November 22, 2018 (Thanksgiving).

I went back in time to the chauffeur’s flat, that place we stayed in a remote corner of Scotland one Thanksgiving, unlike any other. Near some small, port town on the coast by the ferries over to Northern Ireland. And getting off the boat on our way to Belfast, the late November rain, the smell of coal fires, cuddling on a sofa with our tea, in between times. All the leaves were down by then, at that Scottish estate. Everything damp and muddy, all the colors run down. Those bright red pheasants the Scots hunt, that look like fallen leaves in clumps by the country roads, too dumb or slow to avoid getting hit. And further back still, to the Thanksgivings we spent at Dawn’s parents’ house by the lake. On the deck with a flannel coat, a big beer and a cigar staring off into the distance, the tall trees and the homes on the far shore, all that gray sky mirroring the lake — the dull, changing light, how time moves like that too, on a slow descent you don’t notice until it’s dark.

It was Thanksgiving again and I was back in the sitting room alone with my chamber music and beer, the sound of Dawn’s mom in the kitchen stirring the gravy, the comfort of a TV, a couple kids mumbling, a dog napping, dishes and spoons, my reflection in the glass older now, but content — the one day a year all we have to do is give thanks for each other and our abundances, all we have, and had to let go.

Categories: Memoir, prose, writing

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23 replies

  1. Just when I’m dozing off in the cosiness of it all, you whack me in the ribs with those last five words.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very effective atmospheric post. I could feel the damp grayness, or I guess greyness, since it’s Scotland, I spent a winter semester at a university in Yorkshire, and still get a stiff neck and damp socks just thinking about it. I thought if it was chamber music, you had to drink sherry or port or something ??

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That sums up Thanksgiving, and fall, nicely. The smell of coal burning takes me back many years, to a town named Dunedin. Sounds Scottish, but in fact is in New Zealand, where it channels a Scottish and Maori heritage.

    Hope your turkey day went well.

    Liked by 1 person

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