Posted by: jeannineatkins | November 27, 2009

In Between

I’m liking this day after Thanksgiving. The extra plates and cups are clean and seem are even put away. The refrigerator holds leftover turkey and vegetables and a spare bowl of my friend Jess’s chai butternut soup which tastes a bit like dessert – oh, vanilla! She said she made this and the pumpkin pie she brought from the actual tough-skinned vegetables, which made her feel more grateful.

The house is clean by my standards, and the novel I’ve worked on for a few years, with some projects in-between, is kind of done. My standards for that are of course higher than for how much is too much dog hair on the couch. I’m still fiddling with words and dreaming my way into some scenes, but there is a beginning, a middle, and end, something someone besides me might read and comprehend.

Thanksgiving is over and I know there’s a new season right ahead. I got out some cookie recipes and my clippers to start cutting greens. I’m making those lists. And I’m thinking how very little actually becomes “over.” I can move past a holiday on the calendar and put my manuscript in an envelope, but now I’m using the day to look back and peek ahead, and feeling happy for this peaceful time that’s just between.

Harvest wreath made by my husband, Peter



  1. Sounds lovely! “Clean by my standards” made me smile. That’s something I’ve learned, too.
    Enjoy this day between.

  2. Me, too! Clean by my standards…
    I am getting out my clippers too: we have wild bay trees and magnolias as well as cedar and pine down here and I always like to also tuck a few small palmetto leaves into the mix, for that Florida touch.
    I plan to get out some angels today and put them in one of my windows, make a few bugs, and relax…

  3. I’m not ready for Thanksgiving to end, not yet. I didn’t come home with leftovers, but I’m still enjoying the afterglow of stimulating conversation and a fabulous meal.

  4. All wonderful things.

  5. I love Thanksgiving leftovers and a manuscript ready to be mailed.

  6. I see others picked up on my favorite phrase here:
    “clean by my standards”
    That is the best! I plan to use it a LOT from now on, since my house is rarely clean by anyone else’s standards.
    Love that wreath, too. And yay on the ms.!

  7. Thanks, I am enjoying. Nice to reflect on some highlights of the day and just be a little bit still.

  8. Oh wild bay and cedar: wish I could smell those, and I’m sure palmetto makes it all a little wild.
    I hope your angels and bugs enjoy each others’ company!

  9. Afterglow. Yes, that’s what i’m savoring.

  10. And one of the things I’ve been enjoying is hearing about you at NCTE. What heartening reports — thanks!

  11. I really do like a turkey sandwich more than turkey proper. And a manuscript in an envelope: even thanksgiving comes around more often than that!

  12. Yes, I noticed I didn’t have to detail those standards for it to strike a chord. I do like light through the windows, but sadly it also does point out the lack of elbow power on the panes.
    thanks for the good wishes. Enjoy the weekend!

  13. Mmm. That soup sounds delicious. I’m enjoying my own sort-of clean home and leftover pumpkin pie today, too.

  14. You could email me your mailing address and I will cut you some…

  15. That is so so sweet. Thank you for the offer, but I hate to trouble you and think I will do fine with the New England smells of pine and pitch. Enjoy your branches!

  16. Beautiful wreath, peaceful time, contentment–thanks for sharing!

  17. I will. When I crumple the bay leaves the scent is divine. And it is just as well because I don’t know if they would arrive in good shape.
    We have pine down here too, but not balsam, so I always get a pillow when I am in Maine in the summer.
    I also collect sweet fern…
    Just made a pomander- my first in a couple of years.
    Smells! Love em.

  18. Such a beautiful wreath — it’s like taking a walk in the fields. I’m so glad you’re having a peaceful time this holiday. Ours has been more hectic, but still good.

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