It's early, my brother is asleep on the third floor which finally has heat. Alice is in her bed. My nephew has moved from the sofa to my room so I can bang around downstairs, starting the green beans, and pie crusts.
Now Pickie has climbed onto my lap. She's become quite an affectionate cat as she's gotten older. For her first 12 years she ignored us. Now she's become almost doglike, greeting me, following me, finding my lap, checking in on me.
I am thankful for this quiet warm house and the people and animals in it. For the loved ones near and further away.
For all the people who have shared Thanksgiving with us in the past and have passed: my father, grandmother, grandfather, Uncle Bev, Aunt Elllie, Aunt Margaret, her husband Dick. For everyone who's shared it with us in the past and will gather around other tables: my cousins Liz, Freida and Valerie, their children; the Wolperts and their children; Mr. Davidson and his son John and his family, who else, Tina, my sister-in-law. One year I went to the Violas for dinner and it remains one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories. Each year Carol shares it with her family and that feels fine.
In a little while I'll shower, run out and purchase bacon, eggs and English muffos. I'll come back and start frying it up, hoping it wakes some helpers to get started on pie crusts (they have to chill) and snapping the green beans.
We'll get into cars and travel to my brother Tom's in Paoli and here's who'll be there: Tom, Kim, their children Daniel and Rachel; Kim's sister Kelly, her husband I hope I remember his name before we get there, their children Matthew and Carly; Aunt Ellie, my mother and Bob; John, Chris, my daughters Elizabeth and Alice. There will be laughter and a few jibes, maybe some hurt feelings, maybe not. But we'll gather and give thanks and once again that mix of feelings will fill me: love and gratitude and the hope that we'll all be together next year.