A large bird whose flesh when eaten on certain religious anniversaries has the peculiar property of attesting piety and gratitude. Incidentally, it is pretty good eating. – Ambrose Bierce (1842 – 1914)
Last Saturday we had turkey and stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy. I made cranberry sauce the way we all like it, with a little fresh ginger, and orange juice, and chopped apple. Mom had brought my favorite turkey day tablecloth from home, and I ironed it and put the extra leaf in the table. Last Saturday, me and Tonia, Mom and Dad, and Zach and my lovely new daughter-in-law, Laura, all sat down to something like Thanksgiving dinner, and at the end of it all there was pumpkin pie.
Today, for the first time in my seven years as an ex-pat, I remembered that it is Thanksgiving Day in the country of my birth. It’s very easy to forget here, without the quiet stillness of a holiday morning to remind you that this day is different from others. Mostly the day completely escapes my notice, until late afternoon, when one or another of my friends on the west coast rings to say, “Happy Thanksgiving.” And then I say, “Happy Thanksgiving back,” and pretend that it means something to me here.
Today I didn’t have to fake it when the calls came. I have carried the glow of last Saturday’s family meal with me all day. Aware that many of the emails I’d send today would likely get out-of-office auto-replies; aware that half-a-world away the entire country of my people were putting the bird in the oven.
I worked today, but a little less hard that I normally would have. It felt like the beginning of a four day weekend for me too. For lunch I ate my traditional “leftover” sandwich of turkey, sliced cold stuffing, cranberry sauce, lettuce and mayo. I counted my blessings, of which there are many, and I felt more a part of this holiday than I have in a long time.
Thank you, sincerely, for all your wonderful comments on the wedding dress, and your congratulations on Zach and Laura’s wedding. My parents left on Sunday, and life is returning to normal at Casa del Cast On. I’ll be dining on sausage and mash tonight, a non-traditional Thanksgiving feast to be sure. But I may sleep later than usual tomorrow morning, it being a holiday weekend and all. And the podcast will return next Friday, 30 November, for which I am truly thankful.