A couple weeks ago, I got into the Thanksgiving spirit a little early and dedicated a chunk of my column to being grateful I'm not a house painter. A realization that came to me as my boyfriend desperately coaxed me off the roof, where I had been immobilized with fear for a good portion of the morning.
Having spent this entire weekend painting the inside of my house, I can confirm I am equally thankful I am not an interior house painter, either. A realization that came to me as I trembled my way up a ladder, cursing my vaulted ceilings and maniac dog, who seemed to be inventing a new game called "bolt to the door at top speed and only sometimes miss the tall, steep, metal, stair-like object in my way."
But since Thanksgiving is now just a day away, it seems a good time to broaden my gratitude horizons beyond the elimination of one profession. Living in Park City, there really is no shortage of reasons to give thanks. So, in no particular order, here's what I'm grateful for this year:
- I'm thankful my family is celebrating Thanksgiving in Park City for the first time ever. Considering I'm cooking, I'm also quite thankful my family is fairly small -- two sisters and one mom and one dad. I don't know how people with oodles of kids and nieces, grandparents, stepparents and siblings all getting together do it. The shopping, the cleaning, the organizing and entertaining. Most days I consider it an accomplishment just to get some kibble in the dog's bowl. Making an entire meal for a herd of people exceeds my skillset and/or patience and/or desire to please.
- Given I have a responsibility to ensure the meal comes out EXACTLY as my mom has made it for the last 38 years, as per direct instructions (threats) by my sisters who are sticklers for tradition (seriously, these two are bringing bags of a specific type of stuffing with them -- 1,000 miles -- because we don't have that brand here), I'm thankful my boyfriend talked me into practicing first. The rehearsal turkey gave me some much-needed confidence going into Thursday's big game.
- To that end, I'm also thankful for Google and YouTube. Seriously, how did first-time Thanksgiving hostesses ever do it without the Internet? Did my mom go to a library and look up old Julia Childs' recipes on microfiche when she hosted her family for the first time? I had a diagram, a step-by-step guide and a six-minute video preparing me for the cavity-search situation. And when it was over, I still felt like a pervert. But at least I had the Internet to help me see exactly what I had to do. It certainly wasn't instinctual. Without the help of a "turkey for first timers" search, let's just stay that bird would still be a lot more innocent and probably would have had a plastic coating taste to it.
- In addition to my job not requiring paint rollers and brushes, I'm also quite glad I'm not the person who has to violate a turkey with its own neck and internal organs as a career. Wow. There really are some interesting jobs out there.
- I'm thankful for a boyfriend who has so much faith in me he didn't even buy a "Plan B" bird. I asked if we should have one on standby, just in case I screwed up. He had an out and didn't take it. That's real love.
- And finally, I suppose after all of this turkey molesting and cooking and eating talk, I should be most thankful I'm not a turkey. It's got to be a tough time of year for those poor birds. They are probably very thankful for vegetarians. If only "tofurkey" tasted a little less like glue, I could probably get behind it.
Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley.