It seems to me that Thanksgiving has more expectations attached to it than any other day of the year. I like to read advice columns in the morning (makes me feel like I have a good handle on things); for a couple of weeks the columns have been filled with angst about Thanksgiving.
Grandma doesn’t want to host dinner and two of the daughters are throwing a fit because it will spoil the day. Uncle Joey always drinks too much and everyone is worried about whether he will spoil the day. Cousin Mary has a new boyfriend who is a vegetarian and everyone is worried his dietary needs will spoil the day. Grandpa won’t come because he has a new puppy that isn’t welcome and it will spoil the day. For so many people Thanksgiving seems to be encased in amber; it must be exactly as it’s always been and it can’t be spoiled.
As a person who moved away from home at an early age, got divorced and then became a single parent, I have never had a chance to cement a list of requirements to make Thanksgiving Day overly static. There is however, one thing that I have been in charge of for many years – the thankful project. I’ve done a paper Mayflower w/ little scrolls that people wrote on, I’ve done a large cut out turkey whose feathers became lists of what we’ve thankful for, I’ve done a large tree with leaves for the thankful thoughts. This year I’m doing a big poster board covered with square of different papers and have a handful of markers for everybody to write with. I love doing the thankful project as it really brings it home to me where my focus should be, rather than on whether the potatoes are the way I like them.
One of the things that I’ve written down for the last couple of years on the thankful project is “baboons” (which I then have to explain). I am beyond grateful that I’ve found a community of folks who are thoughtful, caring, sincere, well-read, funny… all these things and more. I’m thankful for this past year with you all on the Trail and looking forward to the year coming up.
No question today – just heartfelt thanks for all of you!