Saturday, November 30, 2013

Recovering From Thanksgiving

By Sally Wright

My left hip – the one that got trashed when the mare I shouldn't have bought bucked me into a wall – rebels the day after Thanksgiving. Too many hours standing and cooking – apple and pumpkins pies (Julia Child’s dough made Wednesday night), rolled and assembled at six a.m., then all the standing and chopping and leaning-over to get the rest of it done that we all know so well.

I love to cook, and eat the long-time favorites we only have on Thanksgiving, but the older I get the harder it is to bounce back. And when what you slave-over gets eaten in an hour, it does seem strangely out of all proportion.

Still, as I looked around the table, there was so much to be grateful for – our only two grandchildren, both boys who look nothing alike (Joey, ten months old; Dylan not quite four months), our daughter and son and their loved ones, and Jake the boxer, behaving himself perfectly (while clearly wishing the babies would disappear as mysteriously as they arrived so that he could get all the attention he so rightly deserves). My husband grinning at the far end of the table, who does the dishes and doesn’t complain, and has kept me wanting to wake up in the morning for more than forty-three years.

And me, just to be here, I can’t tell you what that means, two years and four months after having Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer - to have finished a book I've really cared about too, and even have hopes that I may write the next one – I've been given gifts of peace and joy and laughter through all that that I never could've imagined.

I asked everyone two questions on Thursday - what they were most grateful for, and, “What piece of advice has meant the most to you?” Since nobody likes advice, even when they need it, I thought that might be interesting, and worth asking myself – though I won’t reveal our admissions.

The Pilgrims, that first winter, dug seven times more graves for the dead than they built houses for the living. Their seed didn’t grow, and the ship that was supposed to bring food and supplies brought nothing but thirty-five hungry people – and yet the Pilgrims’ thankfulness to God brought us to the table yesterday, even those who know nothing about them (much less why they came), which may be a fairly large number today.

I hope your Thanksgiving meant as much as mine did. And let’s us not forget that we have leftovers (even if there’s never quite enough gravy)!

Sally Wright
Breeding Ground, the first Jo Grant Horse Country Mystery
The Edgar Nominated Ben Reese series