The last few years it has just been hubby and I with our terrific son David for Thanksgiving. I was going to just roast a chicken this year, but the woebegone face with which my son graced my decision made me sigh and get a small (13 lb) turkey. At David’s insistence, we did all our family traditional favorites; sweet potato casserole with miniature marshmallows, rice, (which my family prefers to mashed potatoes – remind me to tell you the family “mashed pot” story someday!) dressing (that’s what we have always called stuffing in my house. Don’t know why…) homemade yeasty rolls with local honey and pumpkin pie for dessert. Same ol’ same ol’…
Delicious though. As usual, I put long strands of fresh homegrown rosemary between the skin and the bird, and smeared the skin with EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) which I had set out overnight with lavender, rosemary, thyme and oregano, to soak in their herbal richness. I never stuff the bird, preferring to bake the dressing separately… so I put a can of peaches inside for moisture and flavor. Well, I took the peaches OUTTA the can first….
DH was commenting on my intense preparations – dessert and sweet potatoes prepared the night before, and I was up at 8am fixing the dressing, and preparing the bird… he said that he could hear me chanting to myself, and making myself “one with the turkey.” We had a good laugh over that, but I found myself thinking about gratitude and contentment with my lot in life. I love our new home and its location – and am always content to be with my two favorite fellas. (Even though there was WAY too much football happening!) It was actually kind of fun, being one with the turkey. Having raised turkeys for the holidays (called Thanksgiving and Christmas, or TG and Chris) we know 1) how much work goes into raising poults into full-sized turkeys and 2) how incredibly stoopid domestic turkeys are compared to wild ones.
I found a lovely poem online by Melody Beattie, about Gratitude. I read it out loud at the dinner table, following my lovely mother’s tradition – she used to read the presidential Thanksgiving proclamation every year, and we went around the table and said what we were grateful for… I don’t trust my emotions, or my son’s – to get through that tradition any more, as I miss my parents a great deal – but this poem hit home for me, and spoke to my heart. I share it with you here – to remind you that most of my readers are fortunate in their lives, and we all need to remember the value of being grateful for what we have!
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough,
It turns denial into acceptance,
Chaos to Order,
Confusion to Clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast,
A house into a home,
A stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past,
Brings peace for today,
And creates a vision for tomorrow.