Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Another one of Cat's reminiscent blogs. With respects to Tomato Nation's Thanksgiving post.

I've never quite adapted completely to the whole Thanksgiving tradition thing. Every "traditional" Thanksgiving I've ever spent has been with the family of some boyfriend or significant other, so my picture of traditional Thanksgivings is colored by those experiences. Our family's traditional Thanksgiving was really, in my mind, the only sensible and decent way to spend the holiday weekend, but I can imagine that others may disagree.

As a kid in my family, Thanksgiving holidays were always spent at JAM, a.k.a. JAM fest, or properly known as Jambalaya Tour. If I describe it, it won't do the event justice. But here goes. People from various bike clubs around Louisiana (Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Lafayette, etc) convene at a campground near St Francisville, LA for 4 days of eating, biking, dancing, eating, and biking. Days were spent touring through the countryside, burning calories. That part of Louisiana is not the swampy willows and spanish moss so common throughout southern LA. St Francisville has lots of pine and even some rolling little hills. Evenings were spent eating and dancing to music by a cajun band that would come in just for the event. Nights were spent in a tent, listening intently for bears, aliens and snakes that were trying to get in all night long. Armed with best friend and flashlight, we usually discovered that the sound was a raccoon or an owl eating on the picnic table.

The first boy I ever had a *real* crush on was at JAM. He was in college, I was in 6th grade. It was a 1-sided romance doomed to failure, but at the time I was sure I could sway his attention away from that co-ed. I first learned to cajun dance at JAM. We did the crippled chicken, waltz, cajun 2-step, and other dances I couldn't name in a million years. We could dance all night. I had my first deep-fried turkey at JAM. Thursday night was always turkey and jambablaya, Friday was always red beans and rice, made by an award-winning chef from Gonzales, LA- the self-proclaimed Jambabalaya capital of the world. I rode my first 30 mile bike ride at JAM. Hey, that's saying something for a 10-year-old! I spent a lot of Thanksgivings riding no further than the dirt trails in the campground and scrambling around the rocks with my best friend Jennifer, and in later years with my best friend Katy. You know about the transitive property of best friends, right?

When we moved to Texas, we stopped going to JAM every year. We made it back 2 or 3 times after that, but it was the end of the era. After that, I spent most Thanksgivings with Current Boyfriend's family. It's funny how Thanksgiving has always been the holiday for the significant other. Since 1992 I've spent every (or nearly every?) Thanksgiving with SNG and Dianaverse's family. My family gets New Year's and Easter.

Easter is still spent much the same way as those old Thanksgivings. We don't have the cajun band, and meals require that we cook for ourselves, but it's almost as much fun as JAM fest. But you'll have to wait until March for the Easter Hill Country Tour...

1 comment:

SNG said...

No tent. No dancing. Less food.
But, other than that...