In The Blink of An Eye
Monday Morning

When Hope Looks Like Gratitude

All week long I look for . . . 

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And on Fridays I report back!

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"When you can't be grateful for everything, be grateful for something."
        --- Anne McOmber

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Thanksgiving is coming. And I love Thanksgiving! It's my favorite holiday, hands down. Food. Family. Grateful hearts. Plenty of tradition - but without the weight and hype of Christmas. Mainly, I love cooking and sharing a big meal with people I love.

Tom and I have been trying to figure out a way to make our usual Thanksgiving "work" . . . in a pandemic. Erin's plans to join us this year were, of course, disrupted months ago. But we were hoping to salvage the feast for those of us geographically closer - Brian and Lauren and my dad. We had come up with all kinds of ideas. 

Maybe we could eat in the dining room with the windows open and an oscillating fan going?
Or maybe we could bring the table out to the garage, open the door, and invite Mr. Heater?
Or maybe the weather will cooperate and we could eat on the patio?

So many ideas. And none of them very appealing. Especially against the backdrop of exploding Covid numbers here in Michigan -- and especially so in our part of the state, which is being hit particularly hard right now. With no coordinated plan in place (anywhere, as far as I can tell), we all need to take care of ourselves and make the best decisions for our families.

With heavy hearts, Tom and I have decided to cancel any attempt at an in-person Thanksgiving gathering this year. (Sorry, Mr. Heater.) We're still planning to cook the same meal we always cook -- just a day earlier. Then we'll pack up the meal and deliver it to Brian and Lauren and to my dad. We're planing a whole-family Zoom to celebrate. It'll be weird. And different. And a little sad. But we have a plan!

So, where's the hope in that, huh????

Well. There is hope . . . in gratitude.

My family remains healthy - and we all want to keep it that way for each other.
Being apart for Thanksgiving doesn't change our love for each other.
We are resilient and willing to adapt our traditions for the times.
We have enough and more.

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."
            --- Epictetus

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I know the coming holiday season is going to be different and difficult and sad for many of us. I'm interested in ways you and your family are going to celebrate the holidays this year -- maybe sharing our ideas for how we can connect while celebrating remotely. I've been doing a lot of brainstorming myself, and I think it might be inspiring for us to share our ideas. 

What do you think? Let's share our ideas! How can we make the holidays . . . feel more like the holidays . . . in this pandemic season? I'll pull together a post based on your responses.

Let's find hope together!

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My best wishes to all of you . . . for a weekend filled with peace and solace, time to rest -- and things that bring you joy.
And gratitude.

 

 

Comments

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kayT

We are adjusting too. There will only be 4 of us in person so we're not doing a turkey dinner. I love making brunch and have a fabulous baked french toast recipe, so we're doing brunch and then playing some games and talking and in the afternoon we're having pies (the most important part of a "regular" thanksgiving anyway). Should be a lovely day. I hope yours is, too.

Patty

We'll be 4 rather than 24 this year. And that's if things stay the same for the next two weeks. We may end up dropping off as well. No Dan of course...will have to make do with the screen visit there. We're thinking of a big family hike or something along those lines over the Thanksgiving weekend so we can still visit safely and then a campfire / picnic lunch. We can do this! xo

Geri

This Thanksgiving will be just the two of us. My daughter in MA usually comes every other year and my daughter in Colorado stopped coming home for Thanksgiving a long time ago. I usually host a dinner for 18 ( brothers ,sisters, nephews ,girlfriends) so this will be very different. We are planning a family zoom and I’m trying to think of a creative participation activity. Should the weather turn warm for the day or even the day after then maybe dessert on the deck and a fire pit if our COVID numbers stabilize. With such encouraging reports regarding a vaccine I want to make it to the finish line ,healthy, whenever that is!

Kim in Oregon

Thanks Kym! Same to you!

Bonny

It's hard to give up on family traditions, especially when being together would be so wonderful for so many of us. But I'm glad to hear that you've decided to stay as safe as possible while keeping those you love safe. I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner for probably only three people, but that's okay. I'm really just cooking so we can enjoy the leftovers, and I keep telling myself that next year we can be together and it will be even more appreciated, wonderful, and joyful.

