Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving retrospective

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving. Yes, I spent hours in the kitchen – mostly on Wednesday – getting ready, but I enjoy spending hours in the kitchen. I find cooking relaxing, and I find working on something as easily defined as a Thanksgiving dinner particularly satisfying. One item at a time, I went through my checklist, from prepping vegetables and mixing dips to grinding coffee beans to sweeping the floor to twining up the turkey to roasting the squash to rinsing the lettuce to setting the table. Check, check, check, check, until there was nothing left on my list and it was time to eat. (Okay, forty minutes past time to eat. But forty minutes past estimated sit-down time on Thanksgiving day isn’t so bad, by my standards.)

My audience was appreciative: every dish garnered praise. Nothing went wrong. Nothing was burned or dropped or forgotten altogether.

So from a cook’s standpoint, it was a wonderful Thanksgiving. And so too was it from the standpoint of someone giving thanks. My family is happy and healthy and emotionally unified. My home is secure. My work is challenging.

The bigger picture, of course, is murkier, on the national and international level. There, it’s a little harder to feel that all is well with the world.

But I’m thankful, this week and every week. Making Thanksgiving dinner is, in my mind, a wonderful way to give voice to that gratitude. As I check each item off my list, I feel happy that I’m able to do it. Happy to have the ability, the resources, the desire to make a Thanksgiving dinner, whose purpose in the end is to honor family and friends and, most of all, to try to find a way to express our thanks.

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