The house is still. The thick coat of morning frost is gone as the sun is bright. After snuggling in bed for a few hours, reading a mystery novel, I brave venturing out from under the covers and plod downstairs. The house is warm; one of the many things I am thankful for.
Morning is spent dusting and straightening. I turn on the television, and the house fills with the excitement of the football game – just like it does in thousands of households across the country. A weird national bond. A hometown touchdown, and the crowd roars. I check in with loved ones who won’t be joining me today, and read an online update from a friend whose struggle with cancer is going as well as we ever could have dreamed. I am thankful for the ability to do all of these things with the help of modern communication. I briefly think about the time when handwritten letters full of delayed news were the only means of reaching out and my heart aches a little trying to imagine the challenge of staying connected back then.
The house is clean enough. Now I sit, watching the game. A moment of rest before guests arrive to begin cooking. This year, we will feast on Ethiopian cuisine, forgoing the traditional turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Though we’ve never made any of these dishes before, Doro Wat, Gomen, Atakilt Wat, lentil salad, and a lamb stew will fill my table this evening. Six wonderful friends to share it with. I am thankful for my friendships, and our willingness to break from the norm and use a major holiday to venture into the culinary unknown. I dug out an old, Latvian tablecloth for the occasion.
Books, warmth, friends, communication, food, heritage, courage, health. May you have these things, and more, this Thanksgiving.