Way back in 1969 (two years before we moved to Greyhaven), Thanksgiving was approaching, and I thought we needed something to unify our coalescing family and the people who happened to be living with us that year. We needed a Tradition…. so I wrote a little ritual in which, after some historical perspective, everyone says what they are thankful for this year, and then the youngest child we can persuade to cooperate asks why we are making offerings, and the oldest explains, as others bring up salt and water, milk and honey, bread and wine, and squash and corn, all of which will later be part of the feast. We have done it every year since then, so it really is a tradition by now.

This year, counting the children, we had 24 around the fire, family by blood or marriage or adoption, friends who are temporary members of the household, and other members of our community (Of course, nine of them are currently living in the house, so we had a head start). Not to mention the four dogs, who kept hoping I would drop the turkey. The giving of thanks took awhile. I was grateful to have the reshingling and painting of the south wall done at last, and to have a new book contract, and for the support of those who have liked the work I’ve done in the past, and of course for my family.

Feeding this horde required a 22 lb. turkey (store-bought, as the wild turkeys that have been haunting our neighborhood seem to have disappeared). But my oven really roasts well, and this year’s ad hoc stuffing came out quite tasty. Fortunately others dealt with most of the rest of the feast. Lwood baked a bunch of pies as well as corn and squash. Bearmum put together an excellent gravy. We also had green beans, about 15 lbs of mashed potatoes, two kinds of salad and home made bread. We set up the long tables in the living room and after ransacking the house, found enough chairs to seat everyone. This is the only holiday for which we do a sit-down dinner, but, you know, tradition…

The real challenge is always figuring out how to deal with the left-overs, though there’s not much turkey this time. And of course, the dishes. After being on my feet most of the day my back hurts, but there’s a great satisfaction in knowing we brought it off yet again.

Blessings to you all!