If you’re home for the holidays or have guests this weekend, enjoy the beautiful weather, the local shops that are open today and Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the walkable community here in Shorewood.
I have gathered wisdom about Shorewood traditions that I now share with you, dear reader, about giving thanks, giving back, eating food, getting exercise and staying sane.
I am thankful for my family (though the kids are off a full day early (?), for the health of family and friends, and for my role here at Patch as your local columnist keeping up on our fair village. I appreciate all of you very much. I’m working on having everyone in my family give this some thought to discuss at the table tomorrow.
It’s Thanksgiving, so I know I don’t need to tell you to “be nice,” but let’s do it.
Home front: Maybe you can tell mom (or the chef) is getting stressed and keeps saying, “Ooh we’re going to run out of eggs.” This is a walkable community — grab someone else and walk to the store — it will be enlightening and so very thoughtful. If there is a Trader Joe’s run involved, offering to tackle that and not complaining about the parking is a gift in itself. Turning on your cell phone and hearing the call of a last-minute item is also a gift. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have a family member turn off or “not hear” their phone when you’re trying to do “ship-to-shore” last minute machinations from kitchen central.
Neighbors: Why not bring something to the aging or ailing neighbor — it may have been a while and now that the election is over, pie may be nice (as opposed to a sharp stick in the eye).
Milwaukee: Donate food or volunteer at a shelter. Check out the opportunities that run from today through Sunday on this list. Some are easy — like bringing nonperishable goods at the “Pack the Bus” event at Hwy 100 and Greenfield through Feeding America.
Two bits of Shorewood wisdom here. First, I know from a stealthy, first-hand observation that some seasoned hostesses obtain a small dose of fresh ginger from the deli counter at Sendik’s (it is served with sushi), instead of buying a whole chunk of it. That is secret. You must not tell Helen Gerhardstein I saw her do that once and thought it was pure genius.
Second, you may be graced by someone with a rather sudden allergy to a certain foods. Fun! If your weekend already is prey to the “Ooooh, yeah, sorry, I can’t eat that.” If the words “gluten free” happen to be uttered, and you’re still sane enough to not just say “Here’s a package of rice cakes,” Pick ‘n Save has Pamela’s cornbread mix which is tasty, and Trader Joe’s carries Udi’s GF bread in many shapes and sizes. For the rest, check out the Onion’s guide to Thanksgiving.
Family is interesting; we all know that every Thanksgiving-based movie is a heart warming, tear-jerking, mess of a feeding frenzy with psychological trimmings. Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving is tonight at 7. Otherwise, movies like For Your Consideration are twisted favorites. Where else but on Thanksgiving can you generate a year’s worth of material for therapy as well as undo a year of working out?
Some families in Shorewood have the annual Thanksgiving walk. A stretch between the meal and pie, to peek voyeuristically into other homes and see the revelling — then down to the Lake after dark. This weekend the weather will cooperate.
If your family is like mine, there must be a task associated for random walking on other days — so maybe getting some pictures developed at Walgreens on Friday (upload online, pickup when notified) or getting ingredients for salt dough ornaments (cup salt, cup water, 2 c. flour, wrap around foil forms, hole in top, cook in 200 degree oven for 1 to 4 hrs, paint when cool) would help motivate.
Romp through the Dog Park at Estabrook (which is a lovely park with playgrounds, as opposed to 20 years ago) easy parking, not far. There is Frisbee golf across the street, also free, in case you don’t have a dog or want to split the group for a bit.
Yoga/cycling sessions at CYGA are being held on Thanksgiving morning or after. Sign up online at CYGA, classes filling fast. The Shorewood Fitness Center is also open on Thanksgiving from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and regular hours all weekend.
Sanity and happiness
Mental escape: Meditation, spontaneous goofiness, drinks, and WiFi
This morning, my yoga teacher at the Shorewood Recreation Department, Rosie Scheinbein, extolled the virtues of meditating for even just a minute: “Breathe through the nose and focus on the browpoint between the eyebrows. It’s great for bringing yourself back to center and remembering who you are,” she said.
I am going to consciously entertain nonlinear play and games with my family. I'm not a "fun" person but will make an effort.
Get WiFi: In addition to restless kids, you may have cranky adults who are feeling cut off from their online lives, and are used to a rather steady check-in on social media or otherwise. Workaholics who stop midstream to do Thanksgiving sometimes experience anxiety (hel-lo) or are actually still on the hook for projects as early as Friday afternoon. The modern workspace is not nicely compartmentalized, so WiFi might be critical. If you don't have it at home, send your cranks out to regroup with their people.
So cheers, and here's to you all. See you out there on an errand tomorrow, or walking by, enjoying our town.