November. Blood Mountain. Cool. Heavenly views, steep, curving, rushing with leaves in ten thousand colors. Thanksgiving. Turkey and dressing. Sweet potato casserole. A small cabin tucked away down a winding road. Peach mimosas. Broccoli casserole. I pull on my boots and wrap in a shawl, then traipse down to visit Eleanor Exley, but she isn’t at her cabin. The creek sings to me as I walk by. A drive to downtown Blue Ridge. Arts. Paintings. Boro Irish Pub. Porter beer. My daughter and I take turns pushing my husband along the sidewalks in a wheelchair. We are all thankful for the young woman who loaned us, complete strangers, the chair. My husband spots a turned bowl in Turning Leaf, a fine arts gallery, and I want him to have it. He holds the vessel in his hands and rubs his fingertips over it. I am alive. He is alive. We are thankful for the privacy of the mountains, thankful for the laughter and conversation we share, thankful for love and devotion, for adult children who help us and are patient with our needs, thankful for forgiveness and truth, for a mutual love of nature, forests breathing from the roots to the treetops, rhododendrons pregnant with blooms that won’t be born until Spring, thankful for a mountain life that even on Black Friday is slow and easy. In our area, we cannot smell the smoke of wildfires. In our area of North Georgia we are safe. I make an offer on the turned bowl, a persimmon carving of white oak leaves with a burl base, and the shop owner calls the artist, Don Duden, for negotiations. We leave the shop with the vessel wrapped securely and packaged in a cardboard box. I have bought it for $50 less than the asking price. The bartering pleases me. We stop for photos of the landscape, the curves and peaks and shapes of this place, but the camera cannot capture the emotion swollen in our hearts. I hope you, too, had a sacred Thanksgiving.