by Valerie Grieve.
Today, in Canada, we celebrate our Thanksgiving. This is the time of harvest and homecoming, and many traditions have come down to us from different cultures. The past is very present at this time of year.
I have done the things that I normally do in preparation. The apple pies and pumpkin pies are baked. On the day itself, Old Bill (my husband) will cook the turkey as he always does and I will cook potatoes, veggies, make cole slaw, cut up pickles, make a small cheese tray and set out olives. I always make the gravy. The children will come home and there will be a flurry of activity as the table is set. Laughter and chatter will fill the house.
It is predictable, full of little rituals which make the framework on which we build good times and good memories. One of my favorites is during the meal we go around the table, and each in turn says what he or she is grateful for. The standard lists includes family, friends, pets we love, our homes, our jobs, and our health.
I have been thinking about what I will say at today’s Thanksgiving dinner with my family. I am of course thankful for family, not just those who will sit around the table with me today, but those who are missing. I will think of them and family gatherings past, and my eyes may tear up a moment as I do. I miss my mother and my father, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and sadly I have added some cousins who have passed to that list recently. Their memories make me smile too as I remember them. They taught me the value of family and these family gatherings.
In the end, it is family, friends, and beloved pets that matter the most. They are what shape our lives and give them meaning and value.
I hope that all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I hope the turkey is perfect, the gravy has no lumps, no-one argues, that your best dishes do not get broken, and that your home is filled with a busy but happy chaos as the family gathers. I hope you build some amazing and wonderful memories today.