long time away
Life and events have lifted over this glorious fall Thanksgiving weekend so I am once again able to set fingers to keys and think a bit.
The weather has released its bracing fall coolness into the world and the leaves graciously responded. Vibrant yellows and deep reds excite the air. On a stretch around my circle, a small orchard of maple trees line the street. The leaves they discard and scatter around their base form a thick sea-foam of brilliant yellow, not yet brittled or dried. It was like walking along a beach of leaves, with an ocean of grass beyond.
Thanksgiving itself was unseasonably warm in the morning, so that all the neighborhood pick-up football games - including my son's alumni high school game - was well-attended and thoroughly enjoyed by players and spectators alike.
The afternoon grew cooler and windier and threatened to rain (we should only have been so lucky).
The thanksgiving tradition in my home is to celebrate the night before, erev Thanksgiving, Wednesday night, with a large homemade meal, including a home-made tofurkey (or as my mother has come to call it, faux turkey). This year was the biggest and best ever. Family - old and new, and friends - old and new, came. The living room was filled with chatter and camaradarie and love. Inspired by the CSA, I baked squash bread (with yeast, so it tastes something like a rye or sour-dough bread, with a slight yellow-tinge). It was delicious. I made it into loaves, as well as rolls that we scooped out and served home-made vegetable soup in.
Stuffed acorn squash also made an appearance for the first time. Stuffed with tri-color cous cous sauteed with onion, raisins and dried cranberries. A little molasses for a deeper taste and eggs to hold it all together. Quite yummy. And quite satisfying, both gustatorially and spiritually.
But the day is past and the weekend is over and the frenzy of gift buying is upon us. Time is no doubt a scarce commodity for many, but wouldn't home-made presents, simple though they are, be greatly appreciated? and kept longer, placed in old trunks or suitcases, or stashed away in closets, to be remembered or bumped into weathered years from now?
The faces of shoppers who dragged themselves out to the stores at ungodly hours, all pumped up when the doors were unlocked, desperate to make a killing at the bargain tables, haunt me. Is this love? What are they doing? and why?