On the table, cranberry sauce, turkey, chicken stew, pumpkin bread, caramelized sweet potatoes, onion casserole, sweet potato biscuits, roasted beets, sauerkraut, brussels sprouts au gratin, green beans, walnut sausage stuffing, mashed potatoes, mushroom and pomegranate barley salad.
At the table, we gather for a thanksgiving feast. The sun shines brightly through our windows and we rejoice in a day we can share comfortably out of doors with visiting friends. I think of and miss my grandmother as I iron linens in the kitchen - entirely unnecessary, but it felt so good to do. Annabel draws at out feet in the kitchen, so happy to be in the middle of it all. There is much talk of the "biggest" turkey on this Soule farm, harvested the day before, which turned out - under all that fluff and feathers - to be a whopping eight pounds. (To feed sixteen.) And so we laugh, make a chicken stew and one more side, and are grateful for each delicious and blessed bite of that turkey we have. We comfortably spill over to a second table for the kids who choose to be there (they all want to be there). There is birthday singing. Woody Guthrie on the radio. Whiskey in the hands of big ones, cider in the hands of littles. Friends we haven't seen in a very long time, friends we are just meeting, and so much love. After dinner, we leave the table just as it is to walk in the woods, orange-speckled gang of loud folks that we are. The birthday boy is in a quiet state of bliss to be in his woods with his people. Upon our return, more feasting happens and pies appear, and thanksgiving continues just as long as we can let it last. In the morning, a few dishes remain on the table, but we linger in the cleanup, holding on just a moment more to the day spent in friends, food, gratitude and joy.
(Last time, at the table.)