by Janis Patterson
It’s half a week past Thanksgiving, and I can just about fit back into my clothes. The Husband and I joined his family at my mother-in-law’s for the holiday again. I will forever say I am so blessed to have The Husband’s family; mine is pretty much gone or far away, and his is both lovely and loving. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law cooked the holiday lunch, and they are absolutely superb cooks. Early on they learned never to let me bring anything – I am a decent plain cook and have never poisoned anyone (other than in print), but my skills are nothing compared to their culinary artistry. I do, however, excel at eating. And when you’re good at something, you should do a lot of it, right?
This year The Husband and I brought roses to his mother and aunt, for no reason other than they were so pretty. (They were on sale, too, but that really didn’t enter in to it – we found out they were on sale only after going into the shop to buy flowers!) As always, we brought home enough leftovers for three or four meals.
So what does all that have to do with mystery? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
We’re twenty-five days away from Christmas, the most blessed holiday of the year. The next twenty-five days will be full of shopping and parties and gift wrapping and family and friends… all the good things of the earth. And faith. We mustn’t forget faith.
Which means that Thanksgiving, for all of its overindulgence in food and family and laughter, is a watershed of reasonable quiet and reflection before the madness of Christmas begins. I, for one, enjoyed it thoroughly.
All year long I spend my days creating a group of people where murder could be a believable alternative, figuring out how to kill someone, how my character can justify killing someone, and how my sleuth solves the case. As we all know, this is not the most tranquil or restful way to spend your time. Now add in the inevitable Christmas crazies – which seem to start earlier each year – and a bountiful meal with family on Thanksgiving can seem like a respite even for those who do the cooking.
So – as deadlines, uncooperative characters, sudden plot holes, research and the Christmas crazies fill our days, let us take joy in our lives. We get to create wonderful stories. We – at least most of us – have families and friends and traditions. Thanksgiving was last week, but let us never forget to be thankful.
One thing for which I am not thankful, and one which I believe needs to be mentioned so that people will not think I am ignoring them. This begins the sixth week we have been without internet at home, and the only time I can log on is when I can make it down to our local internet café. Sigh. Just – sigh.