give and take
We carry into each holiday, scenes from the past, both good and bad. We bring our traditions together with the blessing of each new family member, morphing them together to make new traditions. Some things, like that crazy cheese in the jar my husband always has to have. we can't let go of. While others things, like my daughter-in-laws amazing vegan mashed potatoes made with cashew cream, we embrace and make it part of our growing family's traditions.
Our Thanksgiving was slow and lovely. We had time for a long walk with the dogs, and time to play a game with snacks and champagne before our dinner. And yes, Basil could not resist that red hydrant, but I resisted posting the photo I got of him in action.
The newlyweds live in a beautiful neighborhood full of old homes: each one different and full of lovely character. Some have been completely redone while others added on to in different ways. There are no split entries or ramblers and each one hosts a sidewalk leading up to the front door. Many of them have amazing gardens in their front yards and gates on the side that I imagine lead to a magical secret garden in the back. Or an old shed and a picnic table.
The cats were out in full force, even though we had both dogs with us. The dogs paid them no mind and the cats posed. One got a bit inpatient with me but I managed to catch her before she jumped.
Thanksgiving reminds me of soccer games and traveling east of the mountains to be with family. It reminds me of spending so much time in the kitchen that I don't want to even eat some years. It reminds me of the years Jordan was gone, working in The Bahamas, and how he had to eat lobster and how we missed him so. It reminds me of playing hide and seek with my cousins in the dark attic of the old house I grew up in. It reminds me of the time the new bride left the giblets in the neck of the turkey, because she did not know it was there (and no, that was not me but rather a cousin). It reminds me of my mother making the stuffing in a large, gold plastic dish pan, that she saved just for that purpose because it was the only thing she had big enough to hold it all. It reminds me of the big turkey roaster she would bring down from that dark attic and plug in so she could use the oven for other things. It reminds me of the strips of leftover pie dough, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, and how we could eat those before everyone arrived, but not the pie. My daughter-in-law did the very same thing, offering us beautifully browed crust before we ate. Her pie dough made from her grandmother's recipe.
Holidays are bittersweet, full of nostalgia, memories and traditions. They help ground us in this ever changing world. But they should not stifle us. Gathering with those we love and those we care about is what matters. For the first time in years I was not stressed or tired. I did not wake up with a food hangover or any kind of resentment or expectations other than to just enjoy what was offered up to me and give back what I could. The couple of days we spent with our kids up north was full of relaxed goodness.
I appreciate you stopping by to read my rambling each week. It really means so much to me. As we head into this new season, take time to enjoy and notice all the goodness surrounding you. xoxo