An ode to the turkey sandwich

Ten years ago, I hosted my first Thanksgiving dinner.

It was, for various reasons, anxiety-inducing. Overwhelming. And ultimately, very memorable.

For various reasons, mainly random surgeries, I didn’t host again until last year. And then I hosted yesterday.

And I accept that our new holiday traditions will be quirky things, like “Cheese Night Christmas Eve,” or really having no traditions at all.

I planned a basic menu and let friends fill in the rest. I assigned some general-tasks. I chilled my li’l self out. I missed my family in Illinois, but we did FaceTime… twice. I was surrounded by adults going through the mountain of sales ads, comparing random things on iPads, talking about everything from replacement ink cartridges to favorite holiday memories. For several hours, I could look out the kitchen window and see 5 happy kids and one ecstatic puppy playing in the backyard. And for the whole day, we had a 6-year-old birthday princess flitting about, smiling, demanding attention, and making a little magic.

It was a good day.

While the food is always special on these days, it was the 8pm-ish turkey sandwich that was my favorite. It was simple and fresh and light on my stomach, and as I sat to write tonight, the application of that was so clear: Sometimes, when we take what is leftover, what looks like scraps, we can fashion something that doesn’t seem like any big deal into something very complete and satisfying.

For us, that is what the past year or so has looked like. Plans change? Dreams evaporate? Things don’t look how we thought? Take what is left. Build something better.

The process might be messy… it might leave crumbs on the counter or more dishes in the sink, so to speak… but the outcome just might be surprisingly worth it.