our new lives, nesting in a new home, in a new city, at a new age.  Asheville has much to offer, there’s no shortage of possibilities. I’ve never been part of a book group.  Now I’m in two.  I can play pick up basketball multiple times a week at the Y,  the hiking is awesome, the city is friendly, etc etc

We feel lucky. Almost every day Rhona and I fall back on the reminder “What a beautiful and unique day, I’ve never seen this one before”.   I really like that expression and that reminder.  By the way, that was my 4th piece of advice to the Grade 12 students at last May’s HS graduation.  These were my nuggets of advice:

  1. Buy duct tape – essential and useful in adulthood
  2. Build a diverse toolbox – If you only have a hammer, you treat everything as a nail.
  3. Don’t water the rocks – don’t waste time on trying to nurture growth in others when it’s obviously a waste of time!
  4. Appreciate the grace and beauty of each day. “What a beautiful day, I’ve never seen this one before”.

Anyway, more later…..I look forward to hearing from folks.  AND…..we’ve had so many wonderful visitors already!!!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 thoughts on “Returning: Autumn & Thanksgiving in the US

  1. Hi Geoff with a “G”. I love your 4 nuggets , especially the 1st one. So true. I think my dad taught me that long time ago. Great advice. Glad you are enjoying !! Smart move saving your Black Friday travels ! Very stressful experience. Hi to Rona. ! Tty Soon B4 2020 🙂😁👍🌞

  2. Such a beautifully reflective piece, Geoff. We too have enjoyed this autumn, spending lots of time in the local woods walking with Bear. I read The Overstory last January, and it has stayed with me, especially since we lost a beloved maple in our garden this summer. My latest “best read” was David Wallace-Well’s The Uninhabitable Earth, although it made my heart ache so much I had to read it in increments over a month. Love your nuggets… words to live by, indeed! And your photo too… Will and Erin arrive on Dec. 21st for their first holiday together with us. Weihnachts markets are up and running… ‘Tis the season! xxx to you all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *