Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Covid19 Thanksgiving

 

This Thanksgiving Day will be precisely the way we always celebrate, and paradoxically unique in the annals of the Quinn Family.

Our plans began several weeks ago when we realized that the large group of people we ordinarily invite for the Thanksgiving meal were mostly holed up in their homes. (We live in a 55+ community.) They venture out occasionally, but have been socializing mainly in small groups. So, anticipating their reluctance to come over today, I was “uninviting” them; I realize some might still have wanted to come, but most would have been uncomfortable with the presence of so many people. (We were uneasy about it ourselves.)

Yet I also wanted to cook the usual and complete Thanksgiving dinner. Jerry and I enjoy cooking together and make several dishes in advance. I made an awesome cranberry sauce (and wouldn’t think of serving the yucky cranberry sauce from a can that John Yoo likes so much). I also loved making my mom’s stuffing with matzah; I poignantly remember how she and I would cook together with lots of laughter thrown in. Jerry was in charge of the mashed potatoes, free of lumps, and the gravy and pumpkin pie. Today I will also be making green beans, sans mushroom soup. We shuffled back and forth in the kitchen, jumping in to wash a spoon or stir a pot for each other as needed.

Meanwhile, we decided to limit our guest list to my husband’s brother and his wife.

But it was not to be. His brother, who suffers periodic sinus infections (and no one is allowed in our house when they are ill due to my husband’s chronic lung problems), called Tuesday night to say he was “fighting something.” I suspect he was struggling more with his fear of exposure to any lurking Covid germs in our house, but of course, we were understanding and wished him well.

Since our next-door neighbors had canceled their plans with a relative who decided to have a houseful of people, we invited them over Wednesday, and they were happy to accept. They are fun and sunny folks, so we expect we will have a lovely meal together.

Oh, did I mention our friends who will be dropping by? When we uninvited everyone, we invited people to stop by for a “take-out” meal just before we’d be sitting down. My dear friend and her husband took us up on our offer and will be coming by with old take-out boxes that she likes to save, packing up their portions and taking them home. Although it feels very odd, I know they wouldn’t have wanted to stay. Her husband has had bouts of two virulent cancers and his body is still recovering—too much risk to go much of anywhere. So we will load them up with food, share virtual hugs, and send them on their way.

* * * * *

It would be easy for me to grouse about my frustration of having to bow to the COVID gods and compromise this Thanksgiving Day, but I refuse to give in. My husband and I have shared the joy of putting the meal together; we have allowed his brother to make his own choices about this special day; we have given the gift of our cooking to a dear friend and her husband. And we have opened our table to neighbors/friends who would otherwise have been alone on this special day.

We all have much to be thankful for. We are healthy. We are alive.

And we will be together, in heart and soul.

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  1. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    If anyone has a thought you’d like to share about your own Thanksgiving Day, please feel free–where you’re struggling or celebrating.

    • #1
    • November 26, 2020, at 7:54 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. OldPhil Coolidge

    Because our son, DIL, and grandsons live 10 hours away, we’re going to our community lodge/restaurant for a big Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll be eating on the deck today, the temperature is predicted to be 67 and sunny! We were planning to go with another couple, but they begged off because the wife is kind of a Covid ninny, but hey, no problem. She did let him play golf with our group yesterday, though.

    Tomorrow we’ll bop up the mountain to a winery to pick up our monthly shipment and have a glass on the deck. Here’s what it will look like, seasonally adjusted, of course:

    See the source image

    • #2
    • November 26, 2020, at 8:24 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Because our son, DIL, and grandsons live 10 hours away, we’re going to our community lodge/restaurant for a big Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll be eating on the deck today, the temperature is predicted to be 67 and sunny! We were planning to go with another couple, but they begged off because the wife is kind of a Covid ninny, but hey, no problem. She did let him play golf with our group yesterday, though.

    Tomorrow we’ll bop up the mountain to a winery to pick up our monthly shipment and have a glass on the deck. Here’s what it will look like, seasonally adjusted, of course:

    See the source image

    Wow! Spectacular! @oldphil, weren’t you the one who had a glass for me with your wife sometime ago?? Have another! And it’s so cool to have a winery so close! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.

    • #3
    • November 26, 2020, at 8:29 AM PST
    • 1 like
  4. OldPhil Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Because our son, DIL, and grandsons live 10 hours away, we’re going to our community lodge/restaurant for a big Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll be eating on the deck today, the temperature is predicted to be 67 and sunny! We were planning to go with another couple, but they begged off because the wife is kind of a Covid ninny, but hey, no problem. She did let him play golf with our group yesterday, though.

