Friday, November 29, 2013

#506 Belated Happy Thanksgiving

It was yesterday (Thursday). We didn't go to the parade - too cold and Xavi not really into Spiderman or Buzz Lightyear yet. We went and played in all the autumn leaves later in the afternoon. Monica baked a turkey roast in the evening.
Thursday's NY Times editorial: There may be a stranger at dinner today — the friend of a friend, the brother of a daughter’s roommate, a business acquaintance stuck in town, someone who reminds us how expandable this close-knit holiday really is. And there will surely be someone missing for whom we keep a place set in our thoughts. On Thanksgiving Day, we sit down with the memory of everyone who has shared this holiday with us, and perhaps with an unexpected stranger, the person who helps us tell this one Thanksgiving apart from all the others. This has always been the day when the folding chairs come out, when we look for the extra leaf for the dining-room table. Nothing ever seems to run short, except perhaps for the whipped cream. It’s as though we cook in expectation of the stranger who might turn up or the great-uncle who came just once. Everyone goes home with leftovers, a Thanksgiving meal in miniature, the cranberry sauce on the mashed potatoes, the pumpkin pie cheek by jowl with the turkey leg. It may be clearly established who gives the toast and who carves the roast turkey. You may know perfectly well which of the pies will be the best, reflecting the pride of its maker. It is pretty plain who will do most of the cleaning up. But the one thing you never can tell is how Thanksgiving Day will end up feeling. Some years it has been a Sunday dinner writ large, and in others the grandest of feasts. There have been Thanksgivings too moving for words, when it seemed as though everyone ate to contain their feelings. And there have been Thanksgivings that have ached with loss. That is the nature of this day, the only holiday that seems to ask us how we feel. Nobody says outright, “Are you thankful?,” the way they say, “Are you full?” Yet the question hovers, even unasked, awaiting an answer. We somehow assume that the gratitude we feel on Thanksgiving applies especially to the larger items in life. But it applies to the smallest, too — to the things we can barely number because we take them for granted.

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