At our house, Thanksgiving has been the moveable feast for many years.
It started even before we were married. His sister was joining us for the holiday, staying with me at my apartment and visiting us both while he was in the Army. I’d gotten as far as baking the apple pie, when I realized I was feeling entirely too sick to prepare a meal, or even eat one. So, Thanksgiving feast was the next day.
Later in our marriage was the year I varnished the dining room table and it didn’t dry in time for us to eat – 3 days later! There was the year we moved, and so we ate at our friends’ house. They chose that year to buy the dinner at the grocery store. When we tried the same thing a few years later, the grocery store didn’t cook the meal. They prepped a few dishes, but I still had to cook! Followed by the year I broke my ankle only two weeks before the holiday. Luckily another set of friends included us in that year.
Then there was the first year our daughter lived in Boston. She went to my sister’s that year, and they had a wonderful time. It was reassuring for us to know she was at least with family. Now that she’s married, she plans on taking most Thanksgivings with her in-laws. That’s fine, because it clears Christmas for us.
Now comes this year.
Two daughters will not be home. And one son. Besides the married daughter, our second is working a job over 15 hours away and can’t get home. Our son is only 12 hours away (only!), but his girlfriend lives across country, so neither of them are going home. Instead they are staying in town; perhaps her parents will fly in for the holiday. So, we’re down 3, and steady at 3 here. It’s okay, because we’re really all looking forward to Christmas when everyone will be able to get in for at least a day.
Yet, it feels so weird.
It’s partly this year. We’re still scrambling. Our lives are busy, and the economy is the pits, and everything is continuing to change. Thanksgiving is usually a time when everything kind of halts, a big breath before Christmas. This year it will be a holiday for catching up, cleaning up, and preparing for the Holiday season when the others will at last be home. It’s enough to make me glad we did make this the moveable feast. We can be comfortable, if a little sad, spending it apart. For at least, wherever we are, we know we are together in our hearts, and we are thankful for the adventures we’re having and the love we share.
We are lucky, in our family. May yours be so also.