Our house smells different this morning. Some of that is a real change in the aromatics that are spread around, some of it is the smell of anticipation. As we begin a Thanksgiving week unlike any other in our family’s history, some notes from the weekend.

Friday was semi state for high school football in Indiana. Cathedral played a school from down near Louisville that only advanced because their regionals opponent, who had beaten them by 30 in the regular season, was missing their starting quarterback and running back. CHS was up 14–0 about three minutes into the game, gave up a long touchdown, then proceeded to score another 28 points in the first half, cruising to a 52–13, mercy rule assisted win.

It is back to the state title game against Zionsville for the second-straight year. The schools have two common opponents. CHS was 2–0 in those games; ZHS 0–2. ZHS has improved on offense this year. This could be CHS’ best defensive team in recent memory. The computer rankings suggest that CHS is a 16 point favorite. That feels about right.

M and C both went to the game. They were more concerned with what happened afterward, though. The local TV station that awards a spirit banner to the best student section each fall was down to its two finalists: CHS and the Catholic school up in Hamilton County. Both schools had been pulling out all the stops on social media in recent weeks to earn the award. At about 11:20, on live TV, CHS won the banner. I think M was more excited about that than she’s been about anything this year. This should give the “We got spirit” cheer a little extra heft for the next year.

Saturday was my annual Mow the Yard day. I borrowed our old mower from my sister-in-law and ran it around the house to take care of the leaves. Which means there’s like a 50–50 shot our lawn service will show up today for the first time in a month. I do this once each fall and it always reinforces our choice to pay someone else to mow weekly. Even though I just mowed around the house (for those of you who know our land setup), it still took me over two hours. It was chilly but dry and I got some steps in. Glad that’s a once-per-year activity, though.

I spent most of Saturday afternoon actually watching KU football. Who would have guessed that? I figured the Jayhawks would come out and lay a big, fat egg after beating Texas last week. So I was shocked they stayed in the game the entire 60 minutes. Who knows if the result, a three-point loss on a field goal in the final 10 seconds, would have been different if Devin Neal hadn’t gotten hurt late in the first half. He’s the real deal and was gouging the Frogs’ D. Props to the offense for coming back after falling behind by 14 points. Jalon Daniels made some mistakes this week, but shook them off to key the rally. And how about last week’s hero Jared Casey getting legit minutes and making some big plays?!?!

Man, that defense can not tackle, though, which was they key to the game. Wrap up properly and KU wins easily. TCU, like Texas, is a mess. But being in the game and having a real shot to win is a huge step for the KU program. Now go get some dudes, Lance!

I haven’t watched a ton of the Colts this year. Their early season bad streak, some vaccine issues on the roster, and plenty of Sunday youth basketball meant I missed or had little interest in many of their games. Lately I’ve taken to going to the gym when the Colts are in, knowing I can knock out a quick workout during that window when the gym isn’t super busy.

But I watched a lot yesterday. And they were impressive. I know there are a lot of factors that go into their hot streak. The biggest, though, has clearly been reigning in Carson Wentz and letting Jonathan Taylor destroy people. Which is cool because that should have a much better chance to work in the playoffs over letting Carson chuck it 48 times.

They have Tampa and New England in the next few weeks, so we’ll see how real this winning streak is.

I’ve become a much more casual NFL watcher, too. I enjoy the Colts games when they win, but don’t get too upset when they lose. I’m happiest on Sundays just finding an entertaining game to watch and keeping one eye on it while I do other things.

Finally, I mentioned above that this is a unique Thanksgiving week for us. I’ve hinted at this several times but it is time for the reveal: assuming our flights all go as planned (knock on wood), we are spending a week in Kauai, beginning this Wednesday.

That’s it! That’s the big one!

This is our rescheduled trip from the summer of 2020. We attempted to lock it in for last summer, but the islands continued to require a two-week quarantine too deep into the season for us to make that work. We thought about Christmas but knew that would be super expensive. Plus we worried about a third surge (this was before the late summer Delta surge) hitting right before the holidays and things shutting down again. So we booked for Thanksgiving. We are all very excited, as you can imagine. And hopeful last month’s air traffic issues don’t pop up again.

We got the suitcases out a week ago and have been building piles of clothes, and Sunday was the day to really get organized. Other than last minute additions and toiletries, we are probably 95% packed.

We leave here mid-day Wednesday and will arrive after midnight Eastern time, which will be fun. Our return flights have already changed twice and we are coming back a day earlier than originally scheduled because of that. We’ll spend all next Tuesday getting home. Hopefully. We went from a two-flight trip home to a three-flight run, and there is one tight connection in there, so I guess we’ll see if we make it home in the early hours of next Wednesday or sometime later that day if we have issues.

As part of that, while we were listening to the CHS game Friday, L and I got a bunch of Christmas decorations out. Which is a huge upset, right?!?! We got just about everything but the big tree put up. We didn’t have time to get to that over the weekend so it will be saved for our return. The stockings are hung, the decorative pillows have been swapped out, and all the Christmas candles and wax melters have the house smelling delightful and festive. No Christmas music yet, though. Because I still have some standards.