This morning the bare tree limbs outside these windows nod and shift and look to me like a gathering of stags as they lower and raise their antlered heads. The rain is gone and with it the warm windy air mass. It’s below freezing. The flowers I’ve arranged for our Thanksgiving table rest in the tiny north-facing bathroom whose thermostat registers a nose-biting 52 degrees. No wilting there!
I have made the coffee and eaten a little breakfast and David is reading the paper. When our son Michael gets up, he and I can tackle the spinach-with-raisins-and-pine-nuts dish, the only ‘real’ thing I have to prepare this year.
Last Sunday, our daughter Carrie and her Chris borrowed from us 20 sets of china and silverware, three gravy boats, two ladles and two white tablecloths, a store of things accumulated here over the last 35 years. Thanksgiving is at their house, so instead of waking at 5 to jam a giant bird into a too-small oven, David and I slept until 7, which was nice since we were up ’til almost 2:00 so as to greet our returning son, home for the weekend from faraway Arkansas.
I’m to make the gravy when we get to their house, that being my only other job. I have packed the chicken stock and the non-clumping flour, my best sieve and a good pot, and that wondrous invention the gravy separator. I’ve packed the coffee, which I wanted to brew myself and also a can of salted peanuts just like we had when I was little, the nice greasy kind, in the very bowl in which our grownups served them too.
Carrie and Chris live in a house built exactly 50 years ago, so they have decreed this a 1963 Thanksgiving and planned foods and drinks to match that theme.
Easy enough! I thought, on hearing that, for inside my head it is at once 1963 and 1958 and 1979 when we first moved to this old house, a young couple with two babies, and began doing the holidays ourselves.
I hope everyone’s day is nice as ours promises to be. The dark comes early but oh this morning light! – and family to enjoy it with. Happy Thanksgiving to all!