As a single person, who is keeping a great deal of social distance as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps surging, my Thanksgiving connections and food were of as fine a quality as anyone in more conventional family circumstances or a less troublesome era could have experienced.
There are beets in the refrigerator that I have just cooked and peeled. I wash the stainless steel stock pot that I used to cook the beets. I glance out the window. There is an evening glow following a day of gray skies, thunder, lightening, and a soaker rain.
July was the one-year anniversary of my father’s death, and September holds the anniversaries of my parents’ birthdays. I have started tidying the kitchen. I am able to settle in and be more at home with myself. Washing dishes helps. Chopping and sautéing vegetables helps. I feel at peace.
It is neat to take jars of bread and butter pickles to church meals. They seem a symbol of something about the past, an inner yearning, something virtuous and related to hospitality. And it’s a locavore thing. The cucumbers and onions are from my garden. They traveled zero miles from farm to the kitchen counter. No fossil fuels burned. No packaging. No time to lose their freshness.
I had gone to Pocahontas County to attend the funeral of Bob Sernett. Bob and his wife Monica Sernett had lived across the road from my grandparents. They were of Bohemian descent and seemed to have more fun than we Gundersons of Norwegian heritage had.