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Thanks and Giving

Written By: Katie Palani, Board of Directors President

Thanksgiving is coming. Soon. And while many of you reading this might have visions of family gathered around the table, the game on in the background, a fire crackling somewhere nearby, my family has a different sort of Thanksgiving I’d like to share with you.

We spend time with family a week or two before The Day to get the great food and conversation and connection we all crave. Then we focus our energy on Thanks and Giving. We evaluate, the three of us, how we want to say Thanks, and how we can spend our time Giving.

Thanks. This year, we will say Thanks to the people that have gotten us outside. These range from friends that hike other trails, to strangers we meet on trails that suggest other trails, to family that invite us to different places to hike and bike and ski tracks we’ve only dreamed of thus far. These people will get an invitation to hike one of our favorite hikes with us, most likely a Peavine track this year, as it’s been our backyard and frequent rambling place. We want to show them the Thanks we feel every day as we follow the same tracks day after day, experiencing a place change slowly day by day over the course of a year. We want them to feel it (and yes, we want them to feel it later when we’re laughing over a cup of coffee).

Giving. Well, we do this “blood, sweat and tears” way, because as a new teacher, the financial contribution is not something we can do much of right now. We volunteer. A lot. I’m a volunteer board member for TMPF, and have been for a few years now. But that’s ME. As a family, Holly, 7, and Rowan, 10, volunteer a few times a year with me, generally on Saturday mornings, at the Rosewood Nature Study Area, where the TMPF is working to restore land that was previously a golf course back to its natural wetlands state. We pull trash out of the waterways. We pull weeds. We dig holes. We carry water. (We might carry tunes as well.) We move plants. We plant, we mulch, we repeat. The kids are usually the last out in the field, picking up containers and finding lost gloves, water bottles, tools. They thrive on the hard work, because they feel that this place is growing and changing because of the work they’ve done here.

That’s us. It means we don’t have turkey leftovers for days, but we can cheerfully forgo that delicacy for the greater luxury of knowing and showing how our lives are transformed by the spaces that we call home. Holly and Rowan and I THANK you for GIVING your time, energy, attention, whatever that looks like, to the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation, and we hope to see you soon.


About the Author:

Katie Palani volunteers for the board as president of the TMPF, and teaches 4th grade at a Title 1 school here in Washoe County, when she’s not out scrambling up Peavine with Rowan and Holly, or skiing, or kayaking, or camping, or disc golfing, …

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Anna Kena
Anna Kena
Jun 14

It's refreshing to see a Thanksgiving tradition focused on giving back rather than just indulging. Though I may not reach the lofty rice purity levels of this active family, their example motivates me to find more ways to volunteer and express appreciation to those who enrich my life. A wonderful read to get in the right mindset for the holiday season.



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