As our home here in Nashville fills with those distinctively rich Thanksgiving aromas, courtesy of my amazing wife, it's hard not to reminisce about past holidays spent almost every year in my childhood home in Charleston, SC. That's where Mom held court on this particular holiday, her absolute favorite. With her signature graciousness, warmth and unique style, she cajoled friends and family alike to come spend Thanksgiving in her home. And every year, large groups from around the country and sometimes world would gather to be overcome with extreme hospitality, remarkable stories, copious amounts of laughter and of course, never ending platters of food. And sometimes odd food at that, in line with Mom's incessant penchant for experimenting - i.e. everyone remembers the 'baked grapefuit' year.
In the years since Mom and Dad's passing and the inevitable end of those yearly pilgrimages to Charleston, the memories - even smells - remain engrained. What those Thanksgivings ultimately meant for Mom was a time to live, love and laugh with those special people in her life. And while I may not have necessarily recognized the importance at the time, why Mom so fervently cajoled and plied to ensure her home was full - I do now.
Thanksgivings just like the prior are simply not guaranteed. Akin to every year, day or moment of our lives, circumstances happen. Relationships happen. Life happens. So now...is everything.
As such, whether alone, with friends or with family, here's wishing each of you a very happy Thanksgiving, filled with beautiful aromas, sweet memories and a whole lot of love.
And maybe even a baked grapefruit.