The Night Before Thanksgiving

It’s actually late the night before Thanksgiving. You’d think I would have figured it out earlier since I’ve spent the day baking pies and making Bill’s favorite cranberry and orange relish. It’s also Wednesday, which isn’t at all surprising since Thanksgiving is always on a Thursday.

But here’s what I just this minute figure out. I didn’t write the blog this week—at least no so far.

So I’m doing that now.

Back in the old days—before Bill’s health situation intervened—Thanksgiving was the only real meal I cooked. The idea that I could cook anything edible would come as big a surprise to the girls who shared my kitchen in Home Ec class at Bisbee High School in 1958. (Yes, that was back in the even older days when Home Ec was still a thing!) I managed to scrape through that class with a B, but I suspect that the girls I was cooking with still remember our disastrous chocolate pie. I don’t remember exactly how much salt I put into the mix, but it was way more. Than the recipe called for. As for the pie? We had to eat it!

But after two years of no Thanksgiving I’ve really been looking forward to this year’s edition. I thought we were going to have two celebratory dinners, one last week and another tomorrow, but one of the two WSU granddaughters came down with Covid. She’s better now, thank goodness, but our number for tomorrow has been pared down to six guests only. It’s still going to be the full meal deal.

And as a result, I’ve been so looking forward to that time for writing the blog almost got away from me. As a bonus, I’m going to pass along something that has raised my spirits all week long. I’ve been singing an old Glen Campbell song while I’ve been driving the car or getting my steps. I’m not going to quote the song here because I don’t want to violate any copyright laws, but the title of the song is Less of Me.

For some of you, the ones susceptible to ear worm, my just mentioning the title will automatically set the words running in your heads in endless loops. The rest of you may need to look them up, but go ahead and do so Trust me, it’s good advice.

My Thanksgiving wish for all of you is that you enjoy the people who share your day tomorrow and treasure the loved ones who are far away. Because it’s time for all of us to Savor the Season. It’s been a long time coming.

And just for the record, I’m incredibly thankful for all the readers who have made it possible for me to live my dream for the past forty years. Not many people get to do that.

32 thoughts on “The Night Before Thanksgiving

  1. Your blogs are thought provoking, to say the least. Thanks, JA. We all have things to be thankful for. I think life is much better when you can let go of the depressing and embrace a positive attitude, even in the face of overwhelming emotions.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. I, too, always look forward to cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner and having a big crowd of guests. Every bit of the work was worth it when you see people really enjoying their food and the chatting and smiles all around. Of course, the leftovers were a bonus, also. But, circumstances this year and maybe some poor planning on my part, left us home alone and going out for dinner. Well, hopefully there’s next year.

    Judy your fans are thrilled to see you living your dream. That means we are benefiting from someone else’s dream. How sweet is that!! Thanks for dreaming big!

  3. Last night I went to bed with a piece of pumpkin pie and Beau’s stay at the alcohol rehab facility in Arizona. My mom would not approve of me eating pie in bed, but she was also an in-bed reader. Thank you for writing that book.

    I’ve a lot to be thankful for and praise God each morning. Blessings to you and yours.

  4. Thank you! The many hours of suspense, laughter and great relief when the guilty are revealed has been a source of great pleasure. In addition to your books, I look forward to your Friday messages. I am thankful for technology that has enabled me to feel a friendship connection with my favorite author! I love the fact that we are close to the same age and that your books are so relevant to me even when I read the earlier written ones the second time ?

  5. May your holiday season be blessed. Heartfelt thanks for blessing us all with your dream come true!

  6. I’m like you got to cook a meal even for a “smaller crowd”. The joy of spending time in the kitchen can be rewarding.
    I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. My wife and I are with our oldest son, his wife, and our grandson.

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
    I have so many things that make me thankful. One of those things is the books you write. I had a great day with my family. I hope your day was equally precious.

  8. OK, I had to go to youtube and start the song, which is new to me. On the third repetition now and I think I am thankful for a new song of the sort I love most during the holiday season. I gravitate toward the songs that pray for peace and celebrate the kindness people are capable of offering to others. So, THANK YOU!

    Our family potluck numbered 7 congenial people. I got to bring desserts, and of course we had leftover pie for breakfast today. Makes the baking totally worth the effort!

