The phone rings, not the cell phone, which I keep on the night table near my bed, but the phone, land-line, in the kitchen. I glance at the clock. Seven in the morning on Thanksgiving Day.  My Colorado son, Lance, calls to wish me well, discusses his plans to visit friends for dinner in the mountains above Boulder.  But most of all, he tells me that his Thanksgiving began Tuesday night.  I listen to his description of an impromptu supper put on at his house by his wife.  His family is fairly new to the area, sons five and seven years old.  Two families are invited to this celebration.  One family, next door, affluent, father a pilot, the other family lives in a trailer park about two blocks away. Both have sons who play with the boys.  My son continues, “Jenny, (his wife ) made lasagna from scratch, (“except for the noodles,” he inserts) and a salad and we all shared a meal. As we sat down,  the man from the trailer park spoke, “The boys tell me you say grace before eating.  May I do so?”  My son, glad for the offer.  And Lance continues, “Mom, he said the best prayer, one of gratitude and joy. Then we all ate together and after dinner the boys played and we, the  grownups, talked together as friends”.

With that as my awakening gift, I decide to rise and ready for the dinner I will be sharing with ten at the table this afternoon.  I have all at the ready, with additional items to be brought by guests. The turkey and gravy and stuffing need my main attention.  I will reread the directions for temperature and timing, and with help of a meat thermometer, I expect all will be fine. 

With Lance’s story in my mind, I am well filled with the Thanksgiving spirit. I open the front door to check the morning temperature. On the edge of the welcome mat, a floral offering in a red ceramic flower pot, from Temples of Carmel.  I imagine my Florida son sending an arrangement, as he usually does so around Christmas.  But then it feels more like summer than winter, and I wonder?  When I open the card, I am delighted to find a  greeting from a dear friend who is on vacation, who would have been part of my celebration, were he at home. 

The day glides into a lovely pace of preparing. As guests arrive, I find myself at ease and not at all tired. Elation and gratitude surround me.  Though not everyone knows each other prior to this day, there is instant accord.  Age differences melt and we are for those moments “family.”

The afternoon flows into one smooth happening, on automatic pilot.  We eat our main meal, then some drift to sit outside in the evening warmth as the sun sets, while others stay inside to visit, conversation lively and thoughtful.  Laughter, seasoned at times with a bit of melancholy as we speak of those no longer in this realm.  A holiday that turned out well, sparked by early morning kindnesses sent my way.

Illia Thompson
November 2017