Tangled Up in Blue: Tangled up in turkey

The author is seen here trying to get in touch with her dad, who is isolating and celebrating Thanksgiving in Florida this year, and repeatedly ignoring her calls. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)

The author is seen here trying to get in touch with her dad, who is isolating and celebrating Thanksgiving in Florida this year, and repeatedly ignoring her calls. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)

More prevalent than pumpkin pie this holiday season is the refrain, “Are you upset you can’t travel to see your family this year?”

And I abashedly repeat, “No.”

It’s not hard to stomach a Thanksgiving meal without my mother, father, brother and extended family since I haven’t spent a single holiday with them in the four-plus years that I’ve lived in Alaska. Instead, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with a cornucopia of friends, roommates and mere acquaintances over the years.

One November, I was visiting my family on the East Coast and realized that the most cost efficient way to get home was to fly into Anchorage at 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. That night, I fell asleep before my friends got to serving the pie, but long after my grandmother had served the yams back east.

Traveling from Alaska to my family in New Jersey is an arduous process. It involves many hours spent in a plane, several airports and a lot of stress.

My mother will be the first to tell you that a visit from Kathleen is already stressful, especially since it means she has to find space in her craft room for an air mattress. So, we’ve decided to avoid adding the inherent stress of the holidays to the tumult.

This year, though, people across the country are joining me in celebrating Thanksgiving far from their families. With coronavirus infection rates skyrocketing, chances are you would leave Thanksgiving dinner with more than a bag of leftovers.

So, here are some tips for making the most out of a solo Thanksgiving.

First, sleep in as late as you want. There’s no reason to get up and help clean or cook.

When you do finally wake up, get outside! Instead of my usual angst-filled walk to “blow off some steam” before spending the evening with every person I could possibly be related to, I now get to spend my holidays working up an appetite and connecting with nature.

But be sure to keep some traditions! No matter how much I celebrate the freedom of a family-less holiday, I always miss them extra this time of year. So, I put the usual songs on the radio and find myself cooking meals just like my dad would.

Try to set something up with your chosen family. Whether you have a friend or two in your social bubble or roommates, it’s always nice to have plans to celebrate.

And most importantly, call them! We’re all a little extra lonely, stressed and worried this holiday season, so don’t forget to tell your family that you love them and that you’ll see them soon.

But don’t be upset if they don’t answer — they may be taking my advice too!


By KAT SORENSEN

For the Clarion


More in Sports

Soldotna’s Aiden Burcham controls the puck under pressure from Homer’s Brock Barth during a Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021 hockey game between the two schools at Kevin Bell Arena in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Homer hockey tops Kenai, loses to Soldotna

In their weekend of hockey in a shortened season, the Homer Mariners… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Peter Morgan makes a pass against the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Magicians sweeps Brown Bears

The Kenai River Brown Bears were swept by the host Minnesota Magicians… Continue reading

Nikiski's Drew Handley and Brady Bostic defend Kenai Central's Bridger Beck on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Hoops roundup: Kenai sweeps Nikiski

The host Kenai Central girls basketball team received 20 points from Emma… Continue reading

Soldotna's Quinn Cox gets first tracks as he skis to second place in the Soldotna Invite on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Laker, Boonstra ski to SoHi Invite titles

Kenai Central’s Jack Laker and Jayna Boonstra took the individual titles Saturday… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Erin Koziczkowski and Emma Beck trap Soldotna's Montana Fischer on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai, SoHi, Homer, Nikiski hoops start seasons

The Soldotna girls basketball team defeated Kenai Central 68-16 on Thursday in… Continue reading

Predaceous flatworms hide under leaves by day in a spring near Soldotna Airport on Dec. 21, 2017. At night they hunt for other invertebrates. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Life in Kenai Peninsula freshwater springs

I like winter. I really do. The cold and the dark don’t… Continue reading

American poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)
Tangled Up in Blue: Speckled purple

I woke up in the morning to NPR on Wednesday morning highlighting… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Max Helgeson chases the puck along the boards against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears top Wilderness for 4th straight win

Staff report The Kenai River Brown Bears won their home away from… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Emily Moss takes the victory in the girls race at the Kenai Nordic Trails on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, at Kenai Golf Course. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak)
Kenai, SoHi ski teams take dual meets

Kenai Central’s Jack Laker and Emily Moss were the top skiers in… Continue reading

Most Read