This is one of my favorite days of the year. Not just because I run to my computer every time something happens and have a running chronicle, but partly.
There’s also a lot of food involved, the best company, and good conversation.
This year I got up earlier than last year, because the potatoes had to be in the crockpot by 8am. I had intentions to help with the peeling, but I pressed Snooze a few too many times and ended up getting there after it was done.
Thanks for taking care of that, dad.
I’m thankful for my parents today. Thankful that they are happy to have me home, that they’re about to welcome me back home when I graduate in just 22 days and giving me time to figure out what’s next. They’ve been so gracious about not pressuring me to apply for jobs or be on the ball about anything. They listen to the crises about not getting things done and bring perspective and remind me to take one thing at a time. It’s been a blessing my whole life, but particularly so this semester, as I prepare to finish out a key phase of life and wander into the unknown.
We set the table last night. The dishes are my great-grandmother’s china, 96 years old.
There she is, my mom’s dad’s mom. (still following?)
Pretty sure this is before she got the china. Anyway, she lives on at our table now.
I’m thankful for getting to dig into my family heritage more this year, on both sides. I’ve gotten to write about some of it. It’s been formative, thinking about where and who I’ve come from and where I’m going. Also, I’m learning how to write about my own life in a way that brings other people in.
This photo was taken around 8:30am, right after my mother said, “don’t you dare take my picture.”
My dad issued a challenge for a nerf gun war to the people coming to lunch today. This includes: Alex (my brother-in-law), Brooke (my sister), Stella, Brian, Alexander, and Jordan (our family friends, Stella was our piano teacher and we babysat for Alexander and Jordan).
I’m thankful for my dad – that he’s like this, engaging people and being excited about connecting over nerf guns. One of my friends saw his post and snapchatted me to let me know he is now her favorite human because he does things like this on Thanksgiving. He was pleased to hear that.
The day promises to be a success, particularly so if I get out of my pajamas and maybe get a workout in of some kind. I fell off the workout train in the middle of this semester, and what better day to get back on?
9:15am, but first, the only protein I will eat all day and a view of the potatoes in the crockpot, which are starting to spread their starchy aroma around the kitchen.
Workouts are done. Mom eats peanut butter and celery. The self-discipline here is just overwhelming.
This is the part of the morning where everyone wants a snack but doesn’t want to ruin their appetite for the late lunch of the century.
Just to give you an idea of what this will be like, there are three households contributing food… for nine people. 7 adults, and 2 children. There will be three pies (banana cream, pumpkin, and pecan), one meringue cake, and marshmallow fluff (which is NOT considered a dessert by table standards, only by sugar content). There will be turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, acorn squash and apples, Russian potato salad, a wild rice dish, quinoa salad with kale, cranberry sauce, challah bread, cornbread dressing, green beans, and the plethora of desserts already mentioned.
We will be full in twenty minutes. But it’s all about the experience (and the leftovers).
Those potatoes smell so good. SO good. Like, would anyone notice if I dipped my fork into the crockpot a few times? Not that I would do that. It’s just a question.
My mom says these exact words, “I just can’t tell you how many times in the past week I’ve unwrapped a stick of butter… and another… and another.”
Good things are coming. When I came home, she’d already done a lot of the cooking and baking for today. There were 13 sticks of butter in the fridge. Today (two days later), there are 7 left.
This is telling.
Everything has gone in the oven or been heated. The place cards are ready, the green beans are steaming. Guests are coming soon.
Lunch has been consumed, leftovers have been divided up. Now Dad is organizing a nerf gun war. He’s making us all make targets and shoot them.
It’s all over.
We ate a little of everything, talked, made targets for a nerf gun competition, and ate pie, and fought a nerf gun fight.
I’m thankful for this tradition and for a day to reflect on what I’m thankful for. Gratitude is for every day, but it’s good to have a day set aside for thankfulness.
And potatoes and pie.
And maybe nerf guns.