Vera

I'm not sure what we are doing! We are supposed to go to Mailing's uncle's home in NJ. We've been hanging with him and his kids - at the wedding and pre-wedding. And of course Mailing's family we've been with. But, with numbers on the rise, I'm not sure. Col & Mailing are coming for dinner tomorrow, so I imagine it will come up in conversation.

Dee

It will be just three of us this year. Our son is a "hermit" in regular times and works from home, so I trust that he has been keeping himself "socially distanced".

We will cook our usual repertoir of seasonal foods.

We have NEVER celebrated the holidays in big style so keeping it small is our norm. To be 100% safe, Stephen probably shouldn't come. But considering his level of interaction with the outside world and ours ...........he is probably less risky than a trip to the grocery store.

I think every family has to access their level of risk and how much they are willing to take AND everyone else needs to accept each person's preference. (I know there are still people in our family quite put out that we did not attend a big family wedding last month. Oh well ...........that went way beyond MY comfort zone.)

P.S. I LOVE your pine cone photo.

kathy b

I think we were on our own last Thanksgiving. Our kids live far away . So it won't be that different. OF course, when we do get family by going there or they coming here, it is very special. last year we encouraged my sister and daughter with their gravy skills. !

This year we will certainly visit via the computer with both of the kids that make our family! I plan to make special meal for the birds that visit and cheer me all year. Maybe some suet form the store and my own seed mixing . I know black birds like bread soaked in milk. SO perhaps that.

IT is good to be thankful! . I love thanksgiving for just that. And I love that then we enter the festivities of Christmas full swing.

Hm.....I m going to read all your comments!

Chloe

Our already-small family will be split three ways, but at least no one will be alone. Grateful for that. J

Kat

We have decided on a very fun twist for Pandemic Thanksgiving... we are each cooking one of the "normal" dishes I usually cook. We divided them up, and actually this is brilliant because we are doing a little FaceTime while the kids cook the dishes. A way of sharing recipes and "cooking together" even though we are far apart! We are planning a Thanksgiving Group FaceTime to eat (okay maybe not so much) but surely to talk and laugh together as a group! (and hopefully those babies cooperate! lol)

Sarah

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite non-religious holiday -- what's better than an excuse to get together with family and friends and eat a lot of good food? So it's sad that it will be just the three of us this year. My parents are in Florida for the winter (they usually host), so our plan is to share cooking with my brother and sister-in-law (who live a couple of blocks away) but not be physically with them. My daughter is a little sad about the fact that our holidays will be so solitary this year, but I'm trying to encourage her to look at it as an opportunity to start some new traditions. I've never made a turkey before, so there's that, and we're going to bake some desserts. I'm also taking the whole week of Thanksgiving off, and my daughter is off from school that week as well, so I'm sure we'll do a lot of mother/daughter time. I'm looking forward to seeing the ideas that everyone comes up with!

Carole

It's looking like Thanksgiving will be just Dale and I, Hannah and Mikey. We discussed the menu last night and pondered dropping the traditional big turkey dinner and going Pilgrim style with lobsters and Dale's wild turkey that's been in the freezer since he got it last spring. Ultimately, though, we decided on the traditional turkey dinner, and we will just scale down the size of the bird. As of now our Thanksmas gathering on the Saturday after Thanksgiving is still a go because it's our kids that we see anyway. No extras this year, though, like girlfriends or other friends, it will be limited to just our 3 households.

sustainablemum

Sounds like you all have some lovely ideas for celebrating. We don't here in the UK so can't tell you what I am going to be doing. I don't even know the date.....

kmkat

Good for you for accepting the reality that there is no safe way to gather for Thanksgiving. Our holiday will consist of a couple phone calls and maybe a crock pot of ribs.

Mary

YES! There is Hope in Gratitude is the lesson that Diana Butler Bass taught in her book. AND I love that you've figured out a way to share Thanksgiving with your family ... apart. Are you making the same menu? does everything travel/reheat beautifully? I'm thinking probably, because Thanksgiving is the patron holiday of traveling and leftovers :-) ... and I still stand by one of the best Thanksgivings Marc and I had was a couple of years back when it was just us and we had turkey sandwiches and fun sides. Thank you for ALL the good ideas, the hope, and the gratitude in finding new ways to celebrate this year!

Caffeine Girl

It will just be my husband and I for T-giving, which is usually a big holiday. It's common for Jewish families to get together on T-giving, since w1e don't do X-mas. But I feel good about it. The hospitals here are in crisis. To stay home is to save lives

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