It’s Thanksgiving Day, and before the tryptophan kicks in, leaving me sprawled and snoring in front of the Broncos game, I thought I’d take a moment to remember what this holiday is all about.
Or maybe you call it stuffing, depending on whether you bake it in a pan (as I do), or indelicately cram it into the abdominal cavity of a plucked and beheaded turkey. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some sort of PETA nut, bent on liberating fruit flies or turning McDonald’s into a salad bar. I can put away roast turkey like a Viking wench with a drumstick in each hand, but for me, the whole stuffing of the bird sort of crosses the line into poultry violation.
Either way, all I’m saying is that dressing is a central feature of any holiday dinner, and it definitely inspires a certain thankfulness in my heart.
Speaking of thankfulness, because we probably should, we have a sweet Thanksgiving tradition in my family in which we go around the table and take turns, between bites of cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, sharing what we’re most thankful for. Obviously, the big four always feature prominently: God, family, friends, health. In fact, next year I’m considering passing out a top ten “Things I’m Thankful For” list with those four already filled in. Because I’m interested in hearing those other six, the little unsung blessings of each life which, taken together, add the flavoring of gratitude to our everyday experiences. For example:
I’m thankful for…
…the five french fries that fall to the bottom of the fast food bag, allowing me to claim them for my own, despite the fact that I didn’t order any fries. “No-man’s-fries” I call them. They taste exquisite with my salad, and I still feel faintly righteous.
…”elegant” days, when all my clothes fit just right, and I glide around with my back straight and my head high, smiling archly over my shoulder and feeling just a teeny, tiny bit like Audrey Hepburn.
…Judy at the Chevron, who remembers my name and my poison (a 52 oz. Extreme Gulp refill of Diet Coke), and manages to really see every customer, engaging each one personally beyond the digital total on the gas pump.
…300 thread count sheets, a small indulgence that makes slipping into bed beside my love even more delicious than it already is.
…the year’s first snowfall which delights the senses no matter how many times you’ve seen it before. It blankets the landscape, brings a hush to the woods, and gives me a chance to whitewash* Paul.
…my giant desk, the wide, flat surface that collects the flotsam of my thoughts and endeavors and holds my favorite things secreted in its drawers and cubbies. It takes up space, and I love to take up space.
I could keep going, but I think I’d like to hear yours.
*”A typical whitewash consists of rubbing a handful of snow into someone’s face causing severe coldness and temporary blindness.” –Oliver Sharpe, Aspen Daily News