Two kinds of Gratitude: The sudden kind we feel when we take, and the larger kind we feel for what we give. Edwin Arlington Robinson ~ Maine poet
Well, we made it. Thanksgiving is over…… Think of how you felt on Wednesday and how you felt on Friday. Boy oh boy, one little Thursday. You know what they say, “what a difference a day makes”, especially this day. We get so busy prior to the holiday. Life proceeds with all you already are doing, your family, your work, your responsibilities and everything else. We have plenty on our plate, life doesn’t make room for all we have to accomplish leading up to the holiday. We have to manage all the preparations and plans as we move toward the big day, Turkey Day. Life is busy and it gets busier. Maybe dinner is at your house, perhaps you are boarding a plane to a far away place, it could be a drive across the state, or cross town….we need to prepare, we need a game plan, the anticipation builds. We think of all the Thanksgivings past. The good ones and the rough ones. Maybe there was a loved one lost that year and would not be there, or family members who did not get along, or maybe it was the best holiday ever. We anticipate the day our heads filled with all of the memories, the good ones as well as the bad ones. We have high hopes, we look forward to the holiday. We think of seeing loved ones, spending time with old friends, what we will eat, what we will drink, who will say grace, we will think of football and wonder if Jean (mom) is making her delicious and now famous Pumpkin Chiffon Pie….recipe to follow. Phew, it is quite a day.
We went down to Cape Cod, to our dear friends house, Paul and Joelle. We made it. I was thrilled, I am feeling better and we celebrated Thanksgiving. That was what was important to me. I anticipated nothing more than making it to the Thanksgiving celebration and enjoying the day. What I felt was my gratitude. I hope you felt it too, for the simplest things. I hope you made it through the day, the highs and the lows, whatever the day involved. Try to remember your gratitude, walk away with that, make a happy memory.
I am a survivor. I can happily report all I had to survive is indulgence. My dinner plate was modest, just a taste of all that was offered, a far cry from my usual vegan fare. The biggest culprit, a large slice of carrot cake with a solid half-inch of cream cheese frosting. Ah, sugar, I normally do not partake, well I did and my body let me know I had consumed it. Additionally I did not drink enough water either!
We traveled home from Cape Cod, it was snowing. We had made plans, and I made it. I was not disappointed. It was so good to see our old friends. We laughed and enjoyed one another’s company. My sweet husband, John and I had a ball, it was playful with plenty of laughs. I had forgotten what it was like to socialize. I love people and it was wonderful to be among them. My sense of humor has returned and that is an old friend I am delighted to welcome back. We were nearly home and I felt so full, of food yes, but of joy too. I could feel the sugar and gosh, I was so thirsty! I would be riding this indulgence out. Well tomorrow is another day, a day to get back on track. A big piece of carrot cake, what was I thinking? One thing, I love carrot cake! Not so much …It was good to be home with the man I adore. I drank some water. I set the coffee up for the morning. I put the leftovers away. I put on my PJ’s, now that felt good. The day was a fabulous success for us. I felt good, and right then, in that moment, it was all that mattered. John settled in to watch some more football, or snooze. I was off to relax and get ready for bed. I did my bedtime yoga flow. I loved the day. We had a day long text with my family, we shared photos, facts and memories. I enjoyed all of it. I stretched out in my comfy bed and felt grateful, nothing specific just thankful. Everything seemed right with my world, I drifted off very content.
I am growing my daily practice to encompass all my goals toward well-being, all the essentials toward that goal. My Thanksgiving Day experience reminded me of the importance of my perception of what happens. We do live through everything that happens to us. We need to be very careful to see what is true and real about those experiences. When we glean the truth and the reality of the events of our lives we are much better prepared to have the correct perception. Armed with this clear perception we can move toward dealing with these events, and we undoubtedly be able to deal and cope with all that comes our way. It is a process.
My day after Thanksgiving involved no shopping. Black Friday was another planet to me. I honestly needed to enjoy the holiday a bit longer. The shopping and the getting ready for the next big day, for now, could wait. Patience is a new part of my daily practice, I am learning to enjoy it. I am practicing a new way of perceiving what happens. Today I was looking forward, not to the next big day, just one more good day. Baby steps, I continue to walk toward the light.
Always dazzle, Karen
Jean’s Famous Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
2 envelopes Knox gelatin
1/2 c brown sugar divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1 1/4 c evaporated milk
4 eggs separated
1 can 14oz pumpkin
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 c white sugar
1/2 c whipped cream
In the top of a double-boiler mix gelatin, brown sugar, salt and spices. Add the evaporated milk and egg yolks. Place over boiling water. Cook stirring constantly until the gelatin dissolves and thickens 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pumpkin. Chill until completely cooled.
Beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar. Beat until stiff but not dry. Gradually add the white sugar, beat until stiff. Gently fold in the pumpkin mixture. Fold in the whipped cream.
Turn into a pre-baked pie shells and chill until firm. Makes 2-8″ pies. Decorate with a dollop of Cool Whip* and a dusting of nutmeg.
* this pie became a tradition in our house about the same time Cool Whip was becoming popular. I make real whipped cream to top the pie, the nutmeg is tasty and it looks finished. My mom was always ahead of the curve when it came to her cooking. She was very open to trying new, interesting, and cutting edge recipes of the day. We have all continued to make the pie, and this is a sure way to have a happy recollection of the Thanksgiving holidays gone by. I loved to watch my mother make pie crust, her method was her own, not at all conventional, and it may have looked cobbled together, but it was always the best crust. My dad could tell if a crust wasn’t made by my mother. I hold these memories close to my heart, I can see her hands and I can feel the love. Sit quietly for a while and see what precious memories come to mind. They are in there. It can be the smallest thing, that may have been very big to you when you were a child. I would love to hear what you come up with…..xo
Always dazzle, Karen
Photo credit: KatrinaMayer.com