The fourth Thursday in November is the date of my favorite holiday. It’s all about the things I love most – conversation, food and wine. It’s not about shopping, it’s not about religion, it’s not about patriotism. It’s about family and friends. I know there is some controversy, isn’t there controversy about everything nowadays?, but in my life ThanksGiving is pretty simply about eating at the table with a mixed bag of family and friends, many of whom have been gathering at that table together year after year, since the last century.
I hate to give it up.
That’s why, this year, I am not celebrating ThanksGiving. As far as I am concerned, there will be no ThanksGiving Day in 2020. What’s the point of “ThanksGiving” dinner when it’s just you and your favorite dining partner, again. Like that’s special. Uh, no? So, make no mistake, there is no pretending that this ThanksGiving is going to be ThanksGiving. I am giving it a pass and changing the format for the Fourth Thursday of November this year.
Thursday November 26 2020 is going to be “Grateful Day” in our household. And Grateful Day is all about being so grateful about so much, even as there is a lot to be worried about. For instance, I will start off by being grateful that no one in my circle of family and friends has become seriously ill with the Covid. I am exceedingly grateful to live in a community where people take public health emergencies seriously. I am grateful to live in Kent County, on Maryland’s spectacular Eastern Shore, where I can seek out the Tundra Swan this time of year, or walk through winter fields to a spot on the Bay that seems to be all my own.
I am grateful for our customers, who have pivoted right along with us in our new business mode, all of them protecting us as we protect them from Covid, yet still managing to laugh and chat and share in our challenges.
I am grateful to be able to shelter at home with a Chef!
I am grateful to have a little dog for the laughs she brings and to a cat for the purring he provides. I am grateful to have a brother as a neighbor and friend. I am grateful to be healthy and relatively sane and with a roof over my head and food in my pantry. I am grateful for all of this and much, much more.
So, what’s on the menu for Grateful Day? Well, we are of course going to be camping up in the wilds of Cecil County, with a menu that will be somewhat appropriate to the memories of celebrations past: turkey thighs, because we don’t like white meat anyway, oysters because that’s what you do, and cherry hand pies because they are already made. We’ll drink some wine and have a fire and think about how lucky we are.
And then we will be grateful next year when we can go back to the bounty of what ThanksGiving is all about. I look forward to that.