Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

The Longest Thanksgiving

Jean Campbell
5 min readNov 28, 2019

--

My choices this year, as the last few brown leaves float to the forest floor and November slides to an end: eat at someone’s house I’d met once, eight days ago; order a full plate from the local diner on Wednesday and feast solo; or pretend Thanksgiving isn’t happening.

I chose C.

I awoke at 5:30 and my self-discipline was at its zenith. I was full of vigor knowing I had a whole day completely to myself! Morning routines kept me from thinking about the fact that the day was a holiday: I still had to dress, walk the dogs, and cook breakfast.

By the time I’d gotten my usual morning into swing, it was time to visit a Thanksgiving Estate Sale. I live in a community with a lot of old people, and death combined with selling a lifetime’s worth of goods does not stop for a holiday.

Also, I’m buying a new house in two weeks and need to furnish it.

I came away with a gently used Keurig and a pair of $150 shoes for $4, plus a bathmat that was neither unraveling nor a hideous color. As I hauled my three trips worth of used home furnishings to the car, thunder boomed. The temperature, too, spiraled down. I drove the winding streets in a heavy rain.

Once home, I unloaded the few items I wasn’t leaving in the car. I had a snack, took the dogs out briefly, watched the rain…and grew increasingly restless.

It was 9:40.

All around me I could feel the silence of the neighborhood. The bustle of cooks in kitchens, measuring out their ingredients; families lounging around while mom or grandma baked; football being watched, even by those who would rather watch the dog show. Snacking on home-baked cookies, the clink of wine glasses, windows glowing yellow and amber in the rainy gloom.

Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

Lackluster Gestures and Hours Before Me

I called my husband, who is on his own across the country, but he is sick with a cold. He had no plans. His illness forced him to cancel a three day trip to spend the holiday with his daughter three hours away.

--

--

Jean Campbell

Writer by day, reader by night, napper by afternoon.