Country life: November 2008 Archives

There is much to be thankful for

I'm baking today and Chris is brining the turkey. Liam is obsessed with who killed the turkey.

"Who shot it? Did Grandpa shoot it? Did you shoot it?"

"No, we got it at the store!" Chris said, exasperated.

The boys stood by the sink gagging and laughing at all the turkey innards.

"I'll eat everything but that heart," Ewan said, eyeing the giblet bag.

I have two tables set up in my dining room and the first pie cooling on the counter. Tonight we're going to see our friend's band play their annual night before Thanksgiving show and tomorrow the kids will watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade while I set the tables. It's a far cry from the Thanksgivings we used to have at my grandparents' little house in the Ozarks. All were invited. My grandpa's pet chicken, Dumpling, would run around in the front yard while every mature woman in the family would be packed into the small galley kitchen preparing food. They'd have to holler a prayer twice because there were too many people to hear it good once. TBS would air their "A Christmas Story" marathon which Grandma left on until all the leftovers were distributed or refrigerated and then the menfolk would watch the football game. Afterwards, half of the family would primp to go to the next-town-over's big Turkey Bowl basketball tourney and half would gather in Grandma ad Grandpa's dining room and play dominoes.

I'm sitting at my empty dining room table as the morning light fills the room, looking at how I try to overcompensate with white table linens, linen napkins, and candles just to foster what came naturally to Grandma and Grandpa's Thanksgivings: effortless togetherness.

I think the magic that lives in our youth comes from not knowing how hard the adults worked to create it.

We have a lot to be thankful for this year. I'm thankful for my family, faith, and true friends; memories; our health; the work that sustains us financially; the opportunities that come our way; free speech, beef jerky, "Celebrity Rehab," and the vast amounts of patience I require daily.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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Dana asks: "Thanksgiving Traditions: Yours or Your Mother's?"