There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.albert einstein
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. As crazy as the menus can be, the decorations, the setting up of additional tables, the overrunning refrigerator, the lack of counter space. The thing I love is that, at it’s heart, Thanksgiving is a very simple holiday. It’s not religious, it’s not political (hopefully!)… it’s simply a day to acknowledge and give thanks for family, friends, and our blessings. It’s a day to eat a lot, and not feel guilty – and, then, you may surprise yourself and not eat that much. Some days, it’s more about a full heart than a full stomach. On this special day every year I find myself putting down my fork and just looking around – at my husband, our grown children and their partners in life, our friends who we always celebrate with (they’re family too). Those around the table, and the ones who have gone before us. I’m not a weeper, but there are moments when I get quite misty over my good fortune.
That’s not to say that there are not moments… but, overall, we’ve done the Thanksgiving thing enough times, with the right people, that we’ve got this down. A couple of our traditions are quirky… for instance, we stopped the turkey tradition long ago. My dear friend and I realized that we (none of us) really liked turkey that much. What we really responded to was beef (except for the vegetarians among us, and they didn’t care!)! So, now, every Thanksgiving we have a peppered beef tenderloin with a luscious sour cream-horseradish sauce. I make it, and it is, if I do say so, amazingly good (and easy)! We do, however, still love stuffing, so I make a baking dish of dressing every year, with cranberry sauce. Our friend Frank makes his incredible squash, carrot and heavy cream puree and balsamic green beans, I make corn pudding and sweet potato soufflé, Frank does gallons of mashed potatoes, an English trifle, and we usually have some other dessert – something more simple than the rich trifle. Our daughter and her wife are in charge of salad, which I find to be a welcome relief to all the heavy stuff, and they usually do something very delicious with baby greens, goat cheese, and pomegranate or dried cranberries. It’s an embarrassment of riches. Our son and his wife are flexible… last year they made the most incredible cookies… it took them days, and they were glorious.
All this is to say, I’m so very grateful for family, friends, the love of a wonderful husband and grown children. I don’t say it enough. However, it is the cornerstone of my whole life. We recently went to Atlanta for my niece’s wedding, and we had a real family reunion. I saw beloved cousins, friends who are like family, and my parents and my surrogate parents. These occasions are rare – it’s hard to get everyone in the same place at the same time. It was one of those moments in time that I will never forget. Never mind the unfinished bathroom, the other bathroom waiting to be finished, the floors that need to be redone, on and on. Life is amazing, and I am so blest.
I hope you all have the best Thanksgiving ever, with wonderful memories with people you love!