Friday, November 26, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving {A Day Late}

I've survived another Thanksgiving and successfully entered into another Christmas season. I cooked a few traditional family recipes yesterday to add to the feast that Ali's family put together. As I worked in my kitchen I remembered the feasts of my quickly lengthening past. The turkeys pulled from Momma's oven, perfectly browned and basted for hours. The cornbread dressing that will always be the signature food of the of the holidays for me, that no one in Ohio will ever prepare – or eat. The pies that Gramma made without a recipe book in sight that always turned out perfectly.

No matter what people say, your family, with all its imperfections and idiosyncrasies, is always your own. Other people may offer, and attempt to become your family, but they are never really yours. And that's OK. But if I really tell the truth – you never, ever get used to it.

On a good day it’s easy to be grateful. For everything. On a bad day, it’s hard to be grateful for anything. I’m working hard at on staying on the good side.

Of course it doesn’t always work. Some days, no matter what, I grouse and complain and cry woe is me and some days I even have good reason to.

Some nights I sit at the kitchen table before I go to bed and feel like crying, because I’m tired and I’m worried about about money and about my family and usually a whole long list of other things that really don't deserve to be worried about.

Some nights.

Other nights I sit at my kitchen table just before I go to bed and I add up all the things I have to be grateful for. I start with the fact that I have a kitchen table. I have a house. I have food in my cupboard, a roof over my head. I have a soft bed to get into. I have three dogs. One cat. (Here I waiver between gratitude and doubt).

I have a garden. Birds at my feeders. Coffee every morning. Books to read. Seasons to monitor. Good shoes. Flowers in a vase. Words in my head. A camera that allows me to express myself when words are hiding. Warm quilts. Wool socks. Love.

Yes, I whine when there is too much work and not enough money. There are days when I feel like I am running in place on a treadmill of my own design. I cry when I am hurt, I fume when I am angry. I get quiet when I am depressed.

But really, I have nothing to complain about. Life is hard. Life is good. Life is life.

If I could place my little solo ship of life on some ancient, crumbling map of the world I would most likely be seven degrees south of hope and three degrees west of thankful.

I hope you had a warm and meaningful Thanksgiving. Thanks for reading here, and for being my friends – even when I don't deserve it.

1 comment:

Ami said...

My grandpa Jim used to say, "Even when it's hard, it's still life. Better than the alternative."

I have a lot to be thankful for and appreciate.

It sounds like you do, too.