When I was young, I viewed Thanksgiving as a pre-Christmas and pre-shopping-season day of gluttony (I remember vividly one day, when I was a young teen, I ate so much I actually felt very ill – yuck!). Pilgrims and Indians were thought of when I was wee young, but as I grew older it just seemed a day to feast with family the same feast we’d be eating a month later at Christmas.
All of that has changed. For the past 10 or 15 years, Thanksgiving has become, for our small family of three, a day of thanks – giving.
Firstly, we are thankful for a day off. It is literally the first day all three of us have had off since, oh, sometime in June or July. That’s a mighty long time to go without a breather, but it is rather the norm for a small farm owner/operator. We enjoy our day off by sleeping in (for me, that means 6 AM – wow!), watching some movies, playing some games, and cooking some food – just for us. We decided long ago that traveling on Thanksgiving or having a house-full of guests just didn’t sound like a good day off.
Secondly, we are thankful to wrap up the harvest season. It seems like every year wraps up fairly nicely. We can look back and remember some of the crazy weather- or pest-related events of the season, but all-in-all we usually have very much to be thankful for each year at this time. We now begin planning for next season.
Thirdly, we are thankful for all the people who we’ve had the pleasure to work with or serve over this season: our intrepid farm helpers, the two couples we lease some of our orchard land from, our CSA members and farmers’ market customers, the farmers’ market managers and CSA pickup site hosts, the local (and not-so-local) suppliers of many of thie items our farm needs to source from year to year: seed companies, nurseries, garden supply companies, repair shops, Google, Constant Contact, Siteground, Credo Mobile, Fulton Bank, our webmaster at Veni Vortex, and (occasionally) Starbucks, just to name a few.
I’m thrilled with our Thanksgiving holiday now. It’s a day we look forward to as a nice little break, a shift to another season’s activities, and a time to be mindful and thankful for all the many, many people we have the pleasure of working with and working for each year.
Thank you, everyone!