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Posts Tagged ‘Thanksgiving’

Leftovers…

I don’t know about you, but I was raised in a “don’t waste food” house, no matter how much we didn’t like something. (I tried telling my grandma that no kid liked spinach and liver and shouldn’t be forced to eat them, especially not every day, but I’m sure her being raised in the Great Depression had something to do with her eating-everything insistence.) I would love when we’d go to a family member or friend’s house and they wouldn’t have this rule, although I’d usually find myself eating something I didn’t like, anyway, my grandma’s voice in my ear. (And it’s still in my ear all these years later!) But it was nice having the choice, the freedom, not to taste – or finish – everything.

Usually, by week’s end, my grandma would throw all the extra, uneaten leftovers into a pot with a chicken carcass and it would be delicious, perhaps because I couldn’t see the spinach and liver that had been blended in with the 101 other things. (Not to mention I also couldn’t look at the chicken carcass – poor guy – while the soup was cooking.)

Now, a couple decades later, what do you suppose I did with the leftover Thanksgiving turkey?

And a week later, the soup’s still delicious (only I removed the carcass this time).

What did you do with your leftovers? Did you make anything creative from them? Freeze them? Give them away?

What childhood food(s) did you hate?

Do you make your kids eat everything?

Now, I suppose I should probably do something with the rest of the cranberry sauce (which are more sweet than sour, with pomegranate seeds and oranges in them) – maybe make soup? Ladle them onto ice cream? Any ideas?

Thankful…

On Wednesday, in my Non-Couch blog, I posted this site’s first official blog post, They Say it’s my Birthday. There, I promised myself to blog every day (despite other things). I am already a day behind, so here’s one of my two blog posts of today!

Yesterday, I had quite a few discussions with people about what they are thankful for, the top contenders being health, family, friends, their boyfriends/girlfriends/husbands/wives, a job, losing a job to enable them to be free to discover what they really want to be doing, a roof over their heads, and so forth.

Of course, my usual response, Thanksgiving or not, is my friends — especially all those who have offered me shelter, who never blinked an eye when offering me a couch, air mattress, yoga mat, floor, and sometimes even a guest room bed to sleep on. In nearly 24 months of not having a permanent address now, all of my couches have been offered to me by friends versus my having to ask them for them (aside from doing so in a mass-email-type of way in my Facebook status). A strong testament to my couch hosts’ characters, I think. Not a day goes by where I do not appreciate how lucky I am having such amazing friends. (If any of you are reading this, you have no idea how thankful I really am!

One blog post cannot begin to cover all the couch experiences I am thankful for having, all the friends that I have gotten closer to after a few nights on their couch (which sounds salacious, but I don’t mean it that way!). There was my friend’s energetic 12-year-old son who would make me tea every afternoon, showing me his garden one minute, wanting to play Super Mario Bros. the next, contrasted with the mentally fit 92-year-old woman I befriended in the hospital this summer who wished she could still reach the vending machine buttons without the piercing pain in her leg and arm if she tried. There was the friend going through a break-up, questioning every last detail of the relationship (“Maybe I shouldn’t have worn that shirt”) while another was in the initial, lovey-dovey phase of a relationship. There were a few friends mourning deaths, ordering coffins, writing eulogies, while a few welcomed life, pregnancies and births, planning baby showers and christenings. There was the friend whose bird would sing all night, keeping me awake, and when he wasn’t singing, liked to listen to 103.5, “Delilah After Dark,” the love song station in L.A. Soon, I got accustomed to his singing and had trouble sleeping without it. A few months later, he was diagnosed with a tumor and only had a few days to live. (Peace be with you, Dusty.) I think of him every time I listen to 103.5, often turning it on just as a tribute to him. There were the three kids under four that I stayed with – then baby-sat, not having baby-sat for years before that (don’t tell the parents!), then the three teenage boys I stayed with, which was a much different experience than the toddlers (and, luckily, didn’t involve diapers!)…

The examples go on and on. But no matter what was going on inside friends’ houses and apartments, one thing stayed the same: we got to know each other on a deeper level than a casual Facebook comment, text message, or thirty-second party conversation, and for that, I am extremely thankful. Over my several couch-surfing months, I realized how starved I had been for true face-to-face communication that I eventually cancelled my texting plan (and I was once a textaholic!), vowing to only call, and preferably see, friends instead.

I look forward to countless other couch adventures and friends and experiences to be thankful for in the coming weeks and months.

From now on, every day, I am going to think of at least one non-couch thing I am thankful for, too, maybe even date each thought and put them into a box, to reread months from now, like a time capsule.

What are you thankful for right now, this very moment?