In years past this day was usually spent in someone else’s house, grandparents or in-laws, with my contribution limited to a covered dish or two.
All that changed the year after Tim died. Invitations still arrived. Occasionally I accepted, prepared a covered dish and traveled to a relative’s home, and occasionally I declined.
One year I attended Thanksgiving dinner at my church, sitting with several people I knew and hoping for a relaxed, meaningful conversation around the table. But no, it was as if the other folks were in a hurry to gobble down their turkey and return home to watch a football game, take a nap or something.
Not a fast eater myself, after the first twenty minutes or so I was left to munch the balance of my meal alone. Might as well have been back at home.
Last year a group of family members and I dined at a local buffet restaurant, standing in line for a long while before being crowded into a dining room surrounded by hundreds of like-minded (“I didn’t feel like cooking this year”) strangers.
Elbow to elbow our group crammed into place against an outside wall. Plates and tea glasses jostled one another on a too-small table in the too-noisy room. It was hard to have any conversation, let alone a relaxed one.
This year I made an executive decision. I will stay home.
Meat is off my menu now (whole foods plant-based diet), so no turkey. But favorite dishes are easy to prepare at home, like brown rice with black or red beans, topped with finely chopped onions and a dash of hot sauce. Accompanied by cole slaw or steamed kale.
Or maybe broccoli and whole-wheat pasta. Perhaps grilled zucchini with yellow squash as a side dish, and/or marinated raw vegetables (diced tomatoes/celery/green peppers/onion/cucumbers with a splash of vinegar and olive oil and a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash). Hmm.
Red-skinned potatoes steamed with thin-sliced cabbage and onions sound good… I might bake a couple of sweet potatoes for dessert or mid-afternoon snack.
Oh well, I’ll decide when I get up in the morning, fix whatever strikes my fancy while watching a parade or two. All that sounds colorful, doesn’t it? And it will be delicious!
After lunch will come old movies and a nap. Maybe a book. It will be the most thankful, “thanksgivingness” Thanksgiving day I’ve had in a long time. I will enjoy every minute, being grateful to the Lord who has blessed me tremendously this year.