As if on cue, as I sit down to write this morning the sunrise in Portland becomes brighter and brighter. Filling the skyline with brilliant orange and warm pink light. An early morning reminder to be thankful.
A few days ago, via the wonderful world of social media, I found a local farm that still had turkeys available. Provenance Farm is located out in Corvallis, OR, about 90 minutes from Portland. I am thrilled (just ask Mark as he has listened to me for the past week) that we are getting a turkey directly from Rachel and Keith who raised it. Up until Sunday, as in two days ago, our turkey was roaming around the farm. Although I overuse the term on a daily basis, this is literally farm to table.
Since Mark and I have made our home on the west coast, with our families deeply rooted on the east coast, Thanksgiving has been in a number of different places and with a number of different people over the past four years. We have eaten cornish game hens on stools in our kitchen and we have gathered with twenty five “orphans” at the table of a dear friend. Prefaced always by a morning turkey trot.
Last year, as I was perusing magazines for inspiration I came across a beautiful piece by Michael Chabon in Bon Appetit, his Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay is one of my all time favorite books. He writes about a Thanksgiving he had with his family, one without any familiarity of tradition,
“…And that, to me, is the meaning of Thanksgiving. Of all the Thanksgivings before and since, the one spent at Manka’s stands out for me as the truest, even though we were far from our places of origin. Nothing lasts; everything changes. People die, and marriages dissolve, and friendships fade, and families fall apart, whether or not we appreciate them; whether or not we give thanks every waking moment or one night a year. For the act of returning to the same table, to the same people and the same dishes- to the same traditions-can blind you to life’s transience. It can lull you into believing that some things, at least, stay the same. And if that’s what you believe, then what have you got to be thankful for? None of our Thanksgivings are ever coming back; we’ve lost them. They’re gone. And so this year, let’s go somewhere with strange customs and unfamiliar recipes and the latest collection of ill-assorted chairs, and give thanks-not for everything we have, but for everything instead, that we have lost.”
Next year will bring a lot of change in the Capalbo house, change that we greatly look forward to. So this year, as we sit at yet another table, we will be thankful for everything that we have had and for everything that is to come.