Thanksgiving morning, and anyone who's ever read this blog since it started lo, so many years ago, knows what that means.
Running, pie, and friends.
It's official - it's not the invigorating 5K run that pulls us all out of our toasty-warm beds on chilly November mornings.
It's the opportunity to draw together friends and family from all over the place, many of whom could care less about running 3.1 miles - we just appreciate the opportunity to be gathered in one place again to say thanks for what we've got in our lives.
And every year, it takes on new meanings, as the other realities of life set in and make us realize just how lucky we are to still be able to do this.
And of course, there's always the apple pie at the finish line.
Super proud to be logging the miles with the kids - make no mistake, Andrew comes for the pie. Heather battled back a cold after I guilt-tripped her into emerging from her cocoon of covers.
The Cassidy and Cook girls
Inside the Elks, we're ready to hit the road!
The Cassidy Clan of runners grew by one more this year, as Marcia logged her first 5K! Welcome to the club, Marcia. You can't get out.
At the start, Rebecca and her sister Sarah are beaming. They know Pokemon galore await them over the next glorious three miles
Heather's looking pretty excited. Course, we haven't left the parking lot yet. Either that or she's just pumped to be running stride for stride with Carlos.
Even Steve's getting in on the action
Thanks to the Lowell High School champion cross country team for staffing the water stop at the halfway mark
DJ is setting a blistering pace heading toward the final mile on Pawtucket Boulevard. Watch out for your brother behind you. He's deceptively quiet out there!
You'd never know the guy in the middle just ran 26.2 miles in the Philly Marathon four days earlier. Not a sign of being worse for the wear. At least none Barry's showing.
Cockiness 2016 - when John stops in the roadway just to let everyone catch up to him. He saves himself for this race every year.
They're laughing because they know Carlos just stuck a hot blade into the group run plan
John - he knows where the cameras are at all times, especially when he's manning the selfie-cam
In the finish chute, it's time to reap the pie rewards.
I close this Thanksgiving blog every year giving thanks for everyone who's still around to read and appreciate these ramblings.
This year was a tough one. We lost some loved ones in some pretty tough ways. A couple of us have had our first skirmishes with some real health issues. It's been a wild and woolly year of election politics. Yeah, 2016, has been a tough one for many of us to muddle through.
But muddle through we have.
And here we are, at another Wicked Good Thanksgiving.
Thanks to everyone who's been there for all of us throughout the year. The family, the friends, the co-workers, the extended families in other parts.
I can't personally thank everyone enough for the support Clan Cook has gotten through our ups and downs this year. You know who you are.
I hope you all get out there and enjoy this entire holiday weekend with the ones you love.
And I hope we can all come back here next Thanksgiving for more pie, photobombing, and more run-cam shots.
A personal thank you for my rocks - Jackie, Andrew and Heather for sticking side-by-side through a whirlwind couple of months. You guys are the best!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!