I cannot remember a time when, on this day, I did not get up with the sun and put a turkey in the oven. It has always been my favorite holiday. Alone in the kitchen, watching The Homecoming (the pilot that introduced the world to The Waltons), I would be chopping stuffing ingredients, mixing dough for rolls, spooning Armenian Rice into my crock pot. As the morning progresses Don awakens, I shower and dress for the day. I check the bird, then set the table with my finest cloth, Nana’s china and goblets, then slide fancy napkins through jeweled rings. The whole house is perfumed with aromas of harvest.
The pies, made the day before, are sitting on the counter. I spoon the olives and pickles into crystal bowls, set out butter trays, place individual S & P shakers between plates that have been carefully arranged in front of each chair along with Nana’s silver-plate knives, forks, and spoons that are positioned appropriately beside each plate. Goblets and water glasses are placed exactly where they belong. I pull out all the dishes to be used for the multitude of food and decide which ones I will use for each item as well as each utensil for ladling.
The day progresses. Our weather is clear and warm and quiet. No drone of traffic. No yard work. No car washing. The world is sleeping late and the neighbors have delayed their walk to the curb for the paper. Kitchen fragrance fills the air. It is a lovely time to lazily walk the dog.
Our guests arrive and while I visit with them I am filling glasses and synchronizing all the food to go to the table HOT in a well-coordinated dance. We sit, Don delivers a Thanksgiving prayer, and we eat.
This year I am a few thousand miles away in Mobile Bay, Alabama. I will miss my kitchen. I will miss my family. I will miss the golden autumn day in Eagle, Idaho, strolling through my neighborhood greeting friends. This Thanksgiving Day I will walk the beach content with my memories.