Last week, we had thanksgiving here in Canada.
I think it is actually one of my favorite holidays of all the year.
It always sneaks up on me, I often times don't realize it's coming until it's only days away, but that somehow makes it all the better. It's like a sweet surprise; like the chocolate center that hits my tongue when I was already enjoying the hard caramel of the autumn days crisping up around me.
What? THIS weekend is Thanksgiving? ...already? ... sweet!
Thanksgiving in October also gives me another holiday instead of Halloween ( I really don't like Halloween...I've tried...but we just don't get along) to pour my energies and love of pumpkins into.
I love the wreath of red and orange berries on my door, I love cracking open the chest of throw blankets and quilts, the excuse to pull out my crochet needle and still feel like I'm doing something totally productive and justification, nay the NEED, to start the coffee pot and fireplace every morning and the smell and warmth that waft from the oven.
And nothing wafts from the oven like Thanksgiving dinner, I tell ya.
This year we decided to keep with a loose tradition we started back in University to invite around our dinner table, new faces or folks that otherwise didn't have any shindigs going on themeselves. Back in our younger days that meant calling my relatives frantically on how to cook from frozen the bargain bird I had claimed that morning at the grocery store down the street in my tiny apartment stove. It meant figuring out how to transform a teetering stack of textbooks into a fabric swathed stool for guests to sit on around the table in the living room of my dorm .serving mashed potatoes in a scrubbed out change dish ....and a couple twigs and leaves from the Student Union lawn spread over the rickety table, adorned in my one white bedsheet and cramming for midterms once the dishes were done..
We were ridiculous and pathetic perhaps, but every part of those celebrations filled me up with laughter, humility and indeed, gratitude.
And that's the feeling that still fills me up every October when this season rolls around.
In the years that have ensued I have since picked up a set of china (at a garage sale for only 30.00 because a mug was missing), I was gifted my gorgeous linens, (thanks Pubs!) I actually thaw my turkey and no one falls off of any stacks of books... we have actual chairs now.
However, some things still make me shake my head at myself, like being set back an hour on a painstaking layered dessert because I forgot to add....sugar.....of all things.
Oh yes, I picked every last pecan off of the top and then replaced each one.....although no one was the wiser.
and I still love to adorn the table with things fresh from the outdoors.
There's a children's table to set these days and of course they bring with them a whole new kind of thanksgiving and humility....
There were new faces this year around the table, all families that like us have made big moves since the time they last sat around a turkey in October...
Some from clear across the country
Some from the only place they'd ever called home
and ourselves; not so far in distance, but still quite a leap in leaving behind what we thought would be our home for much longer.
We all had so much to be thankful for
So much to be optimistic about
We gave toast to new babies, a toast to new homes and new jobs, new cities, new adventures, new friendships and new community....
Yes, I really love this time of year... and I think this year may just have been one of the best yet...