Surf the Change - Thanksgiving 2014
For the last 10 years, except for once at my friend Martha's, we have not had any sort of traditional Thanksgiving meal.
On this holiday in 2004, we sat for our 5th day in an Indianapolis hospital cafeteria, sad and exhausted, after Patrick's awful car accident, grateful so grateful he was alive, but fearful in the foreshadowing of what was to happen to him 16 months later.
I have not been able to plan festivities for this day ever since.
Oh, I have other, lovely Thanksgiving memories. It's rarely the food I remember (though the sweet potato pies from our friend Myobi in Miami will not be forgotten), it's the company, the camaraderie of family and friends, that I hold dear.
And the best of those were the Miami years more than two decades ago. Years when we had so many people over we had to move the long table from our study into the living room. Years when my mother and brother were alive. Mama would cook the turkey and I, a vegetarian, did the rest and my husband washed all the dishes.
Our move to Indiana changed our traditions. Deaths changed them, too.
But rather than be sad about this, I think I want to celebrate all those joyful days and also celebrate how traditions can evolve with our shifting circumstances.
Everything changes. Everything. One of the wise things we can learn as we age is how to ride those changes like great waves. If we're lucky we might be able to do it with the same exuberance and exhilaration as a sunkissed surfer.
I feel on top of this wave.
I have lentil soup simmering on the stove this morning. I have made lentil soup as our Thanksgiving meal for years now. Last night I made my chunky gingered applesauce. My husband made cranberry sauce and a boxed stuffing.
He just got back from playing saxophone at our friend's bakery, where they are hosting a free meal for anyone who wants to come. He's going to band practice later. I'll be writing and knitting and planning Advent crafts for my granddaughter.
We'll eat when we're hungry. We are grateful for many things.
We're hanging ten and we're good.