This is the first time in 4 years that my husband and I have not hosted Thanksgiving. It is also the first year we have been married for the holiday season. I had been really looking forward to hosting our first Thanksgiving as husband and wife, with our new matching dishes, using all our wonderful new cookware to create the meal. Unfortunately, all of the ~20 people who usually come to dinner at our place made different plans this year.
We already had our turkey by the time we found this out, so when we were invited to the group gathering at Shady Hollow, we donated our turkey to the feast. Thus we ended up with a roast turkey, a fried turkey, and two smoked turkeys, not to mention huge quantities of side dishes, home made bread, and 3 pies. For 10 people. Only 8 of whom eat meat. (We will be eating a lot of turkey sandwiches this year.)
It was lovely day, and it was a whole lot of fun to have everyone doing their part to pull it together. 4 houses, side by side, with all of us running in and out, sharing ovens and ingredients, trying to keep track of the dogs, playing pass the baby...we couldn’t have had a better day. Thank you to everyone who chipped in to create the experience.
Now, what I really sat down to write was a list of things for which I am thankful this year. So here goes.
My family. The one I was born into, the one I had the great privilege of marrying into, and the one that Nick and I have created by surrounding ourselves with an extensive group of amazing friends.
My health. Aside from the annoyance of bad vision and an astigmatism, I have it good. Wearing glasses and contacts is nothing compared to what some people have to deal with every day. I was reminded of this on Thanksgiving morning, while running the turkey trot. One my fellow runners had synthetic legs, but it didn’t stop him from getting out and doing what he wanted. I will think of this now on mornings when I am having a hard time prying myself out of bed and putting on my running shoes.
My home. I have one. I have several, actually. (See: Family, above.) Most importantly, the apartment I live in with my husband and our cats. It may be small, but it keeps us warm and dry, and it is spacious enough to host gatherings of friends and family. Dinners, game nights, weekly viewings of our favorite T.V. shows...small, yes, but warm and welcoming all the same.
Our car. It is, by my standards, a new car. (It’s from 2005. We bought it new, so to me, it will be new until it needs regular major repairs and is covered in rust.) It runs reliably. It carries everything we need it to, to wherever we are going. The seats fold down to carry furniture when we move, it has survived yearly cross-country road trips to Vermont when we visit our families, it gets us to hard to reach camping locales. It has towed boats and trailers, transported friends and relations, babies, cats, and, on occasion, fish.
My business. It has been alive and well for over a year now, and will continue to grow with me for the next few decades, driven by my love, commitment and hard work. (Sounds like a marriage, and in a way, it is.) I am fortunate to work at something that I love.
My education. I have a college degree. (Two, actually.) I have a high school diploma. Unlike a substantial portion of adults worldwide, I am functionally literate, allowing me to fill out applications for jobs and schools, be transported to other worlds through the reading of books and news articles, and write this blog post.
On a smaller scale, here are a few things I am thankful for which require less extensive explanation.
-Homemade pumpkin pecan pie
-Not being allergic to cats
-Spinach and mashed potatoes. And spinach mashed potatoes. I love them both, together OR separately.
-Still getting real mail occasionally, even with regular emails
-A husband who cooks, enjoys it, and is good at it
-Warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
-Norma’s homemade mole and Mexican hot chocolate on Dia de los Muertos
-Being the little sister
-Being the big sister (it’s fun to be both)
-The reflection of city lights, at night, in the rain
-Warm apple cider
-Sweater weather, when the air is crisp and you can snuggle up in something cozy
What are you thankful for this year? Please leave a comment below and share your list. Happy belated Thanksgiving!
*Wedding photo by Mahal Bella Photography