Thursday, November 22, 2007

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

Well, this site kind of killed my Thanksgiving buzz, but it's not as if I'm a big holiday person anyway. Thanksgiving in particular always seemed a little pointless, being a typically American holiday of excess, consisting solely of eating too much, being with too many family members, and watching too much TV.

For the last several years, Sam & I haven't even bothered to celebrate it at all. The last two years, we were swamped with our former business, one that required us to be busier on holidays than not. We've been quasi-vegetarians for years (flexitarians, as Sam insists), so turkey has never appealed, and frankly, neither has tofurky. Sam & I have always wondered if these faux-meat products are created by carnivores who think every vegetarian really wants to eat meat so will take any meat-ish vegetable-based product available. I really don't mind vegetables, thank you. No shaping like a dead bird necessary.

Then there was the year we went to our new friends' house after we had just started the South Beach Diet. Phase I requires no grains for two weeks. We get to our friends, and it's simple-sugars city: the aforementioned turkey (not a carb, but not a treat), mashed potatoes, biscuits, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, sweet corn, and for dessert, I kid you not, bread pudding. We had such a high.

Thanksgivings at my parents' home for me were chaos of distant relations horning in on my mom's generosity to host, prepare most of the dishes, and clean up. Sam's memories were of his siblings bickering about which dishes his mom should slave over each year, so that each Thanksgiving the list of required dishes grew, to a ludicrous range for their family of five.

In general, Sam's family was much more concerned about tradition, to the point that Sam chucked it all when he left. For our solo Thanksgivings, we sometimes had mushroom pot pie, sometimes Chinese food, sometimes just green bean casserole, skipping the rest of the spread.

But this year we decided to give the ol' family thing a try. Sam's sister moved out here earlier this year, so with three of us plus Mikko, we decided we had enough for a small feast.

We made three dishes, with a possible fourth that we decided against once we realized we were full. See how restrained? And a dessert later on when our meal had digested.

Besides that, we talked a little, played with Mikko, and even put in a little work. It was a Thanksgiving of moderation, peace, and normalcy. How new and pleasant.

We also talked of what we were thankful for. I put out a limit of three items, but we all broke the rule. Which I think is good. I was going to suggest, as a joke, saying what we were unthankful for, too, but I'm glad I didn't. It's good to get in the grateful frame of mind and stay there.

So, here you are, my list for this year:

  1. Mikko, obviously. My little monkey has brought such joy and newness into my life. Feeding him, laughing with him, watching him change daily, snuggling close at night, waiting to see what each new day will bring.
  2. Sam, my best friend and favorite person.
  3. That our kitty, Mrs. Pim, is still with us. She has chronic kidney failure, and we didn't know last year that she'd see this year. She's a plucky little thing and has no idea that anything's wrong with her, and for that also I am thankful.
  4. Working from home, so we can all be together.
  5. Living in our little home on the beach.
  6. Time like this, with Mikko lying on my lap asleep, to write. I feel creative again finally. It's been two and a half years since I've had any amount of space free like this to think and dabble, and who would have guessed it would come after my baby was born.
  7. Everything we're looking forward to.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.


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