This is the first Thanksgiving I haven’t cooked in 30-plus years, give or take one or two when we visited family in Florida or the Franksgiving (what we call Thanksgiving in our house) we spent in Paris. It doesn’t even feel like Thanksgiving week since I’m not making grocery lists, washing china, and setting the table.

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
Thornton Wilder

Our tiny condo feels full to bursting with two other adults and a dog home for the weekend, so naturally the former holiday dinners for 15-20 people are over. Things change. New traditions take over. We’re off to spend it at my oldest daughter’s house. The other cook in the family.

With the extra time I have, I plan on doing nothing but read over the holiday weekend. Unadulterated glee runs through my veins as I type this! Of course, I am grateful for the important things in life–family, friends, health, live music, popcorn, red wine, hot water, etc.–but this year I especially would like to give a shout out to all the authors out there. The people who sit in front of a computer or pad of paper and create worlds from nothing for the rest of us to enjoy. It’s not easy. So, thank you to my daughter who likes to cook, and the writers who finish books. I plan on taking advantage of both this week.

And let’s not forget the poets. This poem, “Thanks,” by W.S. Merwin seems timely in the wake of all the sorrow in the world.

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you

we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions
back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead

whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you

in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you

with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you

we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is.