TO OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN: DO NOT READ THIS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!
I remember learning about a piano term called a rolled chord, where the notes of the chord are not played all at once, but one at a time in succession. I’d heard them played before, but I did not know the term. I just thought it was a jazz thing.
This year Kim and I are having a Rolled Thanksgiving. We decided not to invite anyone to dinner because of our vulnerability to the pandemic, and for the same reason we declined Scott’s invitation for a large Thanksgiving event, one that ended up including 19 people in what appeared, from the photos, to be a super-spread.
Instead, we had an elegant candlelight chicken dinner about a week before Thanksgiving. Just the two of us. We toasted with wine and thanked each other. Then, the day after Thanksgiving, we picked up a gourmet turkey dinner prepared at one of our favorite Traverse City restaurants, S2S (Sugar to Salt). We took it home and reheated it, and the leftovers will keep on giving. On Thanksgiving Day itself we reheated some frozen pasties, a Northern Michigan specialty that will probably not become our new Thanksgiving tradition.
But that’s just about food. Thanksgiving is really about thanks and giving. Yes, we made a donation to a local foodbank after watching news reports on the long lines of people who could not afford food. And no, we did not volunteer to work there – the pandemic, etc. And though I’ve given blood regularly for years, these days I have stopped, guiltily, because of the risks I might bring home. How else to give?
As I write this, I hear Kim pounding nails in her studio. She is making a piece of sculpture for a friend. And we spent last week making Christmas cards to send out, cards featuring a photograph of a wreath Kim designed and made. (I say “we” because I printed and licked the envelopes.) And she designed and built gifts for her kids and grandkids – “treasure boxes” for them to store stuff that will give them pleasure when they are having a bad day, reminding them that they are loved. And she has started to design and assemble her annual ornaments made from wooden clothespins, angels with wings made of closely folded sheet music.
Kim is giving by radiating her love out into the world through what she creates, in addition to what she radiates in her role as Mama Kim, accomplished, these days, mostly on the phone. I write stuff. Not what Bill and Melinda Gates are doing, but it’s what we are doing. Giving Tuesday is a great idea, but the problem is the temptation to say, on Wednesday, “glad to have that out of the way – let’s go shopping.” It is nice, however, to see spending money as stimulating the economy and creating jobs.
When you are experiencing a Rolled Thanksgiving, every day is Thanksgiving. So, thanks. And find a way to be giving . . ..