Thursday, November 22, 2012
Every Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for the usual things. That I live close enough to my family that I can go home after dinner. That Aunt Bea's stuffing and Uncle Brian's gravy are worth all the chaos that comes with trying to fit an extended family this big around a table that became too small ten second cousins ago.
But this year, complements of Hurricane Sandy, and a storm surge that flooded swaths of my ancestral neighborhood of Gerritsen Brooklyn, I have a longer gratitude list.
I'm thankful that my entire clan is still alive. Spotty cell phone serve meant this took a day or two to verify this. One beloved cousin had two close calls in as many weeks, first in the flood, later from carbon monoxide from a neighbor's generator.
I'm thankful that my Aunt Bea didn't lose heat or hot water, so my parents and others had someplace to thaw out and take a shower.
I'm thankful that Aunt Bea's house got power restored well before Turkey Day because there was no way we were going to fit all those people in my apartment.
I'm thankful that we didn't run out of room to set out the garbage from my parents' basement. Forty years of sodden hoardings take up a lot of space.
I'm thankful that the garbage trucks came by before we had to empty out the garage.
I'm thankful that the waters receded before they did more damage to my parents' first floor. (The basement was flooded to the ceiling, so the kitchen floor needs some work, but that's it.) I don't think they could've handled the destruction of rooms they actually used.
I'm thankful that my cousins whose houses did get flooding on the first floor, rendering them uninhabitable have someplace nearby to live while they rebuild.
I'm thankful the gas shortage is over because I have no idea how we'd get 3 folding chairs, and 2 pies to Thanksgiving dinner on public transportation.
I'm thankful my apple pie crust seems to have turned out flaky because at this point, I simply don't have the emotional resources to cope with tough pastry.
I'm thankful that I'm not needed for any manual labor this weekend, because I really need to chill the fuck out.
What are you thankful for?