A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!
The wind is howling, bringing in what looks to be a small storm. Perhaps this will be the first white Thanksgiving in a long time.
This is the first night before Thanksgiving in even longer that I'm not manning the stove. No giblets simmering for tomorrow's turkey dressing. No pies scenting the house with the exotic and familiar smells of mace, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. No cranberries popping in the old copper bottomed pan my mother cooked them in before me.
Her good china will stay in the cupboard above my refrigerator this year. She bought it one place setting at a time, starting before I was born. I remember when she got the last piece, the gravy boat: I must have been 10.
When Mac and I were first married, we used to juggle two dinners. The first was at my parents' small house in Whitefish Bay, the second at his parents' larger one in Wauwatosa. Then kids came along, and I decided with much trepidation to suggest having Thanksgiving at my house. I figured my then-mother-in-law, a great hostess but reluctant cook, wouldn't mind. But I wasn't prepared for how quick my mom was to throw in the apron. It was time to shift.
And now it's time to shift again. My babies are big and out doing what 17-year-olds do on a free night, their Challenge projects behind them and released from their usual pre-holiday duty as scullery slaves. We're the easiest unit to deploy swiftly.
Tomorrow we'll head north on treacherous Highway 41 to Oshkosh, homing in on the next generation of babies--Mason and Mitchell, with William on the way. My sister beat me to the grandchildren punch.
Back in the days when I made not only Thanksgiving dinner, but marshmallows and graham crackers, I imagined Thanksgiving going on the same way forever. But things changed. Some changes, like liberating the green beams from the Campbell's cream of mushroom bog, were for the better. Some weren't.
And others were just different.
(To accomplish this effect, use aluminum foil and soy sauce "sun tan" lotion.)
What never changes, though, is the sense of being so blessed. Somehow, it's all good.
"If the only prayer you ever utter is 'Thank you!', it will be enough," said mystic Meister Eckhardt.