The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has always been my favorite day of the year. Anticipation of the next-day family gathering with the plates piled high with terrific food in the soft, fading light of a late fall day is an obvious reason. But there is more. If I'm at work on that day, the mood shifts to a more pleasant, upbeat level and there is unusual camaraderie and sharing of Thanksgiving traditions. Then there is the knowledge, if I am lucky enough to not be on call, that a 4 day holiday weekend is about to begin; blessed time to think about and do things out of the routine. Preparation of some of the much loved side dishes, like the squash and sweet potatoes and even the pies (when I was making them from scratch) is a much loved Wednesday before task. And the evening tradition of eating pizza with the kids and watching Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving video is magic.
Years ago, in high school and college, Thanksgiving was a time to travel to be with family or friends. Houston, Cincinnati, New York City, Watertown were some of my destinations since Aruba was too far for such a short trip. As a young adult in Houston, we usually gathered at MM's house and in later years since moving to Seattle, our meals have always been at our home. The cast and the location may change, but the feelings are much the same each year; grateful for all the blessings and the chance to pause and consider all the bounty that is. And, although in recent years there seems to be more media hype about Thanksgiving, in general the focus is ahead to Christmas, leaving Thanksgiving refreshingly free from the pressures of gift giving, greeting cards and decorations.
But the Wednesday before; ahhhhh, these moments contain the magic for me. Today is that day and as I write this post from my bed, the sky is turning bright. We will likely have some sun today in the midst of barren trees, fallen leaves, and chill. Laura is home. Chris will be coming home later in the day and we will be blessed with another chance to sit together, tease and laugh, eat, and experience the wonder of our opportunities. Thanksgiving to me is about pausing to honor blessings in our lives: family, friends, bounty, good food shared, reflection, connection and joy.