For me, the thought of Thanksgiving in just a couple of weeks is incomprehensible. My last coherent recollection was Valentine's Day and receiving a funny card from a couple we met on a cruise to Alaska the previous September. All I could think was “wow, glad we went when we did, we truly dodged a bullet”. We had just begun our introduction to Covid-19 and were cautiously and foolishly trying to amend our schedules, lives, interaction, and exposure so we could weather the storm to come. Little did we know our worlds would be rocked and turned upside down.
I have to admit I was slow to the game and didn’t really jump on the “stock up the pantry” bandwagon and when I finally thought I should probably be prudent and get a few things I was flabbergasted to say the least at the lack of almost everything! Hindsight, I should have figured something was wrong when I had to go into the parking lot and retrieve a shopping cart. When I absently wandered the store and picked up a few things and rounded the corner to shop the other half of the store and realized the aisle was not busy, it was the check out line. At that moment I stopped shopping and got in line. An hour and half later I made it to the checkout counter.
By the middle of March, it was time for a birthday dinner for my son. Although it was a small family group of six and everyone had been laying low at home, I have to say I was still apprehensive, but we proceeded. All went well and cake was served!
From birthday dinner till now is truly a blur. What happened to spring? What happened to summer? What happened to fall? It feels we were robbed of those seasons but honestly the seasons were there, we just did not know how to adjust. For my own sense of denial, I missed out on some opportunities to spend more time outside in the garden and walking. I do recall seeing lots of people, families and pets out walking and it was such a change to see from my home office. I do not know why I was slow to get out there and all I can think is it was mental paralysis. Now I did finally figure it out and spent hours in the garden and hosted the occasional close friends for snacks and beverages on the patio to bring a smile to our faces and some love to the garden.
So, did I learn anything from Covid-19? Yes. Yes, I did. I learned that although we could not be together in groups as we were accustomed to, we could, occasionally, be with close friends that were mindful of healthy protocol and distancing. I also learned that being home can be a wonderful thing and spending time with your family in the back yard is truly a blessing. Additionally, I have learned that a lot of the things that were so important, really are not. Somewhat reminiscent of the financial meltdown years ago when we pared down finances and eliminated excesses that we learned we really did not need.
So, what the heck does this mean regarding Thanksgiving (I know long-winded)? After accepting that it is a couple of weeks out, I am not stressed out that it will not be a large gathering. I know the intimate dinner we will share with immediate family will be thanks enough. I do love and care about all family and dear friends and they know they are loved whether at MY dinner table or at their OWN dinner table with their immediate family. Times are different and it is ok to pull in and share your love and energy with a smaller group and isn’t that what it is all about?
Now, since I have missed three seasons and it is almost Thanksgiving, I have some serious catching up to do. Luckily, I have a turkey in the freezer so now time to plan the rest of the meal. I am energized, excited and hopeful as we move towards a brighter New Year. While writing this it dawned on me that I need to get moving and start Rum Cake production. I think this year warrants a larger production and distribution because who does not need Rum Cake this year?
Have a delicious Thanksgiving with your own intimate dinner with the ones closest to you. Take some time to pick up the phone on Thanksgiving Day and call the rest of your family and share the love.