thanksgiving6The other night, as we were cooking dinner, I remarked to my husband, “Isn’t it incredible how many different kinds of food we can eat?” We were making salads, and I had just finished slicing mushrooms. We had chopped up three different kinds of lettuce, a cucumber, a red onion, and heirloom cherry tomatoes. Not to mention grated carrots and chopped hard boiled eggs and sliced avocado. Our bowls were overflowing with a garden’s bounty.

And then we added rotisserie chicken.

I really am amazed (and grateful for) the variety of food we have in our lives. Our diet is fresh and vibrant, full of produce and healthy proteins. It’s such a given, food. We come to expect that it will be there. At least I have. I expect grocery stores to always be well stocked with whatever I’m looking for, no matter what the season.

I expect to find tomatoes in the dead of winter. I expect to find collards in July. I expect to be able to fulfill my craving for spicy or sweet or savory no matter what kind of weather is raging so long as I can reach a grocery store.

But I was given a harsh reminder this week that my expectations are too high. Nature and the universe still run this show.

roast-spiced-duck-with-plumsYou see, I’ve decided to roast a duck the day after Thanksgiving. And I’ve decided to roast this duck with plums. Plums are in season from May through early October, so I thought I would still find them in the grocery store.

But no. I searched two different stores, and I felt certain that if one of these stores didn’t have them that I would not find them anywhere. I considered ordering them online (that’s how committed I was to my plum duck), but I couldn’t justify the cost ($30 for one pound of plums!).

So there was to be no plum duck. I resigned myself to roasting the duck with oranges. Plain old orange duck. I was really down about it actually – almost wishing I hadn’t decided to roast a duck at all.

Suddenly, I was down about everything. My disappointment about the lack of plums became disappointment about not getting to see family during the holidays (even though I’m the one choosing not to see anyone). It became a disquieted dread about cooking the Thanksgiving meal by myself. It became financial fear and worry.

Suddenly the world was ending and it was all my fault.

Then this morning I had a reason to go into another store, and would you believe what I found?

Plums!plum

The small, purple fruit made me ridiculously happy. I’m excited about roasting the duck again. Excited about everything again. I’ll be alone most of the day Thursday, but that’s alright. I can go to a meeting. And I’m going to make myself appetizers and snack all day and watch TV. I might get lonely, but I can call people.

I have everything I need to have a perfectly lovely day by myself. Just me and my cats. And I’m okay with that.

Enjoying the little things, like plums, is important. Especially around a big holiday like Thanksgiving when we easily get caught up in the rush to put on a big show. Here are the little things I’ve noticed today that have perked me up:

  • Tea
    I subscribe to a monthly tea club (Plum Deluxe), and I received November’s shipment today! And I’m sipping a wonderful blend of black breakfast tea as we speak. YAY for fancy tea!
  • Collecting the mail
    Walking up to the street to the mailbox is a chance to breathe. It’s a chance to catch a little sunshine, maybe feel the breeze, and say a little prayer. It’s not a very long break from whatever I’m doing, but it’s always a welcomed break.
  • Fluffy socks
    My sister-in-law gave me a set of fluffy socks today! It’s been chilly here lately, and I’ve been running around the house with bare feet because I can’t find the socks I wore last winter. I love fluffy socks! These socks are awesome!
  • Cats
    I adore my cats. There’s nothing more peaceful than seeing both of them asleep on the bed, dreaming in the sunshine.

I’m sure there are more little things that I could add to this list. My husband getting home from work early, freshly laundered clothes, a hot shower (sometimes)…the list could get very long.

If you’re feeling a little blue this Thanksgiving week, try finding a few little things to be grateful for. Find the moments that usually get lost in the holiday rush – the smiles from friends and loved ones that you’re busy capturing in pictures before you capture them in your heart, the first succulent bite of turkey and gravy, or the cleanup (a task filled with joy or dread).

Stay in the moment, and these perfect little moments will find you.

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