    Tomorrow we’ll bop up the mountain to a winery to pick up our monthly shipment and have a glass on the deck. Here’s what it will look like, seasonally adjusted, of course:

    See the source image

    Wow! Spectacular! @oldphil, weren’t you the one who had a glass for me with your wife sometime ago?? Have another! And it’s so cool to have a winery so close! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.

    That was me. We are members at two wineries, both within 30 minutes. 

    • #4
    • November 26, 2020, at 8:32 AM PST
    • 1 like
  5. JoelB Member

    My church has been handing out meals to needy families by means of a drive-through in our parking lot. We also pray with those who desire it. Some have so many needs and cares. It is a reminder of how blessed we are.

    • #5
    • November 26, 2020, at 8:43 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    JoelB (View Comment):

    My church has been handing out meals to needy families by means of a drive-through in our parking lot. We also pray with those who desire it. Some have so many needs and cares. It is a reminder of how blessed we are.

    That is wonderful, @joelb. We are indeed blessed. 

    • #6
    • November 26, 2020, at 8:48 AM PST
    • Like
  7. EODmom Coolidge

    In Las Vegas with the 4 Brothers there has been puzzling, brothering (a LOT of brothering,) some hiking in striking Red Rock Canyon and this afternoon we will have lunch out. We took the youngest niece in the family to the Strip last night for dinner (including some really tasty Fat Bstard oysters from WA) and watching the water show at Bellagio. (I’ve not been here for years and it was a revelation – many people and loads of CA license plates, but not as usual I’m told.) The Brothering has been the best. These 3 of the 7 brothers are my particular personal favorites but I am deeply thankful for their love and kindness throughout our marriage. 

    • #7
    • November 26, 2020, at 9:19 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. CACrabtree Coolidge

    My wife and I can relate. We live in a retirement community (in Ohio) where all of us are extremely conscious of the pandemic. Although we haven’t lost anyone yet (knock on wood) there have been three cases of COVID in our midst.

    It’s a bit of a dreary day here (cold and cloudy), which sort of matches the mood, but we’re soldiering on. In normal times, we would gather at our recreational center for a community feast but now just about everyone will be “sheltering in place”.

    My wife and I feel badly for our neighbors who will be having their meals alone. This year, some of them have lost spouses (through illnesses other than COVID). For them, Thanksgiving will be just another day. We will be inviting a couple of them over for coffee this evening (and, yes, we’ll be sitting far apart).

    All of us have faith that we’ll get through it. It could always be worse. We could have Andrew Cuomo for a Governor. (Slap myself on the wrist.)

    • #8
    • November 26, 2020, at 9:38 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Your phrase, “uncomfortable with the presence of so many people” really stood out for me. This is what they want you to feel, forever. They want us isolated, alone, and afraid of every other person, so when they lift the restrictions you will love Them as your Saviors. We cannot allow ourselves to get into this mindset, we just can’t. You have the right idea, Susan, and I hope you, Jerry, and all your friends, have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    I’m sort of giving thanks that my sister and her family disowned us last year, so we don’t have to feel one bit guilty for being by ourselves this Thanksgiving. We will enjoy our prime rib, mashed potatoes, asparagus, and cheesecake, and give thanks for living in this Greatest Country on God’s Green Earth.

    • #9
    • November 26, 2020, at 11:16 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    CACrabtree (View Comment):
    My wife and I feel badly for our neighbors who will be having their meals alone. This year, some of them have lost spouses (through illnesses other than COVID). For them, Thanksgiving will be just another day. We will be inviting a couple of them over for coffee this evening (and, yes, we’ll be sitting far apart).

    Thanks so much for sharing this thought, @cacrabtree. We have finished our time with our friends, so now I can join my other friends here to learn their plans and experiences. We do the best we can.

    • #10
    • November 26, 2020, at 1:51 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    EODmom (View Comment):
    These 3 of the 7 brothers are my particular personal favorites but I am deeply thankful for their love and kindness throughout our marriage.

    Love this, @eodmom. I have a sister who doesn’t speak with me and a brother who doesn’t communicate either. So I love hearing stories of the love amongst siblings and family. Thanks for warming my heart.

    • #11
    • November 26, 2020, at 1:52 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    They want us isolated, alone, and afraid of every other person, so when they lift the restrictions you will love Them as your Saviors. We cannot allow ourselves to get into this mindset, we just can’t.

    Some people have been stricken with so much calamity that they have difficulty finding their way clear, @rushbabe49. I don’t know their struggles, so I try to be, at the very least, kind. They were so deeply grateful to be able to stop by for a few moments, greet us, and have a delicious dinner in their home.

