Happy Thanksgiving all you dear readers with your roasting turkeys, your whipped mashed potatoes, your savory stuffing, your brussels sprout salads, your pumpkin pies. Or perhaps you’re feasting on pizza? Coq au vin? Paella? Butternut squash risotto? Grilled cheese sandwich? Hamburger?
What’s everyone eating today?
We’re roasting an eleven pound bird. Every Christmas Barry’s boss gives us two small turkeys. We eat one on Easter; one come Thanksgiving. She’s been thawing in the basement refrigerator since last Friday. Maybe our frig is too cold, but it always takes longer than expected to thaw her. Sometimes we soak her in the sink to remove the last sheen of ice on the innards.
Barry insists upon turkey-potatoes-stuffing (which is fine but doesn’t light my fire) so I usually pick one additional dish that makes my tummy smile. My daughter is making Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with cherries and apples and sunflower seeds doused in a lovely dijon-maple syrup dressing, so I’ve opted in. Bought the brussels yesterday. Substituting dried cranberries and pecans, minus the parmesan. So looking forward to this!
Wondering if it’s a sad Thanksgiving for many of us today. Those who usually attend feasts with beloved family, friends, loved ones. Many of us are choosing to celebrate alone. Others have limited their gatherings. Some are ignoring advice by medical experts and traveling or feasting together anyway. I truly hope our virus counts and deaths don’t skyrocket. Thirteen residents in or local nursing home caught covid last week–by Monday night three had lost their lives. It is so sad and sobering.
We’ve probably got non-gratitude lists running amok in our heads. I’m not grateful for the pandemic, possible exposures, staying home for over a year, not seeing my mom and Barry’s parents and the kids, loss of environmental protections, you name it. Our minds can fuss endlessly about what’s gone wrong–or what might go completely wrong by 2021. Minds do this. They’re fussers, and they know how to get our emotions ramped into overtime.
So we have this Thanksgiving holiday where we say: “No, dear mind, no. Today we’re also going to notice what we’re thankful for. Not just what feels sad and impossible and awful. We’re eating our turkey and shaved brussels sprout salad and appreciating all the good things. All the simple ordinary marvels and pleasures that surround us.”
What am I grateful for?
Pausing to consider.
Family. Wonderful phone calls, texts, FaceTime and Zoom with the kids and my mom. These encounters fill my heart over and over again. That we have such a good relationship. So lucky.
Friends. Oh my goodness, what would we do without friends who reach out and respond with love? I am rich in friends. All degrees of friendship: from best buddies to whom you spill out your soul and wondering and not-knowing and tears and laughter to friends that fill your coffee cup with connection and care and compassion.
You readers (and many of you fall in the dear friend category, too, after so many years of sharing back and forth). I am more and more falling into a deeper appreciation for those of you who have so enthusiastically enjoyed these spiritual posts. You are an amazing group of souls. So much love…
Ordinary encounters with nature. A squirrel running up a tree right now, cavorting, jumping from branch to branch. An afternoon walk on the road. Chickadees and blue jays at the feeder.
A worker-fellow coming to the house tomorrow morning to sand and stain the wood floor in our kitchen. Right after dinner today we’ll move our stove and kitchen table and desk into the living room in preparation. Empty off the countertop. Grateful that I have a basement in which to retreat–heck, might even get some more cleaning down there during the upstairs work.
There really are so many things to be grateful for. Even as we tend our scared or hurting hearts, feeding them droplets of compassion and attention and maybe even a turkey gizzard if they insist.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from our little house in the woods. Please feel free to share what you’re doing–or perhaps list some of your own gratitude list. xoxo
Day 40 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.