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Halfway between Flagstaff and Las Vegas and the highway is empty except for a few lonely semis hauling west. I’m racing freight trains across the wide expanses of the American Southwest, thousands of miles from the nearest pilgrim, and I just want to be at my parents’ house.

Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that pulls us home, no matter how far away our family may be. We feel the ties of blood draw us together, if only for one meal. And as I drive through fields of tall, dead wildflower stems, I can’t help but fantasize about what lies ahead. Mountains of mashed potatoes, piles of green bean casserole, mounds of stuffing balls, slices of smoked turkey smothered in gravy. Cranberry sauce. So much cranberry sauce.

Still, it’s not just about the food. It’s the people, the chaos of preparation, the exhaustion after the meal when we all lay on the floor, slowly digesting like gorged snakes. It’s the craziness of a family who’s just as crazy as you are. It’s the feeling of being home — made that much more satisfying when your family is 250 miles away and you don’t get to see them often enough. And that feeling, well, that’s even better than cranberry sauce.

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You know what I like even more than cranberry sauce? Twitter. Okay, maybe it’s a tie. If you eat cranberry sauce while tweeting, please follow me at @jonnyeberle.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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