A Thanksgiving Meditation
Mmmm... When it comes to holidays, we at the Musician's Room World Headquarters are quite traditional, and frankly, the lady of the house is a fantastic cook. It will just be the two of us this time around, but for us, two is enough. One set of kids is volunteering at an animal shelter on Thanksgiving and the other pair is joining the in-laws at the beach. But we'll still break out the linen and the fine china and crystal and candles and it will be a celebration of both our blessings and of how fortunate we are to love each other after forty years. Yes, believe it or not, we discussed this subject the very first time we went out together and discovered that we both simply love the holidays and the traditions that surround them. Then we worked very hard to set up our own traditions when we married.
How does that work out? Wednesday afternoon, my wife and I will clean the kitchen and then she'll bake the pies from scratch. Our black Labrador retriever, Zoe', won't be satisfied until my wife drizzles her with flour while rolling out the crusts. We'll both get up early on Thanksgiving morning and work on the Thanksgiving feast together as we've done for many, many years. The most important thing isn't the turkey, though it is important. The most important thing is the stuffing. The turkey is there to contain and flavor the stuffing in the oven and to make sure we have a little protein on the table. Of course, it also provides marvelous sandwiches for the rest of the weekend. But the stuffing... We cook my lady's sausage and thyme stuffing. For some reason it always takes four hands to mix it. We stuff the bird while it is hot, just before it goes into the oven.
While we prep the food and cook we'll watch the Macy's Christmas parade, as we always do. We'll transition to football as the day goes on. The dogs will get in the way until we are forced to put up a barrier to keep them out of the kitchen. To keep us from getting too peckish we'll set out a collection of pickles and olives and cheese and crackers and carrots and celery and so forth at midday. Somewhere around midday the house will begin to smell heavenly. Once the turkey is cooked and has cooled, I'll carve enough for the platter. Then we'll serve up the meal: turkey with gravy, sausage and thyme stuffing, mashed potatoes, shoepeg corn, new peas, cranberry sauce, snowflake rolls, and apple cider. We don't gorge. Afterward, we'll enjoy my lady's homemade apple pie with extra cinnamon, just the way I like it, and her delicious pumpkin pie, served with hand-whipped cream and fresh brewed coffee. Mmmm...
Then on Thanksgiving night, once the kitchen is cleaned and closed, we'll pile onto the sofa together under a blanket and break out the first of the Christmas movies. Since we will be alone, perhaps we'll watch a movie called The Family Man, a modern setting of Dickens' A Christmas Carol with a romantic thread woven in. By that time my wife will be in her socks, I in my slippers.
And Black Friday? We'll be home, quietly enjoying each other's company rather than fighting the crowds at the stores.
Sometimes being traditional can have its benefits. Traditions can convey lots of warmth and encourage our contentment. Despite our challenges and some chronic illness, my wife and I have very much to be thankful for and content about. We have a life full of love. Of course, it also pays to have a good cook in the house.