PASS THE PIE
It shouldn’t be so complicated, really. But, like so many other things, we humans—myself included– make it so.
It doesn’t take much extra time or effort, and it certainly doesn’t cost anything. Just a few moments to think about what we have, and maybe what we’re lucky that we don’t have. Several minutes here and there to stop ourselves from the busy-ness and look around.
They are everywhere, if you just look for them. So many things to be grateful for, so much we can say a quick ‘thank you’ for.
I am guilty. I don’t look around enough, nor do I always take those few extra moments that can make the difference between seeing something as good instead of bad.
In my blog two weeks ago, I strung my sisters up for loving the wind. The blasted Kansas wind that sometimes hollows out my soul. This time it was blasting northwest winds that brought me down, winds we fought for almost 3 ½ hours as we drove northwest to Gail’s house for the annual Thanksgiving celebration that she hosts with the most every year on Thanksgiving Saturday.
Driving into this driving wind, I tried to find some way to enjoy it, some way to see it as positive. I failed at that, so I downshifted one gear, and found a few things I could be thankful about despite the wind:
*The ground was wet from snow and rain, so there was minimal fire danger.
*There was no precipitation falling at that time.
*Our car was warm and sturdy, fighting the whipping wind. The space-age technology in our Subaru even braked the car automatically when a large tumbleweed blew across Interstate 70 right in front of us, causing the car to think it was an obstacle to brake for, which, obviously, it was.
Despite all this, I still cussed my sisters. So did many other family members.
But we’re not here to cuss and complain. Since the maiden post in this blog, we have tried to keep it positive, with gratitude and positivity as core element of our posts. If ever we go down, we always try to come back up in the end, offering optimism and a happy ending.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. The family, food, faith, friends and fun are celebrated today—especially today—with a reminder and challenge to offer up this gratitude every day. There are no commercial expectations, no gifts to buy—just good food, and lots of it.
Gail, in case you couldn’t guess from previous posts, is the hostess/cook extraordinaire. We honor our mother’s dressing recipe by repeating it to our best abilities, which is usually pretty darn good. We try to make it with all three of us together, but this year, it was only Gail and Suzanne. It is so good, in fact, that there are a select few people in Gail’s small town who request a sample, and Gail delivers. It’s all in the spirit of giving.
Along with the dressing, the menu consists of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, cream cheese corn–all from Gail’s kitchen. Every family member brings their specialties, including: sweet potato casserole (mine), green bean casserole (Suzanne’s), rolls, vegetable trays, cookies, appetizers, sausage/cheese/cracker tray and multiple desserts. There is no shortage of food.
Gail and I delight in preparing homemade pies. We must brag that never once, with the hundreds of pies we have made collectively throughout our lives, have we purchased ready-made pie crusts. Mom taught us well. I made nine pies Wednesday evening to share between my two family celebrations. Gail, always the over-achiever (in a good way), went the extra mile to carve the flesh out of a fresh pumpkin for her pie.
Family is always the first important ‘F’ of all them listed above. Being together with most of our family is the greatest gift of the holiday. Everyone helps,
and everyone partakes and enjoys.
Full stomachs match our full hearts,
and family is celebrated in many ways.
The hostesses and hosts with the mostesses and mosts.
Full stomachs and hearts also translate into a full house, so for the second year in a row, my husband and I enjoyed the solitude of a small cabin on the small lake in Gail’s small town for the night.
Mercifully, the wind died down overnight, and we awoke to some wind with the cold, but it was manageable.
Giving thanks for the basics of fabulous Thanksgiving food and shelter from the wind was the order of the day. This morning, I gave thanks for the third basic element of physical survival: clothing. With four thin layers on top and one heavy layer on the bottom, I gave thanks for the opportunity to stay warm while moving my legs and body with my daily run/walk, this time around the lake.
Taking a lesson from the birds of nature, I offered up thanks for the water and the sunshine as well. No matter the weather, nature offers a daily bounty to be thankful for, and despite the wind and cold, it was no different this morning.
The geese have it figured out; they know how to enjoy the cold, the wet and the wind. With their cue, I did, too.
We got back to Gail’s house this morning, and we were greeted with fresh coffee and brunch. Gail, of course, was back at it in the kitchen again. After the eggs and ham, the pies once again beckoned, so we answered the call. We passed the pie.
Our signature picture at the beginning of every blog was taken three years ago in Camp Gail, her small but mighty room-of-her-own in her home. It is decorated with anything and everything that brings her joy. I have Fort Kathleen in my home, which is my space that fills me up, filled up with all the things that bring me joy. We are immensely grateful for these spaces and for the joy they bring us. Suzanne, ever the minimalist, does not want such a crowded space, and that’s okay too.
Every year during the Thanksgiving celebration, we take another picture in Camp Gail, and they are posted at the beginning of each blog. They signify our continued sisterhood, which keeps going and keeps growing in its depth and meaning.
Despite our losses, we continue to be grateful for each other, for the rest of our families, our friends, for our health, happiness, hopes and dreams fulfilled and those still in progress.
Gratitude, in its simplest form, is just two words: thank you. No matter which force you pray to, this is the building block of living a simply wonderful life. It’s not hard. Just remember to give thanks every day of the year for all things great and small. It can turn negativity into positivity. It’s your choice–and mine, too, free for the taking.
May every day be Thanksgiving Day for you.