|In Maui its not unusual for clouds to suddenly roll in along the mountains.|
Every Thanksgiving Day of my adult life except for the past three years of living in the “world” I’d dash out of bed early in the morning, hurriedly shower and dress to begin the day and the process of making the big Thanksgiving Day dinner, having made the eight to ten pumpkin pies the previous day.
|Entrance to the beautiful beach in Kaanapali.|
The time would quickly pass, as I multi-tasked making one familiar dish after another, enjoying every moment as I jammed our multiple refrigerators with one pan of yet-to-be-cooked dishes in preparation of later in the days’ appearance of family members, or not.
In later years, three of four of our grown kids and their families (living in the area) often spent the holidays at the “other side” or had begun to develop their own traditions, and Tom and I were alone, a not uncommon scenario for families of divorce and multiple and varying family lifestyles.
|A view of the sea and cloud as we walked the boardwalk in Kaanapali Beach.|
Those last years in Minnesota, whether we were alone on holidays or together with family and friends, Tom and I made the day festive about the varied dishes, fabulous smells wafting through the air and, thankful for our lives filled with abundance in many ways.
Today, not unlike this third Thanksgiving in a row, I awoke this morning, hurriedly showered and dressed, and turned on the hot water for my tea. There’s no food to cook when yesterday I roasted two chickens and vegetables that we’ll happily reheat tonight, adding a salad and fresh cooked green beans, prepared in a matter of minutes, not hours.
|Along the boardwalk at Kaanapali Beach.|
Do I miss the preparations of years past? Not, at all. I often ask myself how I seemingly happily spent so much of my time cooking, cleaning, and preparing meals in my old life when now, the simplicity of the way we eat takes little time mostly spent in washing, chopping, and dicing vegetables for side dishes and salad.
|Kiosks appeared every few hundred feet offering various ocean activities.|
Of course, we miss the playful and meaningful interactions with family during get-togethers That fact will never change, soon to be revived in a matter of weeks on the Big Island. But the work, we don’t miss at all.
|Restaurants line the boardwalk at Kaanapali beach.|
As time has marched on, we’ve come more to the realization that it never was about the food, the beautifully decorated house and the endless gifts under the tree, the 18 decorated Easter baskets carefully arranged on the massive dining room table or, the bunny rabbit cake, although each of these aspects and many more added to the traditions and festivities.
|Whether it’s the ocean or the mountains, Maui is breathtaking in every direction.|
In time, those traditions will be but a distant memory for all of us, as new traditions are born, each bespeaking this time in life, for us, for them, and for generations to come.
|Skeleton of a humpback whale at the Whalers Village.|
Soon, as we anticipate their arrival, we wrap our brains around simple time spent together, sharing stories, playing games, gazing out at the sea all the while embracing these special moments, that in themselves, become the new traditions of another place and time.
|The boardwalk is cluttered with accouterment appealing to the tourist population.|
So, today, we’ll happily enjoy our “leftovers” put together in a matter of minutes for another fine meal, on yet another fine day, knowing that what we have today is all we want and what the future soon brings when we’re all together again, is all we’ll need.
Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate today. And, happy day to all.
Photo from one year ago today, November 27, 2013:
In error, yesterday I accidentally posted a photo from this date one year ago. As a result, there will be no year ago photo for today.