Hello my people (aka anyone reading my blog, which automatically makes you my people)
I’ve been meaning to post about our Paris restaurant debauchery, but then I got busy and then I got the stomach flu and it just didn’t seem right, on many levels, especially after I heard this story on NPR, about people in Nairobi and India who don’t have access to indoor plumbing, and I wrestled with the whole concept of having a blog on my freaking FREQUENT travels to Paris and France and the decadence of it all….I still wrestle with that, and my feelings about Thanksgiving, which I celebrated for many years along with all my fellow countrymen and women without giving much thought to the origins, and what it meant to Native American people. I’m reading a book given to me by my best-est CEPR best gf, called Open_Veins_of_Latin_America and it has opened my mind in all kinds of ways. I know that I have some Native American ancestors and I try to learn as much as I can about the damage caused by the powerfuls quest for empire, and how awesome cultures have been eliminated through the centuries, all for the quest for the almighty dollar. The more things change the more they stay the same…
But, on the other hand, there really is a need for a day dedicated to giving thanks, and for appreciating family and friends and preparing and serving and sharing food. I am continually grateful for so many things, and this year was no different. I was missing my best girl but my boys were here, and it was so nice to see their now so grown up faces,
hearing them say hey D-Boo (a remnant of the days when we all gave each other hip-hop names). I can’t believe that they were 9 and 11 when I met them. Wow! (I don’t have a digital picture of them from that time, but this is from Paris in 2006. AWWW!)
Back to the present, I am grateful that we had such a fabulous meal: A heritage turkey from Springfield farms and mashed potatoes from Jim’s garden and oyster stuffing and chestnut stuffing and a pumpkin pie made from Jim’s pumpkin and beets from my stepdad’s sister’s garden and organic homemade cranberry sauce and greens and carrots made by Mark’s girlfriend and we had some fabulous Burgundy Grand Cru to enjoy along with the meal.
And the day after the feast (the horribly named Black Friday), I am grateful that people all over the country came together to fight for their fellow citizens who work for poverty level wages and can lose their jobs for speaking out about having to work when they’re sick, or on Thanksgiving. It’s easy to be dismayed over stories about people trampling their brothers and sisters just to be the first in line to buy a flat screen tv that they really don’t need – it’s soul crushing really, But yesterday I met some really nice strangers, people like me, who are lucky enough to work at jobs that pay a decent wage and who give us paid vacation so that we can enjoy the holidays with our families, and who want that opportunity for everyone. Is that what it means to be a Socialist, do you think? Anyway, I couldn’t just sit by and I wanted to do something, anything to show my support, so I drove to the closest Walmart and was welcomed to join in the protest. It would be easy to feel like our efforts meant nothing; that Walmart had the best “Black Friday” ever, so why bother? But I really need to concentrate on the small victories: All the people who slowed down to read our signs, and who waved and gave us a thumbs up after, and the 3 people who actually turned around and left after talking to us. that was awesome, and powerful.
And so, I’m left with all kinds of gratitude, especially for my life that includes the people I love and my frequent trips to the place that I love. So, to bring things full circle, I’ll close with a pictorial homage to our various meals in Paris from October. Here’s a link to my 875503 Chowhound review for all the yummy details (vegans, stay away!!!):