All day last Sunday, and into the evening, Kris and I made our way back home to Leesburg, VA, after visiting friends and family in Pittsburgh, PA. Predictably, it was a very long and somewhat painful journey back, along the PA turnpike, only made more bearable thanks to Kris' Integrative Nutrition pod casts, which are required listening for her courses, and truly fascinating to listen to. While driving home, I had expected the usual mix of steady traffic flow and snail-paced, bumper-to-bumper crawls. I also expected the worst with regards to impatient drivers, out of control tempers and other irrational human behavior sometimes caused by post-holiday travel conditions, unfortunately. While we did experience this on occasion during our drive, I tried my very best not to be a part of this kind of thing, actively, mindfully keeping as positive an outlook as possible, reflecting on the fun we had while in PA and looking forward to getting home and getting some sleep. I even joked at one point to Kris, while stuck for nearly an hour in an endless line of cars, without moving, saying to her "What Would Dyer Do", which was something we saw on a T-shirt when we saw Doctor Wayne Dyer, one of our favorite people in the world, speak in NYC a couple of months ago. Shortly after, a young woman was struggling to get her car in a lane while approaching a major toll booth at the PA turnpike. She kindly pulled up near our car and looked at us to see if we'd let her in, in front of us. I always make it a point to at least let one car in during these situations, more or less out of both principle as well as logic, so of course I let her pull in front of us. Shortly after, another car tried pulling in front of us, the driver using an entirely different strategy, if you want to call it that. Personally, I don't find aggressive, bullish behavior too appealing, as most people don't, I would imagine, which was exactly what this man was trying with us. Normally, I might have let one more person in, but I simply couldn't justify the validity of this guy's approach. He didn't even look at us, or signal, or anything. He simply kept trying to bully his way in, which was completely unnecessary. I understand that people can be selfish jerks and not let others in, but this just was not the way to go. So, hopefully he tried a different, perhaps kinder method, which hopefully worked out for him. What was completely unexpected however was when Kris and I had finally pulled into the toll booth to pay for our ticket. The woman in the booth informed us that the driver in front of us had already paid for us, saving us the eleven dollar fee. As we drove out from the booth, pleasantly surprised by this rare gesture of thanks, we passed the young woman in her vehicle (the one we had let in earlier), rolled down the window and yelled out a big, smiling, waving "thank you!". These kinds of things you just don't witness too much at all this time of year, or in this type of situation, sadly.
While we were sad that my mom wasn't there to share Thanksgiving with us any longer, we kept her in our thoughts during this time, and thoroughly enjoyed our time together, spending time with our awesome little nephews (above pics) as well as out and about in Pittsburgh (pics below), which I'll soon post more, much better photos of here.
Thanksgiving can be many things to many people. For me, personally, it's certainly not about how many items I can purchase at a discount (we managed to avoid that, thankfully) and it definitely does not revolve around poultry. For me, it has so much more to do with the everyday moments and the simple and kind gestures we tend to take for granted, something of which I was happily reminded of while stuck in an endless line of post-holiday traffic on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.