ANTICIPATION. The 25-pound turkey in the oven. Dining room table, set with our finest china, extends to accommodate 18. The doorbell rings. We greet extended family with big hugs. Suitcases fill the guest rooms. Our traditional Thanksgiving to begin cozy and warm inside the house.
DISHEARTENED. The 14-pound turkey is in the oven. Two large tables are set on the lanai. The disposable plastic plates and silverware are positioned with plenty of space to safely distance the 9 expected guests.
The doorbell rings. Quick, put on your mask. Relatives are whisked through the house to the safety of the backyard. Kisses are thrown through masked faces. There are no hugs this year. Perhaps a few sneaked elbow bumps.
There will be two generations instead of three. Grandparents won’t be flying in. Airlines are filling center seats again. Out of state regulations require two weeks’ quarantine upon returning home. One of the aunties, a nurse on a Covid-19 unit, succumbed to the disease. Her chair is forever empty.
GIVING THANKS. Turkey, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. The familiarity of tradition raises our spirits. We bow our heads, thankful for the love of family. Laughter fills the lanai. We may be drinking from plastic, but we toast with the finest champagne.
It’s five p.m. We reach for our devices – cellphones, iPads, laptops. Extended family Thanksgiving Zoom. Thankful for the electronic era in which we live.
FAITHFUL ANTICIPATION. We adhere to the guidelines and keep each other safe. Cloaked in protection, we look ahead, faithfully anticipating big hugs and sleep-overs for Thanksgiving 2021.