My lower back is threatening to secede. It's got to be at least 75° F in my apartment. The second load of the night just started up in the dishwasher. A fine sheen of sweat is slowly cooling and drying on my body. And I feel fine!
My mom's apple pie is in the oven baking now. The pumpkin pie is cooling on the counter. The Jell-O salad is chilling and firming in the refrigerator. I'll make the green bean casserole tomorrow before I head over to mom's for the day. And another year of Thanksgiving baking enters the pages of history.
I don't know when I became holiday baker to my family. It just seems to have happened. My mom has always loved to bake, and she taught me at an early age. She was never very good with pies, though, so perhaps that's how the task came to be delegated to me. This year, I took on a couple of extra assignments, as she's got her hands full taking care of my stepfather. Tomorrow morning I'll load up the car and drive the 15-odd miles over the recently harvested farm country to her place, bearing with me probably two-thirds of our family Thanksgiving feast for this year.
But I've already got a long list of things to be thankful for. The crisp, wet swish! the paring knife makes as I slice the Cortland apples for the pie (bought earlier this autumn from a local orchard, the first time I took my mom for a ride in my new car). The sharp, exotic smell of the nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger as I stirred the custard for the pumpkin pie. The feeling of four simple ingredients (flour, salt, butter, and water) coming together into a workable mass for the pie crust. The fact that I have a roof over my head, food in the pantry to cook for my family, and a good job that pays me enough money to do all those things. The fact that the Democrats won the 2006 midterm elections. The fact that there are at most 789 days until we uproot the Shrubbery for good and all. The fact that there are these wonderful internet tubes that allow me to share random thoughts with the good people who come here to read them, and to read their good thoughts in turn.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, for you have given us the bounty of creation and suited it to our use.
And a Happy Thanksgiving to all. Safe travel, safe return, and in between love and joy and fellowship.