    This morning is the one Friday all year that I don’t have to rush around getting the trash out to the curb for pickup before I allow myself to read your blog. More reasons to smile. Now I’m going to take the message of that song and try to carry it forward through the day with me.

  9. Oh back to Home Ec. I was the least interested in the class. But I won the Betty Crocker Award to everyone’s surprise. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family

  10. I bet you put in a Tablespoon instead of a teaspoon of salt in the chocolate pie.

    I’ve got a granddaughter at WSU also–Leanne. She is a junior and in Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Is majoring in Landscape Architecture. Was home for the week but going back today while the pass isn’t covered with snow.

  11. I identify with much of your life. I graduated in 1955 and somehow made it through home ec. I have a Grandson at Wazoo. My husband has spent the last years in and out of the hospital. He is doing better but I bet just like you, a lot falls on me.
    I have been a reader since I learned how. Your books have been the best gift I could receive. I bought a couple on the sale table at the library and I will gift friends who hav3 not discovered you.
    Keep stepping and writing, my friend. You are a gift! June E,

  12. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and yes, you named the secret of the holidays-celebrating the joy and fun of family and friends. It’s the best part.

  13. This was a special heartfelt blog for Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays to you, Bill, your fur babies and your family. You accomplish so much yet still put together a nice meal for your family. Aside from that, I want to add that I’ve started two books in the last three weeks by two of my other favorite authors. I couldn’t get interested enough in either of them to get past the half way point. This has never happened with either the JP or Ali books. Looking forward to your next release. Need a book that I can actually get excited enough about to finish.

    • I have the same comment. There are authors that I have read everything that they write until I quit reading them altogether. Their books just start to all seem the same. That has not happened with Jance books. In fact, they are getting better particularly with J. P. Beaumont. My favorite Beau book is probably Sins of the Fathers.

      By the way Spell Check struck again and turned Jance into Hands. Glad that I caught it.

  14. For Christmas and Thanksgiving every year, I drive to the little mountain town of Julian, CA and buy pies at the Julian pie Company. Not on the day of course, but a few days before. They sell pies that are all made but not baked and are frozen. still get the pie smell and get warm pie right.out of the oven.So that is my contribution to holiday dinner at whichever family member’s house we are at. A win, win. Everybody gets delicious apple pie and no one dies of food poisoning. I think I was only cursed with Home Ec one year in junior high. Had to have been my least favorite class.

    It is great to finally get back to a more normal holiday season.

  15. I don’t recall any bad meals from you while in Pima Hall…You must have cooked
    something good!

    • You don’t recall any bad meals from me because I never signed up for a cooking duty. I was usually a 5:30 (Serving. Because of Mrs. Van, all my grandkids know better than to stack dirty dishes!) or a 6:30. I also liked PP&V (Porch, Patio, and Vestibule)

  16. I am in the”Non-Cooking” category- Once in a while I’ll make something that turns out to be more or less edible, but it usually takes many hours and leaves the kitchen in a state usually seen after a tornado has been through-
    Judy, you have my total admiration for having mastered the culinary art late in life!
    We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with cousins, not having seen them for over two years, during which most of the kids shot up in height- The college sophmore we hadn’t seen since she was a High School senior, had turned into a very
    “Woke” intellectual who spoke passionately about the evils of “Cultural Appropriation-” We had a spirited debate, and tried to walk a line between respect for her as someone who cares so deeply about society, and gently warning her of the dangers of being too dogmatic- All in all it was great to be around both the adults and the kids-

  17. Grateful for you, your great gift of writing, and sharing bits of your life with readers each week. I look forward to Friday nights and your latest post!

  18. I’m responding late to your Thanksgiving post but just wanted to say thank you for all the joy your books, insights, and humor have provided over the years. You have been a bright spot in some not so bright days. Hoping your day was special.

  19. Your wish (that we enjoy the people who share our Thanksgiving Day) has certainly come true as far as I am concerned. As a Canadian, I celebrated Thanksgiving in early October, but yes, being with the people I love, and seeing the 4 kids playing by the hour (without altercations) on the trampoline, and munching on yummy contributions from 4 separate households, was heartwarming and so very enjoyable. I made pies out of last year’s pumpkins, because this year’s weren’t ready yet–we’re too far north, I guess–and an 11-year-old who is one of the Celiacs among us made a delectable gluten-free dessert that I hope she makes again!

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