Cruising around my feed reader, I see everybody enumerating what they're thankful for. For me, a list like that just doesn't really do it. The people that need thanked have been, the people that need hugged and kissed have gotten them. For my Thanksgiving rambling, I'm goin a different direction. I'm gonna talk turkey. And everything that goes with it.
I come from a family where food is love, and my beltline will corroborate my story. I've always loved Thanksgiving, because it's always been a holiday where the whole family is together, and there's never less than three people in the kitchen, and everybody else is standing around swapping lies, catching up, and just being... family.
This year, as we were planning the holiday, was shaping up to be very different. It was going to be Bex's first Thanksgiving away from home, and she is her family's designated holiday cook, so she was planning on spending the whole day at her mother's house cooking. Her mother's entire guest list was six adults and a young child. This will be important in a minute.
My family's traditional large guest list withered to nothing this year as well, as my grandmother is in a rehab facility for a couple more weeks, Mama's younger sister and her husband went to spend Thanksgiving with his family, and Mama's older sister and her husband are EMTs who had to work the holiday this year. That meant Mama and Dad had a guest list of five, including myself and Bex.
Thanksgiving dinner for six and five is darn near impossible, without 3 months worth of leftovers. Trust me here.
Bex's mom jokingly said we should combine Thanksgiving, which planted the seed that was to become today's mighty feast. That, and it was going to be the first time that she and I drew virtually sole cooking duty for the holiday. No grandparents, no major parental assistance, just us. Which was a riot. Throughout the day, family and food filtered in, introductions were made all around, and our families, who'd never really met before, meshed like old friends. It was just like Thanksgivings from when I was younger, football and snacks, stories and lies, and lots of laughter and love. Some serious bonding time with my future niece (seriously, 3 year olds find me riotously funny and good company), and a beer run with one of her brothers (drinkin beer with the brother in law... I said it was the Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.) Said brother in law and I are planning on going shooting Saturday while the women are handling dresses for the wedding, and her other brother would have been invited too, but his uber-cool job is taking him away for a couple days. His loss.
All told, I'm amazed at how perfectly everything worked out, and am still grinning ear to ear, over six hours after everybody went home. The more time I spend with her, and with our families, the more I see exactly how good my life is, and is going to be. And those people, those memories, and a life well-lived and full of love, THOSE are the things to be thankful for, because they're the only things that matter.
Go make a turkey sandwich and hug somebody who matters.