Made pies with cranky cabin-fevered children this morning, and I asked myself, why? Why do I bust my butt every year to have American Thanksgiving in Canada? Why do I make all these dishes and clean the house in the middle of what inevitably becomes an outlandishly busy week?
I figured it out today. It's because Thanksgiving is a time when our family gets together, looks at each other, and says "we're all still here." We might still be weird and stressed and disagree with each other's politics and life choices, but we're here.
And of course, we are not. We're thousands of miles away.
So I bring my family north. I make my grandma's apple sausage stuffing. I make my mother-in-law's yam bake, with the mushrooms on top that made the sweet potato thing my moms favorite. And a ton of gravy, without which the whole feast is pointless for my dad.
I bring these things to the northern friends who have become our family. And I'll take them with me when we go. The green bean casserole with cashew cream for the dairy-freesters always present is now "my" green bean casserole recipe, since I've made it three years. My friends bread machine bun recipe is the ONLY bun recipe. And mashed potatoes have been traded for deep fried potatoes that appear at a holiday party wherever my bishop and his family do.
So that's why I am doing it. For my family far away that is so supportive, but once in a long while I miss till it hurts. And for my friends up here, who would laugh if I apologized for the state of my floors, and then do all the dishes. It's worth one hectic week.