Thanksgiving was quiet around our house this year. Each of the children are having the bird with their in-laws but we will have their presence next year.
Cooking a festive dinner for two is so much easier than preparing for a dozen mouths. In previous years, we have had to follow a logistical chart showing the preparation times for every aspect of the meal, when to start each item in order to have everything done at the same time, or nearly so.
My wife would marshal the troops in the kitchen and assign each their task, standing at her command post at the stove, directing traffic as needed, consulting the chart as needed.
This year, the chart stayed in its home in the kitchen drawer next to the turkey baster. We will not need it again until next season.
The microwave turkey was the only “easy” part of the meal. We still made the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pies, heated up the peas and ladled out the cranberry sauce.
It was quiet and subdued and everything was cleaned away before any of the kids called to wish us a happy Thanksgiving.
And though the house was so quiet during this normally festive season, my wife was relieved to have an “easy” holiday this year. No need to make a fuss in the kitchen for just the two of us, she said, hiding any disappointment at the lack of their presence.
Still, when the calls came later, she talked for quite a while with each of them, listening to the menus of each of the feasts and asking for anecdotes of the grandkids.
It may have been a quiet day but it was still a day for family. Though miles may have separated all of us, the closeness was still present in the home, making her eyes shine bright in the fading evening light.
Life is good and we have so much to be thankful for, even so.
Many others cannot be with their family this year for reasons beyond their control. Whether it is the political turmoil abroad or the remnants of storms on the domestic front, we wish the best and pray the families can return to some unity as soon as possible.
That is what this season is all about.