Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving and Gratitude - By Cara Potapshyn Meyers

Thanksgiving. I love this time of year. I love the beautiful changing colors of the leaves. I love going outside at night and smelling the woody smell of a fireplace burning in someone’s home. I love the anticipation of a Thanksgiving feast! I love all of the typical Thanksgiving foods! I even love preparing the Thanksgiving turkey myself! All 22 pounds of it! But this year Thanksgiving is going to be very different for me.

I’ve always celebrated Thanksgiving at home. First, when I was young, and my mother was still alive. She would set the dining room table with all of her fine china. And while I watched her cook her fabulous feast, I learned her “tricks” as to how her meal always came out so delicious! Then, when I celebrated Thanksgiving with just my father, he always made the first-of-the-season fire going all day in the fireplace! And while the fire was glowing, we would prepare our own, smaller feast to enjoy! Later, when I got married, we had Thanksgiving every year at my in-law’s home. My father was always there with his signature praline sweet potato pie! And for the past 15 years, I have always made the Thanksgiving turkey! Even when we lived in our first apartment and I had a small, dinky oven, I managed to get that bird into it and it always came out delicious!

My plans are different this year. I was invited by my cousins to celebrate Thanksgiving in a restaurant. This will be a whole new experience for me, as I always welcomed the warm, fuzzy, homey feeling of celebrating Thanksgiving in a home. My son will be going to my in-laws. I requested having him for Christmas to take him to my best friend’s house, where children his age will be frolicking and merriment will abound!

It feels odd for me to celebrate my favorite of all holidays in a restaurant. Even one that is going to be rather upscale. And although I have celebrated other holidays and events with my cousins, we never celebrated Thanksgiving together and I never spent it “alone” (meaning going by myself without other immediate family with me). This feels odd. But at the same time it feels loving and warm that my cousins thought enough of me to invite me with them.

Things change, I know. And the alternative was that I would have been at home with the dogs, probably eating a cheese sandwich. But this whole change really does feel so unsettling for me. I’m sure to get caught up in plenty of conversation with my cousins. Once we start, it’s hard to get us to stop! And I’m sure the food in this particular restaurant will be 5 Star. So I am certain that I will enjoy my meal. But, still, all of this feels “funny”. I just can’t shake this feeling, no matter how many positive spins I put on the occasion.

Well, I will certainly let you know how I fared with my next blog. In the interim, I thought I would leave you with a saying that is framed and hangs besides my bed:


There is no greater act than giving thanks.
Remember to acknowledge
the goodness in your life.
Quiet your mind, listen to your heart
and fill your soul with gratitude.

To all of our readers, I wish you a safe, joyful, warm and fuzzy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

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Blogger Robin Gorman Newman said...

Hi Cara. I can understand. I'm glad you have a place to go with company you enjoy. My family is actually eating in a restaurant as well....and to me....while it's also not tradition I grew up with (when my beloved mom would make a feast)....sometimes new traditions get created. And, yes, they may feel different, even awkward, but we do our best to go with the flow. Life itself is ever-changing.

6:47 AM  

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