by Maria Schulz
Yes, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. What this means for everyone is that they’re supposed to think about all of the things they’re thankful for in their lives. However, this day before Thanksgiving means different things to different people, depending on how old you are. For example, if you’re a school-aged child, it means:
1) You will have to write an essay called “What I’m Thankful For”
2) If you are under 10, you will probably be wearing a pilgrim’s hat or a feather on your head
3) You’ll be eating pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cookies, and possibly turning orange, at your classroom’s Thanksgiving Party
4) You will take a quiz called, “Which food was at the first Thanksgiving Day feast?” Hint: Turkey might not have been on the menu.
5) You will be asked to put your hand on a piece of paper, trace around it, and make your own turkey decoration/centerpiece
Many of these things can also apply to grown-ups. For instance, if you work outside of your home, you may find:
1) The office cafeteria will serve turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes and stuffing with gravy for lunch. Which makes no sense, because you’ll be having all of that tomorrow
2) You may be asked to write a report titled, “What I’m Thankful For”
3) Your co-workers will be wearing a pilgrim’s hat or a feather on their heads, but if you work in a creative environment, that’s probably true every other day of the year
4) You will gorge yourself on pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin cookies, and possibly turn orange
5) You will take an online quiz called: “Which food was at the Thanksgiving Day feast?” and get mad when your answer, turkey, is wrong. Then you’ll trace your hand and make your own turkey to help you feel better about things
Turning orange and failing online quizzes aside, here are a few things I’m really thankful for this year:
- Amber Riley won Dancing With The Stars, and I called it. This may not mean much to 99.9% of the world, but it gives me bragging rights in my little DWTS fan club, which very often, consists of my dog and me. Unless she’s tired, and then it’s a party of one
- I found my Planes, Trains and Automobiles DVD in time for this holiday, instead of on January 2nd like I did last year. Now I get to be infuriated, delighted and heart-warmed (not wormed) by Steve Martin and John Candy all over again. It’s beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving
- While I may have to push back the publication date of my book by a week or so, the manuscript is done and so it should be seeing the light of day very shortly. So yes, Virginia, there is going to be a Tales of a Hungry Life: A Memoir with Recipes book at an Amazon store near you
- The song “It’s Raining Men” is going through my head, because it’s raining so hard outside right now that it sounds like there are actually large men hitting the house. So why am I thankful? Because it’s not snowing so hard I might see Polar Bears walking by soon
- Being a wife and mom is a lot of work. There are days I just want to curl up in a ball, eat bon bons, and catch up on TV shows I missed completely (anyone for a Breaking Bad marathon?). But then, I look at my husband or gaze into my kids’ faces, and I realize that it’s all going so fast, that I’m lucky to be here, and it really is exciting and fun. I’m so glad I got to go on this ride, even if it does leave me dizzy and nauseous sometimes
- I managed to do all of my Thanksgiving shopping without having a total nervous breakdown. Also, I no longer need to get a goat because I have enough milk and cheese to get me through the next two days
- I survived the 2 day, 4 hour filler-fest that is the Dancing With The Stars finale, and I even got to see Bill Engvall and his partner, Emma Slater, make it all the way to the finals. They did a free style! He never expected to get past Week 2! They are friends for life! If you didn’t believe in miracles before, how can you not believe in them now?
- My book club continues to recommend books that make me think and help me become a better writer. Plus everyone always brings the best salads (yes, I do actually eat salad on occasion), cakes, cookies, breads, wine and cheese. Here’s a book we just read that I recommend highly.
- My blog. Yes, I panic every Tuesday because I pledged to write a post every Wednesday for the rest of this year, and I have no idea what I’m going to write about until I sit down and do it. But as much as I complain about it, I thoroughly enjoy it. No, I might never be famous or get invited to be a contestant on Dancing With The Stars (now that would be terrifying), but I do get the pleasure of writing for all of the people who are kind enough to drop by every week. And for that, I’m really thankful.
- I am so grateful for the people who made me the person I am, but who aren’t here anymore. I’d like to say they’re off in Rio de Janeiro dancing and eating and having a great time, because then I could call them or visit them. But no, I’m talking about gone, as in gone and never coming back because they’ve moved on to the next life.
My Uncle Don was someone who always made me laugh, and I’m very grateful to have had him in my life. Remembering him on these holidays makes me smile, and helps me appreciate the family and friends that are still here with me (and who haven’t run away to Rio de Janeiro). So I’m grateful for everything he gave me, and still gives me to this day.
- Finally, in a world that’s filled with natural disasters, heartbreak, and bad things happening to good people, sometimes life gives a little something back. Here’s a story that made me feel very thankful: Heartwarming Reunion: Illinois Tornado Survivor Finds His Missing Dog Buried Alive Under Rubble – weather.com
My friend, Joanie, tried this recipe and said her son told her it was “the best side dish” he’d ever had. So, if you’re looking for something a little different to try with your traditional Thanksgiving day meal, this one looks easy and delicious.
So, Hungry Lifers: what are you thankful for? Do you want to be a Dancing With the Stars contestant? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Happy Thanksgiving!