Thanksgiving Eve I found myself at the wholesale club post-dinner wondering why I waited, yet again, until the last minute to do this. Kids to bed, cooking underway, I spent the night on the couch, falling asleep but for the grace that woke me as the boiling potato sputter burned on the stovetop and the lid rattled in low undertone. The iPad had gone to sleep, too, but the sweet potatoes still needed time in the oven. Potatoes drained, oven off, I figured all would be well a few more hours when I would be awake enough to conjure up the salad and casserole.
Thanksgiving morning NPR told me the Macy’s Day Parade was underway. I grinned to myself, remembering in my childhood the warmth of the kitchen creeping into the living room where the t.v. blared the parade and I watched the floats make their way through the seemingly small streets. It was a day of rest for me then. Now, looking through my steamed-up kitchen window at the sink, I realize how much work we do. But in yet another moment of grace, I realize how much I love my family. For a moment, it feels again like this is my job. I’m not a working mother, I am a mother, wholly and completely. (Still, I have to consciously resist saying “just a mom.”)
I was only joking when a co-worker and I marveled at the warm weather earlier this week. Our office felt like a sauna, and I was grateful for my layered clothing and the ability for others to open their windows in the old building to give me fresh air. “Don’t worry,” I told her. “It’ll probably snow next week.” I was just joking. But the weather forecast mentioned freezing weather. My husband researched about chickens in cold weather, what we needed to watch out for and check into. We got the wintry mix and a few minutes of all-out snow on our way to the relatives Thanksgiving day. Snow is forecasted next week, too. You just never know around here.
There’s something about the ice that coated everything around our relatives’ homes. There was something different this year that I haven’t been able to put my finger on yet, adhere coherent thoughts to. I do know that there wasn’t ice on our limbs at home, only 30 minutes away. Maybe it’s just the memory, frozen in time.
Post-Thanksgiving, I slept until 8:30 or so. It is cold. The chickens are still alive, though their water did freeze, even in their coop. (Husband is winterizing their coop more today, even as I write, and they are all out chasing the same bug apparently, in a frenzy.) I skip the Black Friday madness. Not everyone participates in that frenzy, but I mentioned to my daughter that we might stop at the bookstore and a couple of thrift stores. It is a weekday I have off, and I actually have some energy to something other than laundry. (Of course, tonight there are a few home projects that might be started to last all weekend. Watch out bathroom and garage!)
I signed up on Ravelry. I sent a sincere e-mail to a friend. I have other calls to make. My gratitude continues this day.
I’ll hem some pants, make a Christmas list, and fill the Advent calendar with a new list of somethings to build onto the anticipation of Christmas in a meaningful way.
Most importantly, my gratitude continues. On this bright sunny day, no matter how cold it is outside, my heart is warm. I am a mother, a wife, a worker, a daughter and granddaughter. My own daughter plays, softly talking for and with her toys, sweetly singing every now and then. Life is simple and sweet, some moments more than others.
All we ever have is this moment at any given time. For this I am grateful. It is a beautiful life.