Happy Thanksgiving, all!
It’s been an uncharacteristically snowy one here – very snowy, as a matter of fact. We typically don’t see this amount of the white stuff until late December – contrary to popular belief, not every Christmas is a white one in Maine. Weather is a tempestuous business these days, however, so in the grand scheme a foot of packed powder in our driveway is hardly the worst that could happen.
In fact, I found myself quietly enjoying the Rockwellian scene outside my window yesterday. Ben was working from home; Marji the pup was sprawled out under my feet, as is her preference whenever I’m working.
Magnus, meanwhile, had staked his own claim – in this case, in a basket I’d scored at Goodwill for Christmas gifts.
And me? I went a little bit nuts in the domesticity department. By the end of the day, I had used the pressure cooker to do up a pound each of black beans and chick peas (I freeze them, portioned appropriately, in Mason jars to avoid buying canned), cooked up a big batch of vegetable broth (also for freezing), whipped up a batch of body butter, crocheted my first cotton round to use in place of cotton balls, and played several rousing games of tag with Marji in the snow.
All the while, I listened to Barbara Kingsolver and family narrating their audiobook, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It chronicles a year in the life of the family as they venture away from grocery store-bought, mass-produced foodstuffs in favor of the homegrown variety. Clearly it’s something that strikes a chord with me, since I’m working to do much the same in our own household.
All of this seems particularly relevant this time of year, especially on Thanksgiving. I am grateful to be in a position where I can take time to learn about gardening and canning and freezing, crochet and sewing and soap making. Every day that I’m able to spend in my own home, nourishing myself with silence and fuzzy companionship and a really great-smelling kitchen, makes me that much more aware of just how lucky I am. I think of the thousands upon thousands of people now homeless on the other side of the U.S., and all but lose my breath with gratitude for the roof over my head and the stocked pantry beneath it.
There is a long list of things for me to be grateful for these days. On Tuesday, snow days were at the very top of that list. But there’s also a pup and a cat and a lovely man and his long-haired, lovely son… There are countless things to learn and, at least at this stage of my life, I still seemingly have the capacity to learn some of them. There are words to write – thanks to a recent surgery, my hands are even able to write them again! There is this blog, with articles penned by writers I admire more and more by the day.
Life is good, and for that I am singularly, profoundly thankful. Snow days, it seems, simply force us to slow down, look around, and take a moment to revel in all that we have.
Jen Blood is the USA Today-bestselling author of the Erin Solomon Mysteries and the Flint K-9 Search and Rescue Mysteries. To learn more, visit http://www.jenblood.com.