Having a baby has made travel prep a much more involved process than it used to be. Today was taken up with errands, packing lists, laundry, and what felt like organized chaos. Fortunately I think we are just about ready …

This is coming:

(it’s fermenting! there’s a little scoby on top! and some bubbles!)

It doesn’t have a lid at this point — it needs to breathe — so I am going to have to keep it close by in the car and make sure it doesn’t get too jostled. I hope we don’t have to do any kombucha cleanup on the road. I also have to bring a few jars to bottle the finished kombucha in, whenever it’s done. (And depending on its success.)

This is coming, too:

Pumpkin butter, my friends. It was SUPEReasy to make and, apart from the largely hands-off pumpkin-roasting process, didn’t take all that long, either. I think next year I will just go ahead and make my own pumpkin puree — it was that easy. And I am looking forward to enjoying this in some overnight oats tomorrow morning on the road!

I am so taken with these little four-ounce jars, too. What else can I put in them??

This is also coming:

I really just wanted an excuse to include a gratuitous photo.

Also accompanying us to Thanksgiving dinner: three magazines, four skeins of yarn, last-minute knitted gifts (for one pattern in particular), and my trusted yoga mat + computer. (I don’t claim to travel light.) What if I find myself wanting Item X from home and I don’t have it? Unacceptable. So it all comes along, and somehow it all fits into our little Civic! I realize I probably won’t get too much use out of the extraneous stuff I’m bringing along, but I like having it with me — the knitting in particular. I hope I come home with at least one completed hat.

Thanksgiving this year feels worlds different than it did last year, and for that I am glad. The sting is still there, but not the whiplash between abject hysterical grief, and an iced-over emotional tundra. Instead, it feels like Thanksgiving — just in the new normal, like everything else.