Thursday, December 1, 2011

Post-Thanksgiving Peace

The house is quiet after the hum, no roar, of family and friends enjoyed over the Thanksgiving weekend.  With two extra dogs and several extra people in our small California bungalow (actually more like small California tract home), the activity never lessened.  There were, fortunately, no mishaps--no broken bones, no food poisoning, no family feuds, no trips to the vet, and no tears.  It was a happy affair all around. 

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year.  The leaves are falling, which takes me back to my northeastern childhood when leaves were there for the jumping--and burning--done with impunity in the days of innocence.  While spring is the harbinger of new growth, fall is the waning of the seasons and the start of a new cycle--for me.  Winter in California's central valley is brief; and while we experience the occasional morning with "cat ice" on our puddles, the temperature rarely dips below 40 degrees.  Only once or twice is it necessary to run outside just before bed to cover the lemon tree (bush) with a sheet to protect it from the frost.

As a child, Christmas was a put-together affair.  We weren't much for ritual and so didn't have much to fall back on to make it Christmas-y.  And money was very tight in our clergyman-father's family, making the Christmas gifting a major chore for my beleaguered mother.  So Thanksgiving was our ritual.  And we loved it.  I especially loved the food, the smells, the busyness, the cranberries and the crispy air. 

The ritual persists and I am thankful for it.  

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