I had a small Thanksgiving dinner this year. No guys were included. I planned for just my cousin and I this year. I purchased a small turkey for dinner for the two of us, with just enough leftovers. There is no way on G-d’s green earth that I will ever serve tofurkey. It is an abomination to my entire digestive system. From my taste buds to my intestines, it is a no go.
My goal this year was to celebrate all the things I am thankful for, without making myself a wreck beforehand. It is customary, in my household, for some major or minor glitch to impact my Thanksgiving. I was strongly hoping that everything would be OK this Thanksgiving and that no mayhem would ensue.
I was seriously tempted to just serve desserts. I bought a small pumpkin pie, not knowing if my cousin ate pumpkin or not. I had dark chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe’s. I made tons of oatmeal cookies. I even found a gluten free brownie mix for my dear cousin. OMG, I tasted one last night and it was to die for.
My meal was almost finished. The oven, toaster oven, and three crockpots were cooking away. I took some time to peruse my menu plans before going outside to enjoy the beautiful skyline the strong Santa Ana winds had cleared for me. I sat on my swing with Annie pondering all the things that had been successful today. I was almost afraid to think of what might still go wrong before my cousin arrived.
I should never have been so lost in my thoughts. It seems I left the back patio slider open when I went out to swing with Annie. I reentered the dining room and saw something out of my peripheral vision. A sparrow had entered my house and was sitting on top of my living room lamp. I was grateful that everything was covered in my kitchen and that I had not set my table yet.
The poor bird was frightened and unsure of Annie. Luckily, Annie could care less about birds. (Now squirrels are another matter altogether.) I took pity on the frightened bird. I had to figure how to remove it without harming it. I had just cleaned my windows and sliding doors making it difficult for the bird to find an escape. It flew into the front picture window a few times. I opened the front door and the sliding patio door. Then Annie and I went out back in the hope that the creature would find its way out. After a few minutes it came flying out back whizzing past my head. It was a joyful moment.
Minor crisis averted. I gratefully set the table and began plating my cold side dishes. When my cousin came, we laughed about the unwelcome bird guest. I mentioned that perhaps the small bird was protesting the turkey cooking in my oven.
My cousin made a tasty vegetable dish she brought and I served up the mashed potatoes, rice stuffing, matzo ball soup, biscuits, gravy, and of course, turkey. Between the cold and hot dishes the table was full. I didn’t get a picture of the table with all the food because we were both starving by then.
We had a lovely meal together followed by outside time swinging with Annie and playing Mad Libs. It was a joyful time, and I am thankful we were together. We talked about family no longer with us and the memories we share. I am grateful this Thanksgiving for old memories, newly made memories, and the opportunities for future memories.