I headed out to Utah again, to visit my extended family for Thanksgiving. The whole Homer clan is still invited for the spread, even as the number of great-grandchildren increases on an exponential scale. I like to make the journey because Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. Lower expectations, lower stress, and all the same cognitive dissonance when that cousin I still remember being 3 years old shows up fresh from her own journey across Alaska. Cousin Erick makes the famous potatoes, Uncle Steve makes the fresh cranberry sauce, and my mom bakes the pies. She always makes the pies, with their crisp, flaky crust and years of creme filling perfection, and no one seems to notice when she fusses over keeping the whipped cream chilled and cutting fresh banana slices. I love my mother's pies. They're a reason to go home for Thanksgiving, among many. Everything was delicious this year. Inexplicably, nothing contained Jell-O.