It’s almost upon us. What you ask? Well the best day of the year. Thanksgiving. The official day of giving. We give of ourselves which results in giving to ourselves. How’s that pray tell? When you gather those that you love closer to the fire, do you not also bask in the warmth? When you create a feast for the multitude, is there not a tidbit for the cook? When your home is filled with family and friends, is there not sufficient laughter and love to share?
After 6 weeks away, I’m just trying to get organized. My place is a wreck about now. Doing laundry (still) , getting over the jet lag (napping in the afternoon) , neatening up the house (shooing cats off the bed) , dusting a bit (here and there), reassuring the cats we are home for a while (sit on sofa with cat on lap for a moment) , making a grocery list (3rd trip to Food Lion for forgotten items) , defrosting the turkey ( back into the cold water bath in the sink) and just basically getting ready for the hoard of family coming to be with us for Thanksgiving.
This is the one time of year that I wish my house were bigger. For 364 days it is just fine, but on Thanksgiving I have a herd arrive and you can almost hear the low mooing as they enter the door. Moo-Good to see ya. Mooo-What’s there to drink? Moooo-Gee it smells good in here. Moooo0-When do we eat! And so it goes.
I’m about as organized as one can get before the feasting day. Everything is prepped and ready for the oven in the morning so I get to take a break and just reflect. This is the time to allow ones mind to meander over all the good things in ones life. While this isn’t a Pollyanna world, on Thanksgiving we are allowed for a short time to sweep all the shall we say , less than positive baggage that we all schlep around the rest of the year, under the rug.
Santa makes his list and checks it twice at Christmas, I tend to make my own personal list this time of year.
Family ( the immediate and the not so much) , friends (both near and far) , a roof over our heads (cozy and warm) and a chicken (ahem, turkey) in the pot. All are things to be grateful for. The major stuff we can snap off our fingers in a flash. Then there are the other things that I am thankful for:
* Funny family members: The grown ones with their finely tuned tongue-in-cheek humor to the dead pan young ones making statements not understanding their own comicality. I mean really, how many folks can say they have a nephew (somewhat over the top into Cowboys & Indians) that told his folks the that he wanted to name his newly arrived brother “Chop down Tree”. Being able to laugh in the face of adversity is a wondrous thing.
* Being close to the ocean: Having been lucky to have lived near the water for the past 35 years, there is just something calming about that. Not that I go to the beach much. But knowing it is there, close by should I want to walk on the sand means a lot to me The smell of the marsh, the cries of the gulls, the vastness of it. Makes me feel good that I am a part of it all, even in a non-significant way.
* Being an American: We aren’t perfect, but I wouldn’t want to live in any other country. I like being able to dislike my politicians, say out-loud that I think they have lost their ever loving minds, and use my right to vote to express my satisfaction or dissatisfaction which ever the case may be. We as a nation are strong enough to overcome the stupidity of our political machines which oft times steer us off course. We have had lousy leadership in the past and have survived and we will do so this time around. Although the survival route can sometimes be perilous, we press on. I like pressing on.
* Poking the Bear: When one is down and but not yet out, when it seems darkest before the dawn, when you have just had enough, sometimes it is good to poke the bear. I’m thankful that I have had courage to face some of my fears and the sense to know when it is time to just quit. Sometime you have to take a stand and “Poke the Bear” and when that is really not in your best interest to do so, I have pretty much always had sensible people around me to say “not this time”. Whether it who I am or how I was raised, I have been fortunate to have a good measure of common sense. I am very thankful for this, as a little practicality along with a little courage, goes a long way in keeping one sane thru the really bad times of our lives. I’m thankful that I have survived thus far.
* The past: We learn from it, cry over it, laugh at the stupidity of it all, are glad that some of it is over. It is what shapes us, makes us ready or breaks us for the future. We cannot forget it nor should we. It as it has driven us to where we are today.
* The future: Eyes wide open. The good, the not-so, the new knowledge, the friendships coming, love to give and receive, pain to feel, laughter to share. The surprises, the mundane, the happiness, the tears. One day at a time, step by step, giant leaps. In bounds or out of, the old, the new. Envelop it, and relish every morsel. Be thankful for it. It’s never more of the same.