If counting my blessings counts as being in the Thanksgiving swing of things, I'm all set, but the thought of decorating a table and baking pies from scratch isn't delighting me this year the way it usually does. We bought pies--BOUGHT! pies, and Maple-leaf-shaped cookies, to boot--but we have my homemade fudge and my mother-in-law's homemade sugar cookies too. I'll get home from work around 8:00 Thanksgiving morning and will have to sleep at least a few hours while Mike begins the food. Maybe by afternoon when I get up and smell the turkey and whatever-else-he's-started, I'll feel more jazzed-up for pretty-table-setting and cute-dessert-making, but in the meantime, it seems good enough--more than good, really, and more than enough--simply to be grateful for the meal and the time with Mike. I spent Thanksgiving at work and then alone last year, after all.
This past weekend, Mike rented a car to make the trip to see his family back home, where they had eighteen inches of snow, and returned yesterday before the storm hit us. My own family, baby Bianca now included, ♥ will gather for their dinner Thursday afternoon but all live within about twenty minutes of each other, so I don't have to worry about any of them driving or flying a long distance in the snow this week. Ideally, Mike and I could be here, there, and everywhere for Thanksgiving, but work schedules and weather issues equal a table for two this year. Opposite work schedules and a frugal and car-less life mean we've only ever spent one holiday with each other's family--Easter 2008 with mine--so our holidays are not quite what I wish they could be, obviously, but I have really learned to appreciate the time I do have with Mike and with my loved ones, and regardless of how or when or with whom I spend the holidays, I always know I'm blessed. Still, my dream dining room for years has been one large enough that I can keep it set up restaurant dining room-style year-round, with a round dinner table with comfy chairs and high chairs for any babies, a long Waltons-style wooden dinner table with benches at either side, a square table with more painted chairs seats, a couple overstuffed wing chairs at a table for two, maybe a high-backed restaurant booth in a window, and a Pottery Barn Kids catalog-style kids table with sweetness and color in abundance. I've had this vision for my future dining room for years, and someday, someday, I hope to make it happen and enjoy the sight of both our families gathered in this crazy room catching up with each other in all its mismatched chairs and over all the mismatched vintage tablecloths. I can picture it so clearly, it's like it's already happened and is an actual memory. It makes my heart ache, I want it so.
We are supposed to have nine inches of snow by Thursday morning. I walked around the neighborhood taking pictures last week before the last of this year's vibrant leaves were snowed-over and took a few more pictures this morning while Mike and I walked to the store for our Thanksgiving groceries. I love this time of year. One of the news shows played a recent segment from "Saturday Night Live" in wich one of the cast members ran around Manhattan screaming, "Take down the Christmas decorations! THANKSGIVING'S FIRST! It's not time for all that yet! THANKSGIVING COMES FIRST!" Mike and I laughed like loons over that and have yelled it at each other a few times since seeing it. While walking home from work one morning last week, I noticed the city had put up its giant Christmas candle lamppost decorations along the streets overnight, and I thought of Mike and the skit and laughed again. "THANKSGIVING COMES FIRST!" What a beautiful time of year.