Monday, October 10, 2011

Thanksgiving at the Cabin

There’s no fancy linen, the cutlery doesn’t match, and only three of the 10 wine glasses are crystal for Thanksgiving Dinner at the cabin.  But the turkey will taste good—roasted in a cedar box over the BBQ—infused with the acrid, golden essence of autumn.

When the 10 of us sit, some on towel-padded boxes without backs, there will be little room for our elbows as we raise our glasses to toast all that we’re thankful for, but raise our glasses we will—as we review the goodness the past year has brought us.

Then, when there’s a lull in the conversation, on behalf of my distant daughter and her family whose presence today is being replaced with good friends and neighbours, we shall announce a new wee blessing due this coming spring. And those present, both envious and excited, will once more toast the good Lord.

While adults speak of hockey and football the grandson, extra-energized by the pumpkin pie and ice cream and unaffected by confined spaces and congestion, will slither beneath the makeshift table, play hide-and-seek between feet and legs, and ensure his squeals are heard above the roar of the adults’ conversation.

The Pomeranians will eagerly lick the crumbs spilled and with teary brown eyes beg for more.  While outside the Bouvier will scratch gently at the screen, cock her head, and wait for her scraps.

Then the ladies will bump hips in the tiny kitchen as they wash the dishes and carefully salvage the left-overs.  The men will fold the dining table, and move the chairs, and flick on the TV.   “He shoots, he scoooores!”

Thanksgiving 2011 at the cabin—blessed ancient traditions entwined with the new.  Last year the turkey was deep-fried.  This year I am a published author.  Next year one more grandchild will fill my heart.

Can it get any better than this?

Eileen Schuh, Canadian writer

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