Two more children have tested positive for Covid-19 at a granddaughter's high school. Where there were none, three have come up positive at my grandson's college. Small numbers. Controls are in place. Not to worry. But my daughter-in-law sends me these reports--"Sheesh" she texts--to confirm how correct we were to cancel the three-family Thanksgiving get-together we usually have at her house.
I am probably full of more longing to be together for the holiday than my children and grandchildren are. That is why I have taken on the task of figuring out ways to have Thanksgiving together even if we aren't physically together.
A friend says she's asked her son-in-law, who's an outgoing person who runs large meetings as part of his job, to be an EmCee on a Zoom call. She wants him to keep it light and fun for six adults and five grandchildren who are spread out across the country. She figures thirty or forty minutes should be enough to make it a memorable Thanksgiving.
I'm thinking of asking my son, who has a robust Zoom account through his job, to set us up in 5-minute chat rooms where two or three of us can talk directly to each other and then reset the chat rooms so we can talk to others.
My daughter thinks it would be fun for everyone to sit down for dessert together via Zoom. We could even expand that further--to baking dessert "together" earlier in the day. We could watch a cooking clip and make the same recipe — texting to compare notes and challenges. I haven't checked this out but I understand Netflix has a “party” function that allows you to sync up your streaming and provides a group chat for gabbing. For me, Thanksgiving is more than the meal. It's also about the time I spend in the kitchen with the other family cooks--chopping onions, mixing batters and talking about everything and nothing.
If some or all of your grown children and grandchildren live nearby, you can organize a meal exchange. This NYTimes story details how to add recipe links to a shared spreadsheet, sign up for dishes and deliver the goods. The spreadsheet helps keep everything organized so, as the reporter points out," no one accidentally makes the same dish twice--though too much stuffing is never a bad thing."
Anyone out there have any other bright ideas? Email me or post them as a comment. We're all in this together--trying to savor the joy of the holiday and still stay safe.
AND: Don't forget to vote, if you haven't already.
painting: The Boating Party, Renoir