What a different Thanksgiving!
There was no full-family 25-people gathering, but everyone was still in our hearts and somehow we all got through it by coping in different ways.
Thanksgiving day started with the great joy of a bingo Zoom gathering with my six grandchildren. We were still together, but in the COVID way! What fun!
In my neighborhood, the rain came early on Thanksgiving day, but as the morning turned to noon, the sun came out and the temperature rose to a pleasant 64 degrees — a gift by itself!
My daughter Elizabeth had done research to see which restaurants offered noontime outdoor heated dining, when we thought it would be warmest. Lucky for us, Gatsby’s Landing on Old Northern Boulevard in Roslyn offered outdoor tables with heaters on the ceiling to warm our bodies and on the floor to warm our feet! Our seating overlooked the historic Roslyn Duck Pond, even having a family of ducks hanging out just below our terrace seating.
The sun shone so strongly, my 9-year-old granddaughter Addy complained of the sun hurting her eyes. But when I offered her another seat, she insisted on staying with hers and fought off the sun rays by blocking it away with her arms.
Elizabeth and my grandson Jonah stripped off their jackets because they felt so warm from the heater. Our waitress said they were off, but about an hour later, the professional owner came by and said, “Oh yes, they’ve been on since we opened a few hours ago!” We were very cozy, so much so that Elizabeth sat in a sleeveless T-shirt, but I still wore my layers of sweaters and a fur jacket.
Although none of us ordered turkey, we were together and the peaceful view from our patio seating was matched by the delicious food. Addy ordered spaghetti with tomato sauce, her favorite. Jonah chowed down on a creamy macaroni and cheese. Elizabeth and I each ordered a rich vegetable soup with spinach salad, and crispy crab cakes.
But the piece de resistance of the meal was the dessert. Addy had a scrumptious-looking s’mores sundae topped with perfectly charred melted marshmallows. She ate it to the bottom of the glass.
Time went too fast and lunch ended too soon for me. Sometimes I wish time could stand still.
After they left, I was alone and decided to go down to Tappen Beach in Sea Cliff and walk on the pebble-strewn sand. I took my shoes off and realized I missed walking on the silky soft sand at Westhampton Beach, steps from my summer retreat.
As I walked, I found a bench perched at a landing halfway down the beach. When I got closer, I saw a plaque attached to the bench that read:
Miss You, Mike T. – Forever “53”
“Eternal Love Took Root”
Forever in My Heart, Tonia
So, I decided to sit there and feel that love as I watched the sun go down silently and brightly, making a dramatic descent behind the trees on the other side of the harbor.
When I left the beach, I called my daughter Samantha and was delighted that she offered to make me a goodie bag package of turkey, stuffing and ravioli. She had thoughtfully already bought me “touches” from the turkey — my favorite part!
I did end up continuing the tradition of eating turkey and celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. It was different than usual, but we had “touched” each other and that’s all that counts.