I’m watching everyone on Facebook scurry about as they ask how to cook a turkey so it tastes good, if they’re having ham, what in the world were they thinking when they thought to go to the grocery store the day before a holiday???
And then there’s me. Sitting here. Calmly drinking my coffee.
There is no Thanksgiving in Ireland, obviously. (If it is not obvious to you and you’re a born and bred American citizen, for God’s sake, go back to the second grade and start over!) Since there’s no Thanksgiving, there’s also no Black Friday sales. Which means the television isn’t screaming at me to get ready to eat, get ready to shop!
If it wasn’t for Facebook, I would have probably not realized Thanksgiving was this week.
I’ll be honest – I’m kind of okay with skipping this holiday. We’ve never made a huge production of it. Growing up, my family had the traditional meal with the good china and my grandparents would produce pies from Baker’s Square (pumpkin, apple and lemon meringue). My brothers and I would harass each other over who got a drumstick, take slices of canned-shaped cranberry sauce, and pretend ginger ale was champagne.
You know, the usual Thanksgiving stuff.
Eventually I went off to college, spent Thanksgiving with other families, got married, had a baby, and moved by all my in-laws. Josh and I looked at each other with a “So…uh…now what?” We were invited to different places, but the one that stuck with us was tagging along with his aunt and uncle and their kids to a state park, where you could have a turkey dinner in the lodge then hike down to the waterfall, hike back, then sit in front of a big fireplace as children ran amok until they fell over and babies dozed on shoulders of adults.
I miss those days. And not just because my boys were little guys in overalls, riding in backpack carriers, stopping to collect leaves along the way…
But we moved from there to Michigan and once again found ourselves on Thanksgiving going “Hmmm..now what?” The one year, we went to my mom’s, which could have been nice, was nice, until tiny but very mobile 16 month old Miriam fell from the upstairs to the downstairs. We found out that she was tiny enough to fit between a 5 inch gap in the upstairs railings, and that my grandfather’s saying of “Babies and drunks always survive accidents unharmed” was true. She fell 10 feet down, bounced off a step, landed on ceramic tile and had nothing to show for it but a bump on the head and three CT scans at the ER.
After that we stuck closer to home, and I’d make the traditional meal. But to be honest? I don’t love turkey. Collin hates turkey. So we’d make a ham, then a turkey the next day when they were all on sale, so that those who didn’t want turkey could eat leftover ham, and those who like turkey could have that.
Last year was our first year in this Thanksgivingless country, and we were invited to another American household that weekend to have a Thanksgiving meal. Which was great – good company, I didn’t have to cook everything, there was pie. Pie is good.
Which leads to this year.
And a bit of apathy towards the holiday.
It’s funny – this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful to not have to cook a big meal. But I’m getting an urge to walk to a waterfall. We could do that this weekend. There’s one nearby. But there will be no carrying kids on our backs. If anything, the boys could start giving us the piggy back rides!