Perfect However It Turns Out.

Do you remember the weather prognosis for Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving? The wintry mix along the coast, the wind, the cancelled flights and the travel warnings for I 95: to say nothing of the prediction that there would be a record number of drivers on the roads because of the drop in gas prices. Even in good weather the Thanksgiving traffic toward Hyannis, where I was headed with my youngest son and his family, is horrendous, so this weather prediction was daunting.

The thought of the six hour drive north and east on Wednesday toward ferries that might not even run and, if they did, would be madly rocking to and fro during the two hour crossing, began to make me more than somewhat nervous. To go or not to go: that was the question. I didn’t have the same determination to get to their house on the island as my son and his family did. I wanted to be there with them; I just didn’t want to get there.

 Letting go of the outcome of it all, my prayer about Thanksgiving became, “Let this Thanksgiving be perfect however it turns out.”

On Tuesday evening I had a conversation with my daughter, who said, “Come to our house” (in New Canaan) “and see the boys.”

On Wednesday morning I spoke with my daughter-in-law, who admitted that the whole Thanksgiving in Nantucket thing was very stressful even for them. “I can get pretty snippy about it,” she told me.

That did it. I opted out.

Instead, I spent Thanksgiving with the six-member, New Canaan contingent of my family. A treat to see the older boys, all of whom are working now so glimpses of them are rare. I cooked with my daughter and held my favorite grand dog in my lap. On the way home I counted myself blessed to have had such a wonderful fall back plan.

And the blessings didn’t stop.

A childhood friend of my oldest son, who lives in Wilton, CT, and whom I have known since she was born, has just begun to read this blog. She had read The Privilege Of Pies and therefore was aware of the pending Nantucket trip. Our families were good friends during my married life in Ohio and Peggy emailed to say that if, due to the terrible weather, I did not go to Nantucket, her mother and older sister were visiting her and they would all like to see me.

A chance to see her mother, my friend, Kay, who was my tennis and paddle tennis and bridge-playing pal of twenty years? And two of Kay's three daughters, whom I watched grow up and who were so much a part of my children’s lives? Yes!

We met on Friday for lunch. When I saw Kay, I couldn’t stop hugging her. She has been through some medical issues so she is a bit frail, but there is no change in her bright eyes and spirit. The girls--no longer girls, of course—are attractive, smart and interesting and, above all, as they always have been, they are loving. The four of us caught up; we laughed and we remembered.

“May this Thanksgiving be perfect however it turns out.” 

Isn't it amazing how often when one plan folds, something totally unexpected and wonderful takes it's place?

Written by Cecily Stranahan, our companion on this journey of reflection and self-discovery. Visit Cecily's Blog at