To tell this story, I have to reach back into the archives and tell you more stories so you fully appreciate this current story.
From age zero to fourteen minus two weeks, I lived, with my family, in a lovely little town called Pleasant Hill, near San Francisco. That sentence has entirely way to many commas.
Lovely place, great memories there. Only thing was, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins lived either in Texas, down the coast 4 hours, up 2 hours, and in 3 hours. Roughly. This meant that you didn’t see them every week. Perhaps, some of them, every month. Which means that times when you all got together were that much more rich. Times, such as Thanksgiving.
I have the best childhood memories of all the Texas family flying in and my dad and uncle phil goofing off and us scootering everywhere. And adoring my older California cousins and loving being with them.
And the food. My mom is a serious cook. Not that she cooks seriously but rather…well you know what I mean. And it’s not just mom in the kitchen, although sometimes she probably feels like that. It’s the gathering place of the family. Someone snacking here, someone pulling something together over there, Dad most likely giving helpful opinions on the next step to creating the perfect whatever. All sorts of commotion. A happy place.
Two months after we were married, I found myself eating chicken caesar salad wraps with Wesley for dinner on Thanksgiving day. I had hardly realized it was even Thanksgiving. Wes had gone to work like normal, we were going to California the next week, and we were going to join friends at midnight for a little shopping and I just hadn’t thought about it. But when the realization struck me, that most folks in the country were surrounded by family and friends eating a huge meal together, I looked at my chicken caesar salad wrap and said, ‘you’re joking’.
Since then, I have enjoyed a turkey meal every year, maybe not quite on the day, but real close. And it’s been a joy.
Except for this year. And this is the part that makes me feel ashamed and want to duck my head. But I’ll persevere through. We went to Mississippi for Thanksgiving and it was great to actually be with family. We’ve always stayed here (not that you can’t be with family here) because tickets are always outrageous and it feels like everyone always gets to go somewhere. Except for me and my chicken caesar salad wrap. So this year, we got to go. And it was great. The only thing that was missing was the turkey. And if you saw their freezers, you’d understand why. After all, why buy food when you have the grocery store in your own house.
Except that I’m affected by peer pressure. And that when the rest of the country is having turkey dinner, I’d like it too.
And here I am ashamed again. I perhaps, maybe, just a little bit, fussed. Yes fussed, to my friends when I got home and perhaps said in a mournful voice, ‘No turkey for Kelsey…’ sniff sniff.
Shame on Kelsey.
A few days later, a text came from a friend inviting us to dinner the next week. I was like, ‘wow, that sure is some ahead of time planning, wonder if they’re planning on announcing something?’. And then, a few days later, I was talking with another friend about the upcoming dinner and they told me, ‘You know they’re having turkey dinner right?’
I squeaked, ‘no!’. And was filled with chagrin for my fussing. And was humbled that a friend would go to the effort for me, a fusser. And would make a sweet potato casserole because I love them even though they think they’re gross.
So instead of getting popped for my ungratefulness, I was given a wonderful evening with friends and a truly delightful meal. Thank you Kristy for all the work. And for inadvertently teaching me a little life lesson.
I do love this blurry picture.
Astonishingly enough, I was able to thoroughly enjoy the meal. It was delicious. A little green bean, stuffing, mashed potato, gravy, and turkey in one bite and then a bite of sweet potato casserole. Over and over again. And to top things off, an amazing coconut cream pie which everyone can testify that I went face down in.
Lesson learned? In everything, give thanks. For friends. For life lessons. And especially for that roast down in Mississippi.