    • #12
    • November 26, 2020, at 1:54 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    It’s Friday, and even though we had a lovely day yesterday, it’s hard not to give a little thought to what didn’t happen. Our friends who picked up their food asked us to fill their to-go containers; they preferred not to enter the dining room. I also received a beautiful and loving email, thanking us, dish by dish, for the delicious meal. But she also added they ate in silence, without being able to visit with us. Our neighbors who came over were great guests and enjoyed the food. But we settled for “virtual hugs,” when they arrived and when they left.

    Still, I remind myself that the day, in fact life itself, gives us endless reasons to be thankful. And I am.

    • #13
    • November 27, 2020, at 7:25 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. EHerring Coolidge

    Family Thanksgiving, and it was no different than other years but then we have been together since the start, sharing homeschooling duties as grandparents. I ate too much. What a blessing for a normal afternoon and evening.

    • #14
    • November 27, 2020, at 8:00 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    EHerring (View Comment):

    Family Thanksgiving, and it was no different than other years but then we have been together since the start, sharing homeschooling duties as grandparents. I ate too much. What a blessing for a normal afternoon and evening.

    And how delightful to hear of “normal” used as a descriptor, @eherring. Sweet.

    • #15
    • November 27, 2020, at 8:24 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Front Seat Cat Member

    What a beautiful post Susan. Very heart warming and that’s the right temperature for the heart after everything we’ve been through!

    • #16
    • November 27, 2020, at 8:33 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  17. Unsk Member

    In spite of my governor and my mayor’s restrictions, I went to Thanksgiving Day party hosted by the father of a friend of my daughters where there were more than 25 people, and I still have no signs of COVID! There was not a mask in sight. 

    Also there was a protest at the Mayor’s house of his ( and the governor’s) restriction against outdoor dining. I hope they ruined his Thanksgiving dinner. 

    • #17
    • November 27, 2020, at 9:12 AM PST
    • 1 like
  18. She Reagan
    SheJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn: And we will be together, in heart and soul.

    Indeed. Happy Thanksgiving, Susan. You, and many of my Ricochet soulmates were with me, although I was (physically) by myself. Beloved stepdaughter tested positive (she was getting past the quarantine period) but granddaughter was “iffy,” so we all stayed put. (Several of you on this site invited me to your homes, and I’ll be forever grateful for that; as it turned out, I was a bit under the weather myself–probably just a cold–and so best that I kept close to home, too.)

    Jenny and Peachy and I will get together in the next couple of weeks, and when we do, we will be thankful. As a child of divorce, Jenny grew used to the idea, early in life, that holidays, celebrations, and blessings were in the heart, and that outside and supposedly (in their own minds) all-powerful agencies such as the ‘court,’ no matter their ability to apportion the daily obligations of family life with the soi-disant wisdom of Solomon WRT the “letter” of the law, had absolutely no say in the “spirit” of it.

    After all, in the words of the motto of the Catholic university at which the late Mr. She taught for forty years, “Spiritus Est Qui Vivificat” (taken from Corinthians, 3:6–“for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.”)

    We shall celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving when we get together, whenever that is. For even in this sad and stupid year, we have much to be thankful for.

    Meanwhile, Jenny laid a place for the cat at her Thanksgiving table. Here is “Christmas Kitten” enjoying her feast:

    And I woke up, joyfully on morning of the day itself, to find myself warm and safe and “stucco’d with quadrupeds … all over” (h/t Walt Whitman). Three cats, and a Great Pyrenees. What’s odd is that the cats who (collectively) weigh about 1/10 what the GP does, somehow managed to take up far more room in the bed and make much more of an impression than Xena herself . . .

     

     

     

    • #18
    • November 27, 2020, at 9:40 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  19. Ida Claire Member

    I have a friend with a proper Old Macdonald’S style farmstead. I have a large garden, and live in the Washington state on the wet side, where you can garden year round.
    Two weeks ago I went over and helped slaughter and clean the turkeys. They also made butter, cheese and salami. 
    I brought potatoes, kale and brussels sprouts salad, and a squash pie and apple pie. I also baked bread , biscuits, and made crackers. 
    Because they have four kids and big hearts that leads to them inviting all strays to the table, I knew I had to cook for a small army. 
    On thanksgiving we gathered (and sure enough there were strays :-) ). We cooked the turkey in a wood fired oven, played board games, ate far too much, and went for a walk. 
    In other words, it was wonderfully normal. 
    I’ve known two people that attempted suicide (1 successfully). I worry far more about the isolation being imposed on vulnerable people than I do this virus. I respect others that run a different calculation of risk, I just wish they could extend the same courtesy. 

