It is really starting to feel like the holidays around here. The wood stove has been going non-stop and the house is filled with toasty, dry warmth. The landscape is coated in a white frosting of snow. Mathew is home from college.
We've stocked the house with fixings for our traditional Thanksgiving day full of appetizers and a sumptuous Turkey dinner. Things are mostly tidied up in expectation of our cooking frenzy and the arrival of our special guest, Wilbert Gamble, our new pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Saranac Lake. We were one of two families offering hospitality should the weather prevent him from heading home. So he is spending time early afternoon tomorrow with Grant and Cindy Besio and then joining us at four. How he'll manage two Turkey dinners I do not know. And he is going to miss out on our all day snacking, which he admits is a tradition in his family as well.
Wilbert started attending our church about a year ago and frequented the early Praise Service where I am music minister. He has a great interest in learning guitar. And though I have told him I am not good at giving lessons, it is a frequent topic of discussion with him, with hints dropped frequently after the Sunday service. Perhaps I'll pull our a few guitars while hemisphere and give him a few pointers. Wilbert is teaching himself a classical style of playing but he wants to learn the mix of chording and flat picking that I tend to use.
For snacks, we are planning our traditional affair of smoked oysters, olivada (sort of a black olive pâté, simply black olives, garlic and pine nuts), roasted red peppers (marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and basil) and guacamole. I may have my stuffing in a hot dog roll that my mom started me on as a hungry teenager. I used to help,her make stuffing, as we pushed celery and onions through a hand grinder to make the base. Mom has since switched to a blender, while we use the nice 7 quart Quisinart I purchased over the summer (best investment we ever made).
The holidays are a nice time of year. I get pulled out of my fall depression by loving thoughts of family and memories of holidays past. I think of my childhood holidays and wonder what memories we have instilled within the hearts and minds of our two children. I hope they are rich enough to last their lifetimes, as seem to be mine.
I wish all my friends and family a Thanksgiving holiday filled with love and the melding of wonderful new memories with those of thanksgivings past.