Thanksgiving Day, 2008, dawned clear and sunny here at my woodland residence in Waldo, Maine. A thick coating of hoarfrost covered every surface and it delighted me to watch sunlight play across facets of each crystal, making them sparkle and shimmer.
I recall other Thanksgivings when conditions were more foreboding. For some time, I have traveled to the Lincolnville Beach home of friends to share the holiday with them. One year, a thick coating of ice covered trees, houses, cars and of course, roads. Creeping along a frozen thoroughfare near a river, I turned a sharp curve and there saw a policeman in the middle of the road, back-to. The cop was watching something, I didn’t know what.
This wouldn’t have bothered me except that the place where I was compelled to pause was no place for anyone to stop. The next vehicle to negotiate the icy road would probably come around the blind curve and slam into me. So I decided that I would proceed. The officer jumped in the air and waved his hands. Coming to my now-open window, he abused me verbally. I, in turn, told him that if my car got wrecked, he would be liable. At that point, he said that far up the road, a wrecker was pulling a vehicle out of the ditch and that was why the road was blocked.
I inquired as to road conditions elsewhere and the cop said similar situations were happening all over. I waited until the road was clear, drove another mile to a turn-around and went home to a lonely dinner of canned turkey and boiled sweet potatoes.
Another Thanksgiving Day saw the first snow of the season. This never melted, as most early snows do. Instead, it stayed on the ground until spring. That was the year when it was possible to shovel down a few feet and find unfrozen ground. We tilled our gardens early the following spring.
I remember the Thanksgiving while still living at home, we had a deer roast instead of the more traditional turkey. This was a small doe that I had shot and my grandma overcooked it, making it a bit dry. I recall being fascinated at the thick coating of condensation on the kitchen window, formed by all the steam coming from the cookstove. And though I was well below legal age, my grandpa gave me a bottle of beer. It tasted heavenly.
Thanksgivings come and Thanksgivings go and each year, we grow a bit older. Perhaps some day I will look back on this present Thanksgiving and remember little things such as the frosty, inviting morning.