Saturday, November 28, 2020

Light Amid the Darkness

 The lights began piercing the darkness
Before turkeys went into ovens.
Professionally trimmed trees and eaves,
Lovingly dressed gardens and tree homes,
Carefully draped porches and shrubs,
Garishly filled Santas and snowmen.

In years past,
I might have thought,  
"Why are they rushing the season?" 
This year,
I might have thought,
"How can we celebrate amidst the pandemic?"

I think I might have some of the answers:
We are looking for hope despite fear,
We are seeking peace within despair,
We are seeking normality in spite of disruption,
We are hoping for smiles rather than tears,
We are trying to ease the sadness,
We are wanting to fill the holes at tables,
We are running full speed into 2021,
We are trying to find light amid the darkness.
I think it might be helping.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

#SOL20 Thanksgiving is NOT about Turkey and Gravy

After I started hosting Thanksgiving, long ago, I cautiously began to morph dinner by eliminating "required" sides such as mashed turnips, canned cranberry, creamed onions, green bean casserole, chocolate covered mints......  I also, cautiously, reduced the number of "sides" and even pies. While I still mashed potatoes, that one time each year, every dish was healthier.  No one, not even my mother, complained.  

In fact, the year I introduced a brand new cooked whole-cranberry-orange sauce along with "au jus" rather than gravy, dinner got rave reviews.  I was sure Thanksgiving was not about the meal; instead, it was  about reflection, companionship, and giving thanks.

So, this year, while, Covid numbers skyrocket and most of us are wearing masks and socially distancing, if we really love and care about our families and friends, most of us are going to be apart.  If companionship is the only meaning of Thanksgiving, then either we pull the covers over our head and sleep through the day, or we do things differently!!!  So, I'm thinking we might do this holiday differently and focus on refkection and giving thanks....with a side of companionship.

Option 1: Take a page from the Pilgrims and serve vegetables and some fish.  Let's be honest, they ate lots of scallops, mussels, shrimp and probably lobster.  Order fish from your local market, pay ahead and pick up. Go out on limb and serve smashed potatoes - so easy -and make a salad with cranberries and maybe  oranges.  In 2020, we need to reflect on gratitude for the Pilgrim's tenacity.  

Option 2: Take a page from the Native Americans, particularly the Wampanoag tribe from New England.  They were vegetarians for the most part during the harvest season. So, THIS YEAR, this epic year, have a vegetarian Thanksgiving.  I'm thinking roasted squash and potatoes, sauteed beans and corn with  cranberries on the side. 
Option 3:Take a hike. Walk on a rail trail or hike up a mountain. Reflect on the courage to go to somewhere you have never gone before.  Eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with nuts as your sides.

Option 4: Respect the MANY, MANY pilgrims to these shores and have Tacos,  Plantains, can Google ANY country and PICK any food to focus on for you dinner...........ANY COUNTRY.  in some way,this might  be the MOST American  of Thanksgivings.

Option 5: Order IN Sushi, Pizza, Thai, Kot, or any other food including pizza you and your family will like. Most restaurants are hurting and will appreciate our companionship.

Option 6: I've read that Zoom has extended their 40 minute time restrictions and  we can all have a bit of companionship. 

Option 7: Reflect on your blessings at this moment.  It's been a very challenging year.