Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It requires no gift-giving or church services which keeps it from acquiring a lot of emotional baggage. It is just a nice day to get together with family and friends, and share the company and a good meal.
My grandmother used to tell us a Thanksgiving story that occurred during the depression. She and grandpa had seven children and struggled to put food on the table and keep a home. They were Italian but eagerly adopted American customs, including Thanksgiving. One Thanksgiving (it might have been Christmas or just a Sunday) the family was gathered for the turkey dinner (it might have been a large chicken). The meal was ready when Grandma heard a boy crying outside her second floor window.
When she asked the boy why he was crying, he said, "Because I'm hungry and we have no food." Grandma immediately went inside, took a large knife and cut the turkey straight down the middle. She wrapped it up and brought it down to the boy who ran home with the gift. She heard some complaints from her own family of seven children, and assorted relatives who would have easily eaten the whole bird at one meal. She told them to be thankful for what they had. Period.
I am not much for praying anymore, but if thanksgiving is a prayer, then I do pray often. I-thank-god for my partner, Leon, who has been a blessing in my life for 21 years; for family and friends who have persevered through my ups and downs and moods and complaints; for Bruno, our dog who gave us joy for 15 years; for the little house we live in surrounded by woods; for the fact that our hot water has such a short distance to travel to the faucet; for food in fridge; for the garden; for the electric bed-warmer on cold nights; for the beach on a summer day; for the beautiful waterfall down the street from where we live; for my semi-retirement; for health despite the odds; for this day;
and for the Pumpkin Cranberry Bread with raisins and walnuts
that I made last night for Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow