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The comic that parents need to see before they embark on Thanksgiving.

"I have a plan, but then real life as a parent happens."

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.

Though the food is incredible, it’s not the main reason I love this holiday.

I absolutely love Thanksgiving because I get to be with my family, play games, work as a team to make a delicious feast, and reflect upon the things I am grateful for in my life. This vacation time, coupled with fun and my end-of-year gratitude recap, gives me a boost I can use to propel me through the next holiday and into the new year.


Maybe I’m overly optimistic about how the holiday festivities will go, but I always look forward to the potential for these beautiful family moments each and every Thanksgiving.

​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

The thing I do tend to overlook in my “fantasy of the perfect family Thanksgiving” is that the experience of Thanksgiving as a parent tends to have some unexpected elements that add to the unpredictability of the holiday. This is because though I would love to plan every single moment with how I can possibly prevent dealing with explosive tantrums and insurmountable frustration, I can’t.  

So, as a parent, approaching the uncontrollable events and emotions means being more fluid than runny gravy and dealing with these changes as they occur.

For instance, I always just assume that traveling to see my family will go smoothly, easily, quickly — only to realize that the assumption itself is a delusion. Though sometimes our drive has gone smoothly and we have arrived on time and unscathed, this is not a frequent event.

How it often goes is that we frantically pack and rush to leave only to hit terrible traffic where time and space seem to meld together into a standstill and walking starts to seem like a faster mode of transportation. The slow-moving mass of steel and exhaust starts to feel claustrophobic and, soon, an antsy child erupts. As a parent who has suffered through previous child meltdowns incurred by everything from forgetting toys to being overwhelmed and hungry while traveling, I try to plan for this by packing and overpacking. But it’s always difficult to foresee exactly what my child will be satisfied with and how long the distraction will last.

The same goes for meal and holiday preparation. I have a plan, but then real life as a parent happens.

This means sometimes my adorable little offspring distracts me from staying on task.

​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

Once the juggling of impeccably timed baking coalesces into a picture-perfect meal, we all sit down with the expectation of relaxing as we calmly eat and express our gratitude. And as a non-parent, dinner seems to align with this expectation in this order: sit down, eat, and then talk over dessert.

However, as a parent, the meal goes just a bit differently and is usually accomplished with more whim than that of drunken fraternity BBQ.

​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

After dinner, our intention is good: enjoy our chance to be together by playing games and sharing stories.

Yet, usually, that intention gets cut short by a food-induced coma. Then, with full stomachs and heavy eyelids, we pack up game pieces and pile on top of each other to watch a movie.

​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

All in all, an idealized Thanksgiving is just that: ideals.

The ability to enjoy reality lies behind the intention of the love shared by being together, whether it all works out anything like my strategically fantasized plan or I decide to just wing it, go with the flow, and enjoy reality.

​Comic by Sara Zimmerman/Unearthed Comics.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

This Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave.

Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Health

This company makes it easier than ever to enjoy guilt-free fairly traded coffee

Thanks to Lifeboost, good coffee can be good for everyone.

Unsplash

Lifeboost coffee

Americans love coffee. Like, we really, seriously, truly love it. According to one recent survey, 75 percent of U.S. adults drink coffee at least occasionally, while 53 percent—about 110 million people—drink it every single day. For some, coffee is an essential part of their morning ritual. For others, it’s something they enjoy when they hit the proverbial wall in the late afternoon. But either way, millions of people use coffee to boost energy, focus, and productivity.


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Pop Culture

Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what led to her openly breastfeeding on 'Sesame Street' in 1977

The way she explained to Big Bird what she was doing is still an all-time great example.

"Sesame Street" taught kids about life in addition to letters and numbers.

In 1977, singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie did something revolutionary: She fed her baby on Sesame Street.

The Indigenous Canadian-Ameican singer-songwriter wasn't doing anything millions of other mothers hadn't done—she was simply feeding her baby. But the fact that she was breastfeeding him was significant since breastfeeding in the United States hit an all-time low in 1971 and was just starting to make a comeback. The fact that she did it openly on a children's television program was even more notable, since "What if children see?" has been a key pearl clutch for people who criticize breastfeeding in public.

But the most remarkable thing about the "Sesame Street" segment was the lovely interchange between Big Bird and Sainte-Marie when he asked her what she was doing.

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Pop Culture

Linda Ronstadt's 1970's ballad is a chart-topping hit once again thanks to 'The Last of Us'

The iconic 70s song "Long, Long Time" was an integral part of an unforgettable episode that fans are calling a masterpiece.

Linda Ronstadt (left), Nick Offerman and Murray Bartlett (right)

HBO’s emotional third episode of the zombie series “The Last Of Us” became an instant favorite among fans, thanks in no small part to Linda Ronstadt’s late 1970s ballad, “Long, Long Time.”

Using the song as the episode’s title, “Long, Long Time,” moves away from the show’s main plot to instead focus on a heartbreakingly beautiful love story between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), from its endearing start all the way to its bittersweet end.

The song makes its first appearance during the initial stages of Bill and Frank’s romance as they play the tune on the piano, just before they share their first kiss.

We see their entire lives together play out—one of closeness, devotion, and savoring homegrown strawberries—until they meet their end. The song then plays on the radio, bringing the bottle episode to a poignant close.

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Joy

34-year-old man is learning to read on TikTok in series of motivational videos

His reading skills have improved so much that he plans to read 100 books this year.

@oliverspeaks1/TikTok

Oliver James is the biggest star on BookTok.

With over 125,000 followers, 34-year-old Oliver James is a star in the BookTok community. And it all started with a very simple goal: Learn to read.

For most kids, school is a place where they can develop a relationship with learning in a safe environment. For James, school was the opposite. Growing up with learning and behavior disabilities subjected him to abusive teaching practices in special education, which, of course, did nothing to help.

"The special education system at the time was more focused on behavioral than educating," he told Good Morning America. "So they spent a lotta time restraining us, a lotta time disciplining us, a lotta times putting us in positions to kinda shape us to just not act out in class."

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via Pexels

A couple celebrates while packing their home.

One of the topics that we like to highlight on Upworthy is people who are redefining what it means to be in a relationship. Recently, we’ve shared the stories of platonic life partners, moms who work together as part of a “mommune” and a polyamorous family with four equally-committed parents.

A growing number of people are reevaluating traditional relationships and entering lifestyles that work for them instead of trying to fit into preexisting roles. It makes sense because the more lifestyle options that are available, the greater chance we have to be happy.

A recent trend in unconventional relationships is married couples "living apart together," or LATs as they are known among mental health professionals.

Actress Helena Bonham Carter and director Tim Burton, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and producer Brad Falchuk, and photographer Annie Leibovitz and activist Susan Sontag are all high-profile couples who’ve embraced the LAT lifestyle.

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