The sun isn’t quite up yet, but a hint of orange is beginning to illuminate the palm tree in the next yard. Thinking about thinking about it, as the philosopher Michael Ambri liked to say. It’s Thanksgiving.
Our Thanksgiving these days wouldn’t make much of a Hallmark movie. We’ve downsized over the years as the numbers dwindled and the family thinned out. Our little clan gathered in October to beat the rush. Mo’s sisters will be here in early December. Maximize the partying. So today, it’s just us.
Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday. No gift pressure, no costumes, no hangovers. A day to eat and reflect and share a smooch and eat some more.
We’ll watch the Macy’s parade in the morning. It will be back in full form this year as everyone pretends for a day at least the pandemic is over. We’ll debate which float is best as we watch for old favorites and new additions, and eye Santa suspiciously at the end. They say that ending the parade with Santa signals the start of the Christmas season. They clearly do not watch Hallmark, where the Christmas season begins somewhere in March.
I will wrestle with the guilt of living a couple of miles from two tribes of Indigenous people who were crammed together onto a small piece of land so that we could steal their home. But I suppose we’re all adjusting to changes as we go along, history and horror and hope. I doubt there will ever be a United States of America again anyhow. I wish we could live in a little trailer with them. Great sunsets in the wide expanses of land.
It’s just Mo and me and BK this year. The best thing about a small Thanksgiving is that there’s no pressure to stay away from the pies on the kitchen counter the night before. We should test them to make sure they’re fabulous, we agreed last night. And they were. I mostly married Mo for her pies. No idea why she married me.
She will take a couple of them over for some older friends in the neighborhood who have had a tough year. Pie always makes things better. Until you finish off the fourth slice and become comatose. This is likely why turkey trots were invented.
Our menu has evolved over the years into the equivalent of packing for a race. A checklist of the essentials was doublechecked days in advance. Provisions stockpiled. The supply chain crisis has no chance against Mo. Turkey, rolls, cranberries, other stuff. Lordy, I love a plate of other stuff.
We will spend the day not thinking about the pandemic or inflation or the hard times ahead for so many of us. “It could all be so much worse,” the philosopher Kiese Laymon said. Of course, that was before it got so much worse. It will get better. You have to believe it will get better.
We will give thanks. At the end of the day, and even at the beginning of this one, we have so much to be thankful for. Our family, our friends, our health. A verdict that finally got it right. A hope that things could get back on the right track, even if the track is headed toward a downed bridge.
And mostly, we’re thankful for each other. I’ll spend the day with my best friend and an annoyed cat. We’ll watch the Cowboys, even though that bastard fired Tom Landry. We’ll eat pie, assuming there’s any left by the time the sun comes up. We’ll fondly remember those we celebrated with over the years who are no longer with us. We’ll go out with Rudolph for his annual Thanksgiving jaunt. Maybe we won’t be arrested this year. Maybe. We will be happy. But then, we’re always happy. That’s something to be thankful for.
Maybe that’s the secret of Thanksgiving. Never take life, or pie, for granted. Be thankful every day.
The sun is up. The parade is about to start. I can hear Mo stirring in the next room, annoying the poor cat, who prefers to spend Thanksgiving napping until the turkey and whipped cream appear.
Pie for breakfast? I’m thinking about thinking about it, as the philosopher Ambri liked to say. After all, It’s Thanksgiving.
Might make a pretty good Hallmark movie after all …