So we meet again! It's been a few days. Hope your Thanksgiving Holiday was perfect which means, lots of good food, good people, good conversation, some great laughs and loads of tradition. We sort of stuck to tradition as well. Well, as traditional as our family gets I guess. So here it is my friends, the traditional annual Thanksgiving day photo at the beach! Obviously we were having a lot of fun :)
I was thinking about the similarities and the differences from year to year since we moved here. I mean there are some traditions that really are an every single year thing and other things that are a bit more.....fluid shall we say.
In the differences pile are things like some of the people in attendance. That changes year to year depending on people's lives. And hey! That's just life. We happily greet anyone who can join us and we wish anyone who cannot attend a lovely holiday where ever they happen to be instead. No grudges, no jealousy, no command performances.
Let's see what else was different? Well I think every single year the turkey turns out differently. The first year was a regular standard oven roasted turkey, the second year I experimented with a brined turkey (which was a whole lot of extra work and paid off big time) and this year we ordered our turkey smoked, directly from a wonderful German butcher shop. It was delightful. Flavourful, tender and moist. Exactly what all good T-day turkey's should be.
This year I substituted the 3rd pie out. Usually it's it's apple and home made. This year it was Key Lime and bakery bought and fabulous! I would Absolutely do that again.
There was a new member of the family this year. Niece Carrie's new beau, Russ. A perfectly lovely human being. He fit in to the group right away. Hard working, smart, funny, very sweet and a bit sassy. Perfecto!
.In the other pile, the things that were the same, wel let's seel, Tim and I hosted, Joy and Bob came and thoughtfully brought along some cheese and crackers, as they always do, for everyone to nibble on while waiting for the food to finallllllllllly be ready! It's torture isn't it? Smelling that Thanksgiving blend of wonderful fragrances while your tummy rumbles so loud that it drowns out the conversation around you. Killer.
There was a new jigsaw puzzle in the family room being worked on. While every year it's a different puzzle, so I suppose it could have gone in the other category, still there always IS a puzzle so it goes on this side too.
There were fancy napkin folds going on that any number of people got in on while setting the table. Tim and I fought with the kitchen table to fit the doggone leaf in so that we would all fit 'round it AND ultimately won the battle, as we do every year.
As always I made way too much food. I don't seem to know how to cook without making too much food. I guess I like leftovers? It's a good thing because there were loads of leftovers that I sent home with anyone who would take them (take these leftovers...please!) and loads of dirty dishes when we were done.
All hands helped to serve and to clean up. Everyone talked and laughed a lot. There were a lot of Happy Thanksgiving emails, facebook and instragram posts, texts and phone calls flying through the air adding to the festivities and to the glorious chaos.
And as I said, somewhere at the beginning of this post, another constant was the annual post-dinner, pre-pie walk to the beach trying to make room to somehow, miraculously, be able to eat some of that yummy dessert when we got back. We lingered a bit at the beach. It was a beautiful evening, not too hot, not too cold, very few other people and, of course, being the beach, it's almost never a bad place to be. It was especially nice that evening.
And then of course, there was my list. Every Thanksgiving morning. I start mentally reviewing the things I am thankful for as soon as I wake up and I fall asleep that night still thinking of more items for that list.
You know, I have heard from people who feel a little cynical about certain holidays, and honestly with the state of the world sometimes I don't really blame them for feeling that way. One of the things they also tell me is that they take issue with a Holiday demanding or commanding them to be grateful. True. We shouldn't have to be prodded to be thankful or grateful for what we have. But sometimes, we need reminders. We get so caught up in our crazy busy lives, so stressed and depressed by the news reports, so down-hearted by the bad and sad things that go on, it's easy to forget to think about the good things in our lives.
I think of Thanksgiving as a day that the calendar reminds us that it's not all terrible, it's not all horrible, the everything in the world isn't doom and gloom and that each of us has something for which we are truly thankful. Some of us, who are very very lucky, have a mighty long list. And honestly, sometimes I can use the reminder. I suppose that is one more thing to add to my list. Being thankful for the reminder, on Thanksgiving Day, to give thanks.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.