Twice Blessed

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.  It has already begun around our house, with relatives flying in and out of town.  I set writing projects on the back burner to enjoy a houseful of family and friends.  After two weeks of intense studying, Eli just took his GRE, and is free to play.  Bea just arrived home from Stanford with exciting stories, and a long list of fun things to do in her short week home.

My sister Constance stopped in Seattle on her way home after three months in Norway as an artist-in-residence.   We put her on a plane to Alaska yesterday, but first we celebrated an early Thanksgiving and Christmas with Uncle Lew.  We set up his tree, played music, and ate Lew’s famous green bean casserole by candlelight.


Auntie Lee flies in from Michigan tomorrow, and her lovely daughter Adrienne will arrive from Yakima the next day.  We will meet Adrienne’s fiance for the first time.  Constance made me promise not to take out the tape measure.  (I only did it once before, with her last boyfriend, and it was just a joke!)  I hear this one is a keeper.

The kitchen table has always been a happening place.  So many hours of my kids’ childhood were spent there, talking, listening to music, creating art.  The kids’ favorite projects always seemed to combine art and sugar.  Sugar cube igloos, taffy pulls, gingerbread houses, painting cookies.  Eli recalled the penguin mints we used to make, and adapted it.

First came the prototype…

Then came the production line, with Bea and Eli making turkeys.  Auntie and I were inspired, and soon we were mass producing meringue mushrooms.

Everything we do takes a long time because we tend to be easily sidetracked…

Eli created a flock of turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner.  It makes me smile whenever I open the refrigerator door.

I love Thanksgiving because, unlike Halloween or Christmas or Valentine’s Day, it hasn’t been turned into a shopping occasion.  There is hardly a way to commercialize it.  I don’t waste too much time cleaning because, well, who cares?  I don’t spend too much time cooking, because our dinner is always potluck, and guests bring dishes to share.

Thanksgiving is mostly a bookmark, a reminder that every day can be a day of thanksgiving.  When the kids were little, before dinner we would often go around the table and share with each other the things we were thankful for.  It was our practice at bedtime to look back at the day, and recall the good things that happened, and look ahead to the good things the next day would bring.  People who live their lives with gratitude and appreciation are twice blessed.  Once because they are.  Twice because they know it.

Dear friends, I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving, next Thursday, and everyday!

All words and images copyright 2012 Naomi Baltuck