Thanksgiving – It was Different This Year

Twelve years ago, in 2010 -the first Thanksgiving after a couple of months of being houseless/homeless- was the last time I added grocery prices up the way I did this year. For whatever reason, this year I felt the same mix of emotions as I did back then.

Thanksgiving in America is a major holiday, a day when people meet with family and friends to feast together. A day to be grateful, what’s not always an easy assignment for a person with a critical mind, and an almost impossible task for somebody like me, who might be sarcastic now and then.

This year’s Thanksgiving was different in our home, and more mindful right from the start. While the media reported that the average American would not allow inflation to interrupt their usual Thanksgiving celebration, we quickly made up our minds and decided we would celebrate smaller and cheaper -and we did.

Our turkey, a fresh, young, almost twelve-pound-bird, free of antibiotics and preservatives, cost only $5. An unexpected bargain, because the store’s frozen turkeys for 47 cents per pound never got delivered to them, yet they had been advertised. The store manager honored the promotion and marked down what they had available in the turkey department. My husband was beaming when he showed me his latest bargain.

I made him the cornbread stuffing he loves (gluten-free), fresh cranberries (with orange and cranberries for $2), my famous fresh green beans with grape tomatoes and onions, sauteed in butter, seasoned with pepper and salt and a splash of dijon mustard -a secret recipe from a chef who knew what he was doing. (Tomatoes and beans $7 – stuffing $5 with 1 pepper, 1 onion, and a few celery stakes). Gravy $0, made from scratch using the giblets and some magic trickery.

Our second side dish was different this year. It wasn’t a sweet potato-sugary-calorie bomb with too many ingredients, instead, we had mashed potatoes, with parmesan cheese and butter. A recipe I discovered in the New York times and sure enough, it’s a keeper! (Approximately $4 considering I used freshly grated parmesan cheese). We bought a second turkey for a single mom with five children, which cost us only $16. Our smoker was going anyway, and her kids had never tasted a smoked turkey. My husband was on a mission and enjoyed the task.

I made a few deviled eggs which my hubby treasures ($4.50 for a dozen eggs from cage-free happy chickens) and a gluten-free pumpkin cheesecake, which cost around $6 to make.

Our Thanksgiving wasn’t very expensive. $8.60 per person (two meals each) with enough turkey meat leftovers to make turkey noodle soup or white chili in a couple of weeks. I temporarily stopped my AIP diet after 86 days and boy, I am feeling it today, but it was worth it. What better indication that my new lifestyle is working than some expected extra pain when I don’t follow it?

Aren’t they pretty?

I am grateful I am able to adjust our living costs because I want to -not because we have to (yet).

I am grateful for many things, but I am also worried, and angry, and I feel ashamed. Not ashamed of anything that I did, just in general the shame one feels when humans misbehave so badly.

What else am I grateful for this year, other than the usual?

We live in a nice, older house which we love. We have food in the fridge and in the pantry, and the house is warm, even though we set the heater lower now. We have electricity and gas, and clean water comes out of our faucets.

I am grateful to have a place to call home!

I am grateful to be able to donate not much, but $25 to the family whose dog got shot in the face last week, by someone who should not have access to a gun, or own a gun. I am relieved Brutus, the German Shepherd will recover and his jaw can be reconstructed. I am glad our local news picked the story up and the ASPCA and police got involved.

I hope their little boy will overcome the trauma he had to witness.

I am grateful our dogs are safe!

I watched the midterm election with the same awe and yikes as always. A European news magazine had called it the election between “Normal vs Crazy” which I hope is true. It would mean we still have a lot of normal people in this country, which gives me hope. Who is crazy and who is normal? I suppose the crazy is always the other side?

I am grateful we can (still) vote!

I watched last week’s events with great sadness. I don’t cry anymore when I read about mass shootings. Instead, I get very quiet and very thoughtful. I live in a state with hardly any checks and balances, which means it’s run solely by one party. This year the gun laws were changed. Now people are allowed to wear concealed weapons in public, even if they don’t have a permit. (This part I will never understand.)

I am grateful we were not victims of a mass shooting, and we did not have to witness one (yet)!

I just turned 59 years young and I am grateful to be that old. The same statement has been made by many before, in every language, in every country. It seems to be a repeated phrase by people my age everywhere. Perhaps a sign that we are getting tired, or an indication that we now start to understand, and we don’t like what we learned.

