Wednesday, November 26, 2014

the day before Thanksgiving

This year, more than in years past, I thought a lot about Thanksgiving before the holiday itself crept up on us. General thoughts, about the holiday and about how it envelops most (all?) Americans each year.

Canada has Thanksgiving as well, on the second *Monday* of *October* (so -- no super long holiday weekend, no Macy's parade ushering in the Christmas season). I don't know much about the Canadian Thanksgiving. But I know our Thanksgiving here, in America. It's huge. The Macy's balloons say it all: we do things mega-sized!

I thought a lot about it in part because I was writing an essay about my own Thanksgiving this year. I'm of an age where I have had 42 Thanksgivings in my life (I moved to America when I was 18) and so I can step back a little and consider what they had in common:  with the exception of my very first Thanksgiving as an immigrant (truthfully, I wasn't yet calling myself an immigrant then), when I packed a small bag and went off by myself to Iceland for the weekend, all remaining Thanksgivings have had plenty of food and, with the birth of my daughters -- plenty of loved ones.

Many people clean, bake, shop and cook for this holiday all week long. I used to be very last minute about it. Wednesday, for me, was bursting. Checklists cluttered my counter tops.

Against this backdrop, let me tell you about today.

It was a cold morning, without sunshine to give sparkle to the thin layer of snow.

(the sheep shed, the barn -- as seen from the farmhouse)

We had a good breakfast...


I visited the cheepers in the barn (they wanted no part of the snow outside)...


And I did a lot of editing of my manuscript.

And then I worked on the first stages of making cinnamon rolls. This, in answer to Ed's incessant tease. Each morning I ask him -- what would you like for breakfast? Oftentimes he'll say -- a croissant or cinnamon rolls. I tell him: forget it -- none available. Tomorrow we'll be having the rolls.

And that's the extent of my Thanksgiving preparations.

Dinner tomorrow? Ed and I are eating sushi at our local Japanese place. As far as I can figure out, in our Thanksgiving-heavy town, little else is open. No matter. We like sushi.

Why this suddenly solo Thanksgiving? I write about it in the essay. I'm hugely humbled at having it appear in the NYTimes. Do read it and of course, your comments there or here are always welcome.

Oh! I see it's up now, with a clever illustration by their visiting artist! (It's clever because he picked up on my email exchange with them, where I mentioned that I'd be eating sushi!) You can find it by clicking here.

Before I sign off for the night, let me tell you how much I appreciate my community of loyal (and even not necessarily loyal) Ocean readers. And let me wish you all a good Thanksgiving -- the kind where your heart is full and your stomach satisfied. Perfection, don't you think?