Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is Thanksgiving Eve and I am cooking tomorrow. I have just figured out how long I need to cook my nearly 10-pound turkey breast based on my recipe for a 6-pound turkey breast. (I’d ordered what was advertised as a 4- to 6-pound turkey breast; what was put in my arms as a 9.75-pound one. Panic has been slowly building.) Algebra was never my forte, so I hope my calculations are correct. For that matter, I hope algebra is the type of math I needed to use to figure this out. It has been decades, after all, since I sat in a math class.

While God did not bless me with a mathematical mind, He has blessed me in many other ways. Despite my many losses over the past two years, I am thankful for countless other blessings this Thanksgiving.

I may have lost Bailey earlier this year, but I still have Brillo and Chaucer to entertain and keep me company. I think Brillo is channeling her brother these past few months. Things fall on the floor a lot more often when her paws are nearby then they used to. That is eerily reminiscent of Bailey and his paws of destruction. She has become quite the lap kitty since my lap is no longer full of Bailey. I can’t help but think with some of her antics that Bailey is still with us. And for that I am grateful.

I am grateful for the memories of Thanksgivings spent with Bate, Dad, Bob, Mom, Lisa, and Mark. I remember the smell of the turkey cooking on the wood stove in Westport, waking Bob, Lisa, Mark, and me up with growling tummies. I remember Dad making a beeline to the sideboard to see what desserts I’d baked that year, almost as if to gage how much turkey and trimmings he could eat and still have room for apple crisp or pumpkin pie. In later years, I remember waiting for him at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport for his annual trip to Virginia. I remember Bate’s smoked turkey from three years ago that we shared with Bonnie, Lanny, and Lanny’s family. Bate was so excited about his smoked turkey. I didn’t have the heart to tell him I didn’t like it that much (the year before it was way too smoky for my taste) and now I am glad I didn’t say a word, just pulled up my big girl panties and smiled. It was our last Thanksgiving together and the smoked turkey was perfect. Everyone loved it.

These are Thanksgivings that will never come again, but they will live on in my memories and I am grateful for that.

I am grateful for the new memories being made this year. Susan is down from Massachusetts for the week, and I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time in years. I’m a little nervous about that turkey, but there will be plenty of other food for Susan, Bonnie, Lanny, and me to eat, albeit vegetarian fare. I’ve seasoned the beast … eh, I mean breast … and wrangled it into Bonnie’s crock pot. It was too big for mine and barely fits in hers, but I have decided that barely is like “almost.” It counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and turkey wrangling. All that is left now is to set my alarm for 1:30 am so I can put the bird in the crock pot and pray that God will correct any of my mathematical miscalculations.

But what I am most thankful for this year, as in the past two years, are my friends and family, without whom I would not have gotten through it all. Thank you, for being there, for understanding, for just being you. You are my blessings. I can never say it enough or thank you enough, so I will just say, Happy Thanksgiving.

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