I am grateful to be older. I wouldn’t want to be young now!

I could tell my doctor NO when she recommended a treatment I didn’t want. I could tell her NO when she wanted me to take a higher dose of medication. I can choose and decide what is good for me!

I am grateful to still have a choice over parts of my body -and mind!

I think about Ukraine and all the other wars that are still going on in this world. I think about the violence so many seem to glorify these days and how much it scares me. I wonder about the tone we have toward each other, the mistrust, and the disrespect.

I am grateful we still have peace!

Perhaps I shouldn’t share this so openly. I must come across like a Daisy Downer, which I am not. Maybe here in the blogging world, I should pretend things were normal and cheerful as they are every year, but they weren’t. This year’s Thanksgiving was different and for the life of me, I don’t know why and I am fearful it might be something like a premonition.

I am grateful I can still write in all honesty!

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41 thoughts on “Thanksgiving – It was Different This Year

  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving – It was Different This Year -

  2. What a wonderful way to reframe things and focus on gratitude. I really enjoyed reading your list. I too am baffled by many of the same things you are, but we will drive ourselves crazy if we dwell on the things we can not change.

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  3. I truly find your observance of gratitude very inspiring. It is a joy to read. Even with the hundreds of cracks we can identify in our fragile society, we still have so much. And it hurts my heart when I hear complaining. I particularly hone in on your thought that you economize because you can, not because you must. When we can save on our daily expenses we have more to share, as you did with the severely wounded dog. Thank you for being so willing to share your personal journey, Bridget. You do make a difference!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I always wished to make a difference. I suppose one way or another we all make a difference, perhaps not always in the same direction. πŸ™‚

      There is so much to be grateful for. I started the post in a cynical mood, which changed quickly when I realized how fortunate I am.

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  4. It’s great that you have finally sorted out what works for you foodwise. That’s something to be very grateful for, and lots of people are clueless. To be fair, it’s not an easy thing to be expert in. We celebrated our first, belated, Thanksgiving yesterday evening with 2 American guys who moved into our street recently. I loved the turkey and ham in a cream sauce with a mash topping. And on Wednesday I’ll be having a traditional British style Christmas lunch. Funny old world, isn’t it? You do have to laugh.

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  5. We do have so much to be grateful for. Although our family couldn’t get together because nearly everyone was sick, we have more than we deserve – warm houses, enough food, medicine, and better health in the near future to look forward to. God is good. All the time.

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      • I meant that in the kindest of ways. I always feel a little pride when I know that I’ve created something that made me happy without getting into all the trappings of the commercial side of things that try to tell us we must have everything they want to sell us. I was sick of the worlds Black Friday a week before it even happened, and my email is bombarded with messages to spend, spend, spend!
        Have a lovely Sunday! The only thing I’m buying today is the Sunday paper.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the practicality and honesty in this Bridget. If only we had much more of both, the world would be a much better place. As long as the small obscenely rich majority dictates how we all live I cannot see any improvement soon or any move towards greater equality.

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  7. Great positive post. Being thankful for what we have and what good we can do in the world is so much better than being resentful of what we do not have. Gratitude is the attitude. Sounds like a great Thanksgiving, one for the memory books. Allan

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  8. We do not have Thanksgiving here – nationally there probably isn’t much to be thankful for with regular bouts of load shedding, potholes everywhere, widespread corruption … stop right there! I know I have a LOT to be thankful for: a home of our own, family and friends, reasonable health and a beautiful country to live in. It is the politicians that do their best to spoil what could be an idyllic life.

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    • Africa sounds a lot like Ohio. πŸ™‚ We have potholes big car tires and they don’t do a thing. If you drive through one, you are out of luck. Corruption in America, yes please, by the pound. Would you like more? A healthcare system that only works as long as you are healthy and bankrupts people when they get sick. Gun violence and murders every day. As for load shedding, that only takes place if and when nature strikes.

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      • Canada has so much corruption it’s become more evident (to me) or maybe I just turned a blind eye to it before, but it’s sickening. I used to believe in knowing what’s going on but now, when I watch or read the news, I have a cynical or sarcastic comment about everything so I avoid it as much as possible. I’d rather read blogs by real people like you! πŸ™‚

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        • I suppose the world is changing and we start to realize. Political corruption for personal gain or power. It’s sickening indeed. Our priced are soring, yet the bonuses and profits the companies made are higher then ever. I am pretty upset myself.

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