I have had the pleasure of having some pretty unforgettable thanksgivings (which is awesome because I tend to forget things). If you have not had the unique experience of working in hospitality during the Thanksgiving holiday I would highly recommend it – doubly if you have frequented an establishment that puts on the event; think all the chaos, all the wine, all the family feuds and roll that into a pressure cooker of people who have worked between ten and twenty hours of overtime yet still have families and lives outside the compound…
I am grateful for the memories I have and without further ado here are some of the best.
Making pies with my kids and my mom. Though it technically wasn’t on Thanksgiving Day, my daughter really wanted to make a homemade apple pie and my mom gently cautioned that I should start an upper body workout regime a minimum of six weeks prior to attempting that. I did five pushups and a 15-second plank and considered myself fit for duty. I was not. Not at all fit for pie crust duty. Somewhere between cutting ice cold butter into the flour with a fork and lamenting my money-saving idea to not buy a silicone pie crust shield whilst hand tearing tiny scraps of aluminum foil to fashion one, I looked over at my mom and my daughters and took a mental snapshot, vowing never to forget how beautiful all three of these girls are.
Spending it with my swim coach and teammate at my coach’s cousin’s house that one time. The back story is we weirdly had a swim meet the day before Thanksgiving and my mom was taking the family to her mom’s to spend the night and help prepare dinner the same day. My teammate’s family was also out of town and our coach invited us to her cousin’s house. To this day I have never been in a house that was air conditioned the way hers was. Outside it was in the mid-eighties and inside in was in the low sixties – it was hotel room cold, folks and I was smitten. They had a huge ranch house and the biggest formal dining room I had ever seen (this was pre-“world’s wildest mansions” or “million-dollar-rooms” on HGTV). Everyone was super nice and the dessert table looked like something I imagine would have its own room in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
Thanksgiving in Seattle with my Dad, Nana, Jennifer and Kendall. My Dad was renting what I remember to be a tiny one bedroom apartment at the top of the stairs of a multi-story building. You entered from the outside into the bathroom which had a claw foot tub. At night I felt like if I could just stretch out and reach a tiny bit more, I might actually be able to pocket some of the stars. I can say definitively that I should have taken pictures to remember it all more clearly but there are moments when I look up at a brightly lit starry sky and I realize that pictures would never have done it justice.
The Thanksgiving after Little Sister was born. It was pouring rain and my husband had set up a make shift pop-up tent station outside to deep fry our turkey. I was a teary, hormonal mess and he knew how badly I just wanted everything to be perfect. He kept giving me his winningest smile and saying “It’s gonna be great” as if he actually believed the day would turn out that way. (It’s moments like those that I string along in place of worry beads and carry around like armor when I feel low and I can never thank him enough for gifts like that).
Wishing you the memory-making kind of a Thanksgiving, xo