Giving Thanks

November 28th

I made my yearly pilgrimage to Sacramento for Thanksgiving this week and it was wonderful driving 75 miles to get there instead of 400.  It felt so autumnal, so many gold and orange and scarlet leaves falling all around.  Dennis had a huge pile of leaves in his street that we had to park around.  Apparenty the Sacramento street crew hadn’t gone around to pick them up.  I wanted to jump in them, but I restrained myself.  🙂    I even had the pleasure of hearing “Alice’s Restaurant” on the drive up, thank goodness.  It’s a yearly tradition with me and now my copy is packed forever away somewhere.  So glad KFOG played it!  It’s not Thanksgiving without hearing Arlo.

It was a lovely day, I made my famous pumpkin dessert and the turkey was delicious!  Dennis made his incredible homemade cranberry and pear sauce, I still haven’t gotten that recipe, and Chris made his BEST garlic mashed potatoes!  Yum!  It was wonderful to share this meal with Beverly and Kathy and Anthony too.  We held it at Dennis’s which we haven’t done in awhile for his house has been under construction for some time now.  It was amazing to look at, a transformation worthy of House Beautiful.  Complete with his Master bath equipped with a heated toilet seat and a bidet!  How decadent is that!  Oh but did the heated toilet seat feel good!  If I ever win the lottery, that is one item I want on my list.  No matter how cold in the dark of winter it becomes, the seat is always warm.  Is that not the epitome of America?  🙂

I was asked to say grace for the second year in a row and came completely unprepared.  Being a ministerial student, I should have known that grace would be on the table for me, (ha ha), but I really didn’t remember to prepare at all.  It was okay though, no matter what you say in gratitude, it always sounds memorable and heartfelt.  Gratitude is just that way.  It has been such a tradition for me to visit Sacramento at Thanksgiving and I love that I have that tradition.  I get a little sad during the holidays being by myself.  I always wanted to have children but that wasn’t in the cards for me.  So since I don’t have a family that follows the American norm, I have created my own.  My immediate family is me.  Me and 2 cats.  And the close friends I’ve collected around me.  Chris and I have been friends for 23 years now, which kind of amazes me.  And I had a chance to meet Gina and her family for brunch on my way out of town.  We ate at Café Bernardo, yum.  I splurged and had a Belgian waffle figuring I’m still on holiday and can weigh myself on Monday morning.  That was my deadline.  We all have to live a little sometime. 

I brought school books with me, but unfortunately they must have been glued shut as only 3 pages actually got looked at.  I just couldn’t bring myself to study.  Humanism and existentialism were a bit heady after meals of turkey and cranberry sauce and sleeping late.  It just didn’t fit into my schedule.  🙂  My rationale was I needed a break and actually I did.  The issue however is that there is a finite amount of time left to this term and if I put off too much studying, there will only be cram time left.  And I really don’t want to just cram.  So far I’ve not had to pull an all nighter, in fact the latest I’ve stayed up is 1 am the night before, and I find that fairly impressive.  But I still have 2 books to read, 2 papers to write and a group project to present in the next 2 weeks.  I hope 2 is my lucky number.  It seems to be popping up a lot lately. 

So I drove home with a steady drizzle coating my windshield, a turkey carcass from Dennis in the back seat for my future traditional turkey soup,  very grateful that I could enjoy a holiday weekend in Northern California.  Chris and I even took in Harry Potter and I believe it’s my favorite one yet.  Megan came and gave antibiotics to Sequel in my absence and I had a safe hour’s drive home without any consequences.  I had the opportunity to spend a loving, safe, abundant holiday with people I care about.  I felt loved and cared for and extremely lucky to be in the position to freely drive where I wanted and stay in a warm, dry safe place.  So many people in the world that day did not experience that.  My gratitude hopefully will spill over to help those who can’t or don’t experience such abundance in their lives.  Isn’t that what ministering is all about?  And it doesn’t have to be an opportunity just for ministers.  Anyone of us out there in the world can do that. 

Happy Thanksgiving from my little piece of Mayberry,

Jo