It's the big prep day for our annual Thanksgiving celebration in the U.S. It's such a nice holiday, don't you think? Food, family and friends – no pressure, just feasting and relaxing with people we love.
Although the state of the economy, high unemployment, our rancid politics and a dubious future make it hard for many of our countrymen and women this year, it is still a time for those of us who are getting by to count our blessings.
Among mine are you, the readers of and contributors to Time Goes By. Hardly a day passes that at least one of you and often more, in the comments or personal email, tell me how much you like this blog.
When I started TGB seven years ago, the farthest thing from my mind was that it would become such a source of friendship, learning, camaraderie and enjoyment. Blogging was just beginning to take off then and the phrase “social media” didn't exist yet. Now I count among my friends and acquaintances people from all around the U.S. and the world.
The blog gives focus to my life in the way jobs did during my working years. I was lucky that most of my career involved fascinating people and work, but this is more thoroughly satisfying for the personal connections that are such a delightfully unexpected result.
So thank you, each and every reader, those who lurk and those who comment and also those whose contributions make the companion blog, The Elder Storytelling Place, such a rich compendium of stories, memories and a history of our generation's lives.
Thank you too, to the regular contributors. Jan Adams who writes the Gay and Gray column. Saul Friedman who supplies such important, thoroughly researched and knowledgeable information in his Gray Matters and Reflections columns. Peter Tibbles – I can't imagine Sunday anymore without his Elder Music stories that make me laugh and teach me things I never knew before.
I'm thrilled that Dr. Bill Thomas has rejoined us as The TGB Geriatrician. And although he works behind the scenes, Kavan Peterson is amazing at organizing Dr. Thomas and me to get these new videos done.
Thank you seems a puny response to the joy, comfort, kindness and good cheer you all give me every day, but that's the best I can do.
I like cooking and I especially like this annual meal. For many years, I spent the holiday with friends, a large family who live in rural Pennsylvania where there were about 30 guests each year. I would arrive the day before and help with the preparations. My specialty was the gravy – I'm very good at it.
Occasionally, in off-years, I would make Thanksgiving dinner in New York for friends who either had no family or couldn't get home that year. Usually 10 or 12 people. This year, in Oregon, I'm having a smaller Thanksgiving here with my brother and his wife. My brother and I haven't shared this holiday since 1955 – exactly 55 years ago. We were kids then, he age nine and me 14.
I'm an American traditionalist about this meal. I figure one day a year of food that the medical community tells us isn't all that healthy won't hurt much. Even so, as a small sop to advancing years, I've cut down on the number of dishes and adapted some to be slightly less fatty – less butter mainly – and I still think, as I always have, that the best part of the meal is the turkey skin. If I could get away with it, I'd share it with no one and make it my entree.
My brother will bring the wine and dessert. The rest of the menu this year goes like this:
- Sage dressing
- A separate dish of oyster dressing
- Cranberry sauce
- Mashed potatoes – lumpy with skins because I like it that way
- Minted corn
- Green beans
- Sourdough bread to mop up the gravy
If you can spare the time from your own preparations, tell us what your Thanksgiving meal will be and what family traditions you have.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marcia Mayo: Don't Move Pat. He Got Run Over by a Fire Truck