Treena Mielke

Treena Mielke

Thanksgiving means family for most

With the trees slipping into the twilight zone of a new season and changing their dresses from green to shades of gold and scarlet, I should have clued in to the fact that Thanksgiving was just around the corner.

But being me, and slightly behind the eight ball on a few things pertaining to scheduling like fall housecleaning and when the next holiday was about to arrive, I didn’t.

But then I got a phone call from my son.

It was late. For me, late constitutes having the supper dishes put away and collapsing on the couch to sleep through another episode of The Crown! I must admit the death of the Queen piqued a certain curiosity in me about the royal family. However, after the third season of that series, that curiosity has pretty much wanned. And anyway, what is fact and what is fiction?

“What are you doing for Thanksgiving, mom?” my son asked, his voice slightly crackling over the phone.

“Bad connection,” I think. I turn the TV down.

”When is it again?” I questioned weakly, throwing off my cozy comforter and struggling to a sitting position.

Thanksgiving. It is coming up soon. My mind snaps to attention.

I pictured my kitchen table, heavily laden with a Thanksgiving feast rivaling the meals they served at Buckingham Palace (okay, I’m stretching here).

I pictured putting both leaves in my table, setting out my almost matching best china and my gleaming crystal candlestick holders. I imagined pulling perfect pies out of the oven and basting a perfectly browned turkey.

As I emerged from semi-consciousness, my imagination soared.

We will have to set up another table, I mused, but I will make it beautiful as well. And the chairs. Oh, my goodness, I hope I have enough chairs.

My son’s voice broke into my musing.

Apparently, his sister was going to her husband’s side of the family for Thanksgiving.

“Okay, I won’t need the other table,” I said to myself.

He wasn’t sure about his other sister. As for him and his family, they would be at a ball camp for his daughter along with his wife that weekend. Maybe they could squeeze a visit in, though.

Well, this is great, I thought.

We chatted a bit more. My son, of course, had no idea he had just shattered my dream Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving or any holiday for that matter can be so much work. The preparing. The planning. Making sure there truly is a bountiful harvest set out, so no one dares go away hungry.

But what if there was no need for all the work, the planning, the preparation.

What would there be to be grateful for then?

It is weird. Less work. Less planning. A small guest list. It should make me happy. It should at least make the top ten on my grateful list.

But it does not.

I want them all. I want the noise, the laughter, and the confusion. I want to have to go downstairs to find more chairs. I want to set up the other table.

I sigh. “You can’t always have you want,” I chide myself, gently, of course.

And then my practical self kicked in. First, I confirmed exactly when Thanksgiving was. And then I confirmed my guest list.

And it is good. I might not need the little table set up, but that’s okay. There will be a delicious mix of food and drink, love and laughter and no doubt, a little music thrown in happening at my house this Thanksgiving weekend.

And, for that, I am grateful! I truly am!

Treena Mielke is a Central Alberta writer. She lives in Sylvan Lake with her family.