    • #19
    • November 27, 2020, at 4:55 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Chris Gregerson Member
    Chris GregersonJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    My wife has been ill for a few years now and we haven’t gone to many family events. This year our plan was Hungry Man Turkey TV dinners or maybe go to iHop or Cracker Barrell. We have a couple of neighbors who usually have family over, but not this year. As an alternative to TV dinners or going out we did an inverse moveable feast. We decided to make different dishes then pack them up and send them to our neighbors. That way we could get the full Thanksgiving effect without the need to actually sup with others.

    Now, don’t bring up the logic that the others prepared and packed their dishes, which could lead to “The Virus.” It was fun and we’re probably do it again at Christmas. If you’re interested I made sweet potato-apple-bacon hash, cranberry orange relish, and the stuffing (followed the bags instructions), and bought a Honey Baked Ham(r). One neighbor make turkey, gravy, heavenly mashed potatoes, and a pumpkin roll. The other neighbor made spinach soufflé and mush rolls. The dinner was delightful.

    • #20
    • November 28, 2020, at 9:01 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  21. Quinnie Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It’s Friday, and even though we had a lovely day yesterday, it’s hard not to give a little thought to what didn’t happen. Our friends who picked up their food asked us to fill their to-go containers; they preferred not to enter the dining room. I also received a beautiful and loving email, thanking us, dish by dish, for the delicious meal. But she also added they ate in silence, without being able to visit with us. Our neighbors who came over were great guests and enjoyed the food. But we settled for “virtual hugs,” when they arrived and when they left.

    Still, I remind myself that the day, in fact life itself, gives us endless reasons to be thankful. And I am.

    I appreciate your honesty and openness. You must be wonderful gossip fodder for your community. Thanksgiving became a small affair in our house due to my wife contracting covid (she’s fine). Hard to believe we began this nonsense in March of this year. It won’t end until our current President has safely been escorted from the White House. I, too, am very grateful for my many blessings.

    • #21
    • November 28, 2020, at 10:45 AM PST
    • 1 like
  22. OldPhil Coolidge

    Quinnie (View Comment):
    It won’t end until our current President has safely been escorted from the White House.

    Science!

    • #22
    • November 28, 2020, at 11:27 AM PST
    • 1 like
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Ida Claire (View Comment):
    I’ve known two people that attempted suicide (1 successfully). I worry far more about the isolation being imposed on vulnerable people than I do this virus. I respect others that run a different calculation of risk, I just wish they could extend the same courtesy. 

    What a generous soul you are, @idaclaire. Yes, I think some of us have to take a closer look at our priorities. The celebrations sounds just wonderful.

    • #23
    • November 28, 2020, at 3:09 PM PST
    • Like
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Chris Gregerson (View Comment):

    My wife has been ill for a few years now and we haven’t gone to many family events. This year our plan was Hungry Man Turkey TV dinners or maybe go to iHop or Cracker Barrell. We have a couple of neighbors who usually have family over, but not this year. As an alternative to TV dinners or going out we did an inverse moveable feast. We decided to make different dishes then pack them up and send them to our neighbors. That way we could get the full Thanksgiving effect without the need to actually sup with others.

    Now, don’t bring up the logic that the others prepared and packed their dishes, which could lead to “The Virus.” It was fun and we’re probably do it again at Christmas. If you’re interested I made sweet potato-apple-bacon hash, cranberry orange relish, and the stuffing (followed the bags instructions), and bought a Honey Baked Ham(r). One neighbor make turkey, gravy, heavenly mashed potatoes, and a pumpkin roll. The other neighbor made spinach soufflé and mush rolls. The dinner was delightful.

    How wonderful! And I just had dinner and I’m hungry all over again! Good for you, @chrisgregerson!

    • #24
    • November 28, 2020, at 3:11 PM PST
    • Like
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Quinnie (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    It’s Friday, and even though we had a lovely day yesterday, it’s hard not to give a little thought to what didn’t happen. Our friends who picked up their food asked us to fill their to-go containers; they preferred not to enter the dining room. I also received a beautiful and loving email, thanking us, dish by dish, for the delicious meal. But she also added they ate in silence, without being able to visit with us. Our neighbors who came over were great guests and enjoyed the food. But we settled for “virtual hugs,” when they arrived and when they left.

    Still, I remind myself that the day, in fact life itself, gives us endless reasons to be thankful. And I am.

    I appreciate your honesty and openness. You must be wonderful gossip fodder for your community. Thanksgiving became a small affair in our house due to my wife contracting covid (she’s fine). Hard to believe we began this nonsense in March of this year. It won’t end until our current President has safely been escorted from the White House. I, too, am very grateful for my many blessings.

    You are so kind. I don’t know if I’m gossip fodder–I’m out of the gossip loop! ;-) I’m glad your wife has recovered’ I think all of us are sick of this whole year! Thanks for chiming in, @quinnie!

    • #25
    • November 28, 2020, at 3:13 PM PST
    • Like