It's the day before...and this is the first year that I'm not baking pies. We're having turkey "take-out" and it comes with pie. This was my dad's idea, not mine.
I'm for having dinner here at my house, cooking the turkey at home, getting up at the crack of dawn to stuff and truss and toss the bird in the oven, setting the table with pretty linens and the good china and hoping that the gravy is lump free and my sister brings cranberry sauce.
My dad doesn't see it that way anymore. He's for keeping it simple, with easy clean up, and no left-overs so after all of us have left, he can put out the garbage and watch TV. He'd rather not drive too far anymore, and my house is a harrowing one-hour drive through a multi-lane tunnel and the busy interstate highway. Dinner at my house would have to be timed perfectly because after dinner, he and my mom would skedaddle--even if it meant missing dessert--so they'd have enough daylight for the ride home.
It's hard to see your parents growing old; harder still to imagine a thanksgiving someday without them. I'm thankful that I've shared so many Thanksgivings with them when I was living at home and later when I was a young wife cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the first time. I'm thankful that their quality of life has been, for the most, part good. I'm thankful that they've been able to watch their granddaughters grow up and see their first great-grandchild. I'm thankful that they've been able to stay in the house my sister and I grew up in and I'm thankful that I can call them on the phone and they remember my name.
In the end, it doesn't matter what we eat, or where, its only important that we are all together sharing it, savoring the memories, and knowing what we are most thankful for.
So I'm giving in this year, hanging up my apron and letting my Mom and Dad do it their way--turkey take-out.