Finding balance in the second half of life

No Thanks

In Community, Family, Romance on November 24, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Thanksgiving dinner @ Sanctuary Farm

For weeks now I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with Thanksgiving Day. One son is in Ireland. The other two will be in Indiana, eating turkey with their dad and his new wife and my former mother-in-law who makes the best pumpkin pie ever. My own sweet dad — he of the soup-chilling pre-dinner toasts and the table-panning video camera — has lately become dead; wherever he is on Thursday, it won’t be at my dining room table. Neither my good friend Kate, whom I counted on for years to provide the family-tension-reducing Talking Dog Joke, nor Belgian-born Janine whose creamed onions were to die for, nor my sons’ friends Wade and Emma and Spencer and Anna Lisa and Jack, nor the parents of my sons’ friends who became during those noisy years friends of my own, will be passing the cranberry sauce to me this year.

For the first 25 years of my life, Thanksgiving was a big family dinner at my aunt’s or grandmother’s or mother’s house. For the next 25 years, it was a big family (and friends) dinner at my own place. Now it is a big fat hole that I am desperate to fill.

This morning I suggested to My Loving Partner that we use the holiday to fix up the wood floors in the dining room.

“You still know how to surprise me,” he said, after a longish pause.

I don’t want to go out to dinner. I don’t want to stay home and cook a pseudo family dinner for two (Honey, will you carve the Cornish Hen?). And I don’t especially want to sit at my long, empty, dining room table making a list of everything I’m thankful for. But I also don’t want to be a whiny, ungrateful wretch.

So, I adopted a turkey.

His name is Reese.


He will be enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends at Sanctuary Farm’s California shelter.

And I will be sharing a hearty lentil stew (or something) with MLP, who was actually considering the floor fixing idea and for whom I am sincerely thankful.

–Debra Wierenga

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