The Privilege of Pies

On November 20 my daughter-in-law emailed me to ask if I could get pies from that “wonderful bakery”—she meant The Pantry—to bring to Nantucket for Thanksgiving.

Oh dear! The Pantry, I knew, would no longer take orders for Thanksgiving food, but I phoned anyway—just on a chance— and was advised that if I queued by 7:00 AM on Tuesday I might be able to get my hands on a pie or two. Hmm…

I called Isabel and Vincent—a good bakery—and found that, yes, I could still order up to Sunday before Thanksgiving, but that they were making pumpkin and apple tarts.

“Tarts?” I queried? That isn’t the same thing as a pie and my daughter-in-law had specifically asked for pies.

I emailed her with The Pantry news and the tart news and she replied, “Don’t stress. Get the tarts if that is easier.”

OK. So later in the day I am walking with my young and resourceful walking partner, and I tell her about the pie problem. She, bless her heart, offers to be at The Pantry at 7:00 AM on Tuesday for me. “I get up early anyway, “ she tells me.

We agree that I will buy the two tarts at Isabel’s on Tuesday and if my friend can make it to The Pantry on that same morning by 7:00 AM and successfully snare two pies there, I will give her the Isabel tarts for her family to devour and she will give me the pies.

A plan is hatched, a bit scruffy, but a plan nonetheless.

However, later in the day, to my amazement, my friend emails me with the name, phone number and email address of a bakery in Nantucket, which she found online and which, she says, is still accepting orders for pies for Thanksgiving. She knows this because she has already called them!

I immediately text my daughter-in-law for approval of this bakery. (Anyone who is a mother-in-law will understand this move.) Approval is secured. I call the Nantucket bakery—Petticoat Row--and order the pies which will be picked up by a local friend who is joining us for Thanksgiving.


Did you make it all the way through this? Have you been wondering why I am taking up so much of your precious time with what my older son would rightly call “a white girl problem?” 

  Here's the "why." It suddenly  occurred to me how very blessed I am to have my only fret this week be about something as simple as pies.

Thanksgiving is a family holiday often honored by attending our places of worship. Although we have serious gun control issues to resolve in this country, in America we will not be anxious that we might be slaughtered in our pews as we pray.

We are so fortunate. Americans are spared the anxiety of wondering if, at any moment, a bomb will explode near or on our houses. We do not live in the omnipresent terror that suddenly our front door will be bashed in and our loved ones dragged away. We do not have to hear the cries of our babies grow thin and weak as they die of starvation. We have no foreign tanks churning at our borders.

  At this moment I am filled with gratitude for the privilege it is to be able to live in a country free from constant fear. Instead, on our Thanksgiving holiday, we can joyfully focus on family, turkeys, gravy and pies.


Thank you American readers of this blog. I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.

 To those readers from foreign countries to whom I am very grateful, I wish you peace. I wish you borders that are secure and free of threat. I wish you and your children long lives, safe and protected within your own cultures.



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