High: 37° F
Low: 26° F
Conditions: increased clearing throughout the day
Growing up, Thanksgiving was one of my least favorite holidays. We had school until the end of the day on Wednesday, then woke up on Thursday morning to a flurry of dinner plans. My mom would encourage my brother and me to watch the Macy’s Day Parade, but neither one of us really saw the appeal of epic-sized balloons shaped into outmoded cartoon characters. Each year, we’d half heartedly hope that a float would escape its human handlers and wreck havoc on the Manhattan skyline. No such luck.
To make matters worse, I’m no fan of turkey (it, I’ve always said, tastes way too much like turkey) or eating big meals mid-day or watching football games with overfed family members and a glass of eggnog.
So, to my adolescent mind, this holiday has always been a bust. It didn’t matter that my mother’s side of the family claims descendency from one of the original pilgrims (and Thanksgiving planners) or that various members of the family had labored over casseroles and carving: I was delighted when the day was over and we could get back to normal meal schedules and tv programming.
As an adult, I’m learning to feel differently—but it’s a gradual process.
I’m never going to love this holiday, but I can appreciate its ritualized symbolism. And, at the risk of cliché, I whole heartedly understand the significance of giving thanks.
This morning, Ari and I awoke to the first snowfall of the season. It wasn’t much, but we were grateful nevertheless. I love the starkness it affords the landscape: the way everything becomes clear and quiet with even a light dusting-- like these apples, now overwintering for the benefit of woodland creatures.
Ari, on the other hand, likes the way it preserves scent and step. Any time of year, she can read the landscape with a precision I can only imagine. That only intensifies with a cover of snow, which makes it all the easier to divine where her friends have been and what they’ve been doing.
The snow will undoubtedly melt by mid-day today, but we’re happy to see it nevertheless. It’s a sign that the holiday season is upon us, and we’re grateful for that too.
Later today, we’ll sit down to a meal of lobster stew. I’ll bake some bread, and we’ll probably make a spinach salad, too. It may not be television’s version of the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, but its traditions stretch back much farther than t.v. And it’s a version of the holiday we can call our own.
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