Thursday, November 22, 2012
In 1986, it became a tradition for me to view traditional holidays with a wide lens. Single folks move away from families, parents die, divorces happen. Stir the pot and you get a new mixture of tradition--possibly every holiday. How to deal? Don’t plan, do. The Thanksgiving of 1986 was my first holiday following divorce and the first time my three children packed suitcases as part of a new tradition: Thanksgiving with Dad and Christmas with Mom. Bummer. But. . .my bachelor brother had a new job in the same state as my new job. We found a halfway point between our two cities and booked reservations for two at a place called “Hays House” in Council Grove, Kansas. As it turned out we had a wonderful time within the new tradition: don’t plan, do. The route from Manhattan, Kansas to Council Grove weaves through the heart of the Flint Hills which, in my mind, is silent with poetry and sacred beauty. And, the Hays House is fantastic. The feast is just like “home” really and truly (even the vegetarian, me, had plenty of delicious salads, side dishes, veges, etc.) and lemon meringue pie is now the Thanksgiving desert! The tradition my brother and I founded has continued low these many years. The people who show up change every year and have included in-laws and out-laws, uncles and aunts, best friends, sons and daughters and 3 year old grandsons. This year the group was back to two. Chuck, my most wonderful husband, spent the traditional Thanksgiving holiday with me. I’m just plain lucky that way.