Thanksgiving is sort of a weird holiday for me – my kids are with their dad, so in the past I usually did a “widows and orphans” Thanksgiving meal for those who were otherwise alone. Lately, with Bernardo, we’ve just had a quiet but joyful day; my best friend Rachel (who is BellaG on Ravelry) comes over, Bernardo and I cook, Rachel knits, Gina buzzes around all of us, and then we go on a long walk after dinner.
Hunkering down is good. It sort of marks the beginning of the cold season, when we won’t be outside much (except to ski) anyway. At this point, we are allowed to begin consuming the things I canned over the summer – pickled watermelon rind, pickled green cherry tomatoes, peaches, tomatoes. The knitting projects get serious. I make yogurt; I begin thinking once again about making cheese (perhaps this year I will actually do it).
Renovating this house – as traumatic and hectic as it can get – has shown us all the love that Mr. and Mrs. Delpriori put into taking care of their family. We have so much reverence for that. Our shed is finally built, and we’ve been migrating things out to it from the basement. Soon there will be a pool table in the basement, and Bernardo will have his friends Charlie and John over for games and cigars, and I will have more quiet time that I know what to do with – for reading, and (for lack of a better word) “decorating” (I guess I prefer “organizing this household for once and for all” but I know that’s one of those Holy Grails. I am certainly not making cheese while they’re smoking cigars).
We are settled. It’s taken a full year, officially – moving in together, even when you’ve lived practically next door to each other for 9 years, is no easy task. Throw in an autistic young woman, a college girl who’s passionate about EVERYTHING, a teenage daughter who would like to be punk except she’s got too much of a sense of humor, a big black dog and a small cinnamon bunny, and it’s a lot of…bouncing up and down. (And hot flashes on my part.)
But it’s good. It’s so good. It’s stable and loving and full of the best kind of work – making things, raising kids, helping people. Cooking amazing meal after amazing meal. Finding our way with one another and with this island – Staten Island is a world unto itself, and I have fallen completely in love with it. This Sunday we are taking a Very Big Step: we have chosen a church to join.
So yes, I am grateful. For Bernardo and this life we’re creating together. For this gorgeous house, and the love that keeps pouring into it. For my girlies, who teach me so much. For Gina, who daily demonstrates a world of innovation. For my work, which is so very fulfilling; for my colleagues, who keep me honest and inspired. For Rachel, who is my anchor (it is impossible to say which one of us is Watson and which is Holmes). For Mollydog and Lucybun, who are unfailingly entertaining and cuddly. For this weird island, for harbor life.
Tonight I am making chili (kind of my go-to for Eves, whether Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter). Bernardo is out at a Kiwanis meeting. Gina burbles in the living room – chili is one of her favorite meals. (There will also be an avocado/radicchio salad with feta and raspberry vinaigrette – she is a fiend for that one.)
And tomorrow, I will roast a duck (I am not big on turkey). I will make a sage stuffing (with a tiny bit of sausage), and mashed potatoes. I will make creamed spinach. Bernardo will make cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie (we have two little cooking pumpkins ready to be roasted). There will be knitting and football and long walks in leaf piles. There will be phone calls and texts and Facebook conversations.
There will be love.