Holidays tell us to remember that we love our significant others, family, country, and higher power of choice. But very few exist (well ok putting aside the murky historical underpinnings of it, which I know that one can hardly put aside but stay with me!) to remind us to just, be, thankful.
As the day arrived, sunny and quite warm for late November, I reflected that I had much to be thankful for. I’ve never had a year quite like this, where I have such a powerful, stable relationship with another human being. Where I find the courage to begin the process of stepping out and getting to where I really want to be in life. Where I am inspired to take on what may seem a frivolous but possibly life-changing books challenge, (I’m up to 47 by the way). Where, even my sports team, the Carolina Panthers (NFL) are having a truly historic year at 12-0 already, smashing records and expectations along the way. It’s just been amazing.
I found myself in the unusual position of not going to my own family’s place for a gathering, as everyone decided at the last minute to just sort of do their own thing. This did make me a bit sad, as Thanksgiving is maybe the only day where we really get together anymore, but then it also presented me with a great opportunity to start a new tradition with the woman, whatever that ends up looking like in the end.
This year, we went to Fayetteville and ate with her folks instead. I was a bit nervous about this, mainly because of my hearing issues. But, I found it surprisingly easy to just slip right into conversation and never really felt left out of anything. It probably helped that only immediate family was there, but I was prepared to cope with a larger gathering if it had been so.
Mostly all I have to do anyway is get my eat on! Sometimes I choose not to have turkey, as I so did this year. Instead, I sucked down some delicious ham, mac and cheese, dressing (as we call it in the South, an NPR story said most everyone else calls it stuffing but so what), green beans, a roll, and some cranberry sauce. Outside of her father, I’m the only one who eats that last. I grew up enjoying it at our feasts, though. One thing I’ve learned is that it is very important that I not overeat, as doing so can make me feel faint and awful for the rest of the day. So I give myself just enough.
Then they fired up the TV in the little downstairs room where the tables were so we could catch the Panthers game. They of course feasted on the Cowboys, ultimately winning 33-14. Her folks, again other than her dad, aren’t really into sports either, but they did have fun trying to ascertain what was going on in that game. We hit the road for my hometown of Charlotte midway through the second quarter, so that I could get in some valued time with my cousin.
Not much happened during our stint in the Queen City, but it was definitely welcome relaxation. My cousin and I did watch the nightcap between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, then stayed up chatting till nearly 1 AM. We also got more time chillin’ while his wife and my girlfriend went for a shopping run that afternoon. We closed the day with carry-out meals from a Greek-style restaurant called Shomars, where I got, as always, their Callabash shrimp. I only regret that I wasn’t able to finish all of mine then nor on Saturday, before we deemed it had been exposed to the open air too long for safe consumption.
So in the end, I was pretty well satisfied with the balanced weekend I had. I got to get more comfortable with her folks and to enjoy some time with mine. It doesn’t get much better than that, right?
p>How was your Thanksgiving, if you still remember. Do you eat anything that you think most people don’t? Finally, what has been the thing about which you have been most